Having completed almost 3 full years at Scripps, I’ve taken around 24 classes so far. Here I’ll tell you all about my favorite classes in the order in which I took them. I hope that this will allow you to get a glimpse of the range of classes offered at Scripps and the Claremont Colleges and maybe give you some recommendations for classes you can take here.
Intro to Jazz Dance
My first favorite class was a jazz dance class I took during my very first semester at Scripps. I used to dance before college and I wanted to continue to do it in college. I was a bit intimidated by what a college-level dance class would entail but Prof. Sheetal Gandhi was amazing at helping everyone feel comfortable with themselves, their bodies, and their dancing abilities. We learned about the roots of jazz music and dance, watched documentaries about pioneers in the genre, and discussed the modern takes on jazz dancing. At the end of the semester, we performed a few pieces we learned for the Scripps dance department and our friends. I really loved this class because it was a chance to let loose and enjoy myself twice a week and express myself through movement.
Research Tools in Organismal Biology (multiple professors)
Okay now I’m gonna start nerding out about science quickly. One of my favorite classes in the sciences was Research Tools in Organismal Biology. It’s a class specifically for Org. Bio majors and intended majors that rotates through topics covered in the major and lets you meet most of the professors in the department. Every two weeks, we’d hear from a different professor and they would teach us about a topic within organismal biology that also had something to do with research they were conducting or had done in the past. It was so awesome to learn about bat echolocation, bird migration, and technology that quantifies biological data in large-scale studies. It was also my smallest class to date with 8 students including myself. I really liked the rotating topics so that I could learn a lot without getting bored or overwhelmed.
Intro to Gender and Women’s Studies
I took Intro to Gender and Women’s Studies (GWS) as a second-semester sophomore. It was an “off-campus” Pomona class despite us being online that semester. Prof. Natalia Duong was so good at forming a community among everyone in the class and generally having us look forward to class. Sometimes we’d do a guided meditation, play a game, or play songs we liked at the beginning of class to get us relaxed enough to participate in sometimes heavy discussions. I learned so much about how the M-F 9-5 workweek originated in sexism, how birth control has roots in eugenics and racism, and how fragile gender roles have been throughout time. It was so cool to sit back and learn so much. I couldn’t stop talking about our discussions with my family and friends!
Animal Behavior (Elise Ferree)
Last but not least, my favorite class I’ve taken to date is Animal Behavior with Elise Ferree. As a pre-vet student and animal lover, I had been waiting to take this class for years before I was able to. I finally took it last semester with my favorite professor so I loved every minute. I really liked learning about different animals and how they respond to their environments. I found myself saying “animals are so smart” every single class! Through this class, I was also able to start researching with Prof. Ferree studying white-crowned sparrows and I’m so grateful for this opportunity.
Of course, there are some classes I didn’t have space to mention so here they are:
Honorable Mentions: Core 2: Making Sense of Power (Nancy Neiman and Mark Golub), African Diaspora since 1865 (Rita Roberts, retired), Ornithology (Elise Ferree), Genetics (Patrick Ferree), Slave Women in the Antebellum (Rita Roberts), African Literature (Marie-Denise Shelton, CMC)
If you want to hear more about the honorable mentions or the classes I talked about, you can email me at [email protected].