Registration 101: Our class recommendations

We all know the struggle of the late registration time: You have your classes all lined up with perfectly spaced lunch breaks, you’ve fulfilled all your requirements, you’re ready to go. When 9:15 a.m. rolls around, lo and behold, all the seats in that 10-person writing class you really were looking forward to are taken. Well, as a way to combat this, fill up that “second choices” section of your registration worksheet with the Student Life editorial board’s recommendations ahead of time, if only to show your major advisor that you have your life together. Or, if you’re a wide-eyed freshmen, let us show you the ways of the world with our ancient, course-listing-specific wisdom.

L33 Psych 367: Positive Psychology: The Science of Happiness

T-R 10-11:30 a.m.
My first semester freshman year, every upperclassman I talked to described loving this class but noted that it was nearly impossible to get in unless you were a senior. I signed up for the waitlist of Positive Psych on a whim halfway through syllabus week and was added to the course after showing up once. Professor Tim Bono’s lectures are incredibly engaging, and even though the class has 300-plus students, Bono makes an active effort to get to know students in the course, offering students the opportunity to get bagels with him outside of class time. My only regret of taking this course freshman year? I have three semesters to go, and no courses taught by Bono left to take.
—Ella Chochrek, Editor-in-Chief

L98 AMCS 105: History of Jazz
T-R 10-11:30 a.m.
Almost all of us have that one cool friend. You know them. They drink wine that doesn’t come in a bag, they maybe own a turtleneck, and, of course, they listen to jazz. While maybe your wine taste and wardrobe won’t improve, this class is your chance to finally appreciate jazz. You’ll get a sense of the origins of the music, how it has developed over time, the racial politics of the genre–and you will be exposed to enough jazz that you will almost certainly like something, and you can finally tell your friends, “There’s this great jazz song that you have to check out.”
—Jon Lewis, Senior Sports Editor

L98 AMCS 3682: The U.S. War in Iraq, 2003-2011

T-R 1-2:30 p.m. or 2:30-4 p.m.
I’ve always been sort of skeptical of classes with more than 40 seats that fill up almost immediately after registration begins. I’m always skeptical of whether the class is actually that good or the lore of classes being impossible to get into is just a self-perpetuating, self-fulfilling prophecy. I decided to use my senior registration privileges to ascribe to the system and secure a spot in Professor Krister Knapp’s notoriously hard-to-get-into course. But my pessimism was quickly proven unfounded, as the class offers a fascinating look at a period of history we were alive to experience (it’s worthy of the quick sign-ups). Not only is Knapp an engaging lecturer, but his brain is a wealth of knowledge as he traverses and makes arguments about a history that’s so recent we’re still trying to understand it. He’s not teaching on Iraq next semester, but he is teaching the Global War on Terrorism—and if this class is any indication, that’ll be well worth it too.
—Noa Yadidi, Managing Editor

L19 EPSc 171A: The Solar System
M-W-F 10-11 a.m.
This course is an interesting look at the history of space discovery and exploration, also focusing on each of the planets in the solar system. Neat parts of the class include trips to the Crow Observatory to look at different planets and the moon, discussions about the formation of planets and stars and discovering the model of the Mars Exploration Rover that’s in Rudolph Hall. If you need another College of Arts & Sciences Natural Sciences and Mathematics distribution requirement before graduation or just like learning about space (and, to be honest, who doesn’t), think about adding this to your schedule for spring!
—Elizabeth Grossman, Copy Chief

L01 Art-Arch 3211: Art in the Egypt of Pharaohs
T-R 4-5:30 p.m.
When I was little, I wanted to be one of three things: a face painter at a carnival, a firetruck or an Egyptologist. Defined by Wikipedia as “the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, architecture and art,” you might be thinking, “Wow Aidan, that’s really specific, how could you ever find a way to study that?” Well, here we are 12 years later and Washington University is offering the perfect class for it! My childhood dreams can finally become a reality, if only for one semester. There’s just one problem: I’m too scared to take a class in the Sam Fox School on my own so I need someone to sign up with me. If you’re a sophomore or above and need a Language and Cultural Diversity (LCD) requirement for the College of Arts & Sciences, please email me.
—Aidan Strassmann, Senior Forum Editor

