Stop worrying about the wait-list, take these classes instead

Registration season is here again, meaning many students will be rushing to their computers every morning to check the wait-list for that one class everybody wants to take. Student Life would like to offer an alternative to all that hoping and waiting: a list of classes you can wedge into your schedule that we think will give you some great experiences.

Classical to Renaissance Literature: Text and Tradition

Yeah, it’s a lot of reading. Yeah, everything you read is by dead white guys (with the exception of Sappho, literally the original lesbian). And yeah, you might not be in Text and Tradition or IPH, but none of that matters, because Phillip Purchase is teaching this class. If not for his indescribable wealth of knowledge about every single word in Homer’s “Iliad,” take it because the phrase “fantastically large clitoris” was used when I took this course two years ago. Also, you will learn so much about literature that most people only pretend to have read. —Sarah Hands, Managing Editor

Advertising I

Whether you plan to pursue a career in advertising or just want to have a fun creative outlet in your schedule, Advertising I is a great option. The majority of the class is spent on group projects that walk you through the process of brainstorming, creating and pitching ad campaigns, including a final project that you present to an actual agency. Plus, the class’s professor, Frank Oros, is an industry veteran with plenty of interesting stories to share. —Katharine Jaruzelski, Managing Editor

Selected American Writers: Walt Whitman in his time and ours

Anyone who has delved even just briefly into popular culture has been exposed to the works of Walt Whitman. From “Dead Poets Society” to” Breaking Bad,” from Wilco to Dracula, Walt Whitman has inspired more than his fair share of what we hold dear. A smaller discussion class that is largely still open, this investigation hopes to give greater insight on Whitman, his persona, his writing and his effect on the voice of the writer for the decades to come. — Wesley Jenkins, Forum Editor

Drawing 1

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Drawing 1 is a perfect class for anyone from experienced artists to stick figure amateurs. I took the class freshman year and there were several non-art school students in my section alone. Taking a drawing class means learning to see and learning to interpret the world with your eyes. You also get the chance to be messy and stain your fingers with charcoal. There are a lot of different professors and sections, so you can find the one that works well with your schedule and personality. —Noah Jodice, Associate Editor

Intro to Linguistics

There isn’t a better breakfast than word trees with a side of phonetic transcriptions. Take Introduction to Linguistics with professor Brett Hyde—not only does he make class entertaining, but he isn’t reluctant to introduce his students to more advanced topics if they master the linguistic basics. — Zach Kram, Longform Editor


If you want a good grounding in how to apply basic economics, or if you’re just looking for a class that’s broken up by stories about the music industry, take business school microeconomics with Glenn MacDonald. It takes a mathematical approach to microeconomics and game theory while remaining accessible to those with no economics background, and MacDonald’s anecdotes keep lecture engaging. Whether you’re interested in business or not, it’s a class worth checking out. — Manvitha Marni, Managing Editor


On its face, Exposition sounds like one of those bone-dry high school English courses that’s taught directly from outdated writing textbooks. But instead of imposing a limited scope, the class’ admittedly vague title achieves the opposite. While you’ll examine the fundamentals of style, organization and argument, you’ll do so through varied texts and assignments. If you’re seeking a class that will lend a critical eye to your writing from all angles, look no further. —Mark Matousek, Senior Cadenza Editor

Contemporary Comedy: Stand-up, Sketch and Improv

Do you like comedy? Do you like courses in which the title is pretty self-explanatory? Do you want to take a class with a cool dude named Pannill? Then you should take this class. You’ll learn about the history of American comedy by watching lots of stand-up and sketch throughout the decades, in addition to reading critical pieces about the theory of humor. The final exam involves either a) writing an eight-page research paper or b) doing two minutes of stand-up in a class showcase. You can test out performing in a safe environment where no one will judge you/be mean to you/glare at you until you die. Also, there might be cookies! Don’t quote me on that. There might not be cookies, but you should still take the class. — Rima Parikh, Scene Editor

Intro to Social Psychology

I took this class on a whim this semester. What I didn’t know is that it would deconstruct the human experience and provide me with a new way of looking at interpersonal interactions. What is attraction? What is systematic prejudice? Why is there a difference in performance when you take a test by yourself versus in a full classroom? This class explores so many things that you may have never even thought about but that affect your daily life. — Lindsay Tracy, Copy Chief

Culture, Politics, and Society in Francophone Africa

Fear not: You do not have to speak French in order to take this class, nor do you need to be intimately familiar with the political environment of West Africa. Take the class because Dr. Diallo is an incredible professor who will turn your knowledge of this region of Africa and its complicated history upside down, with fascinating source media that sidestep Western stereotypes of African development and get down to the truth. — Maddie Wilson, Managing Editor