L13 Writing 314: Topics in Composition: Writing and the Law
M-W 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All rise for an extremely relevant and thought-provoking writing intensive. Discuss landmark supreme court cases and review President Donald Trump administration executive orders in real time. Along the way, you’ll learn to distill dense legalese into layman terms. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a legal buff. I walked in not knowing the difference between a civil and criminal case. You’ve got to do your reading. You’ve got to at least kind of like law. But if you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll come out in May a much more informed person.
—Aaron Brezel, Managing Editor

B54 MEC 370: Game Theory for Business
T-R 10-11:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Are you turned off by the very idea of taking an economics class? This might be the class for you. Everyone uses game theory all the time—yes, even you. Game theory is useful no matter your major: political science, psychology, computer science, you name it—Professor Mariagiovanna Baccara keeps the class engaging with interesting lectures and real-life examples. Even if business isn’t for you, you’ll come away with a strong understanding of logic, strategy and decision-making.
—Rohan Gupta, Senior Sports Editor

L44 Ling 170: Introduction to Linguistics
M-W-F 9-10 or 10-11, or T-R 1-2:30
I had no idea what linguistics was when I added it to my course registration worksheet the summer before freshman year. I ended up on the waitlist right up until class started, and after the first day in class, I was sure it was going to be a worthwhile experience. Professor Kristen Greer’s passion and enthusiasm shows through during every unit of the course (she even dressed up one Halloween as a morphology tree). This class covers the philosophy of language, language and the brain and a whole bunch of other cool things like phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics and morphology. By the end, I had a deep understanding of language and how it affects people and societies.
—Ali Gold, Senior Cadenza Editor

L90 AFAS 3113: Culture, Politics, and Society in Francophone Africa
T-R 2:30-4 p.m.
My high school social studies education was almost exclusively focused on America. I had learned little to nothing about non-Eurocentric world history, let alone French colonialism in Africa and its consequences, until I took this course as a requirement prior to studying abroad. The topics covered are fascinating, especially if you’re interested in French language and culture, political resistance, art and media, or any combination of the above. Professor El Hadji Samba Amadou Diallo is incredibly engaging and friendly, and he brings his own personal experience and expertise to the course. You’ll never get bored with the variety of class topics, ranging from analyzing films to learning about assimilation policies and political uprisings to discussing the present-day impacts of neocolonialism. Even if you’re a STEM major struggling for LCD or Social Sciences Computing distribution requirements (like I was!), you’ll stay engaged and learn so much about a topic that you probably knew very little about before.
—Hanusia Higgins, Senior Scene Editor

L13 Writing 305: Modern Humor Writing
T-R 10-11:30 p.m.
When recommending a humor writing course, you should reasonably expect the recommendation to be funny, you know, to show off the skills acquired. Sadly, I am still not funny. However, that is not a reflection on Heather McPherson’s teaching prowess, but rather on my own genetic deficiencies. Yet still, I have overcome one hardship in terms of humor. My political professor replied “ell oh ell” to a piece of my work, something that can be seen as either a compliment or further inadequacy. Note: Uses of humor present in this blurb: self-deprecation, reversal, stating the obvious and ghostwriting.
—Wesley Jenkins, Director of Special Projects

L28 P.E. 215: Beginning Weight Training
M-W 10-11 p.m. or 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
Overwhelmed by all of these intellectually-stimulating classes? Well, I’ve got a class that is literally a no-brainer: Beginning Weight Training. The perfect class to burn off that freshman 15, this class begins with an introduction to the basics of creating a personalized fitness plan and the proper techniques to lift safely, then leaves you with free reign of the brand-new Sumers Recreation Center gym. I could go on by citing how exercise has been linked to learning more efficiently, improving mood and strengthening focus among a myriad of other health improvements, but if you’re still not convinced that this class is the best, just remember: “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
—Jeremy Goldstein, Co-Copy Chief