Monitor’s declassified school survival guide: CTI edition

Monitor’s declassified school survival guide: CTI edition

photo by Kyle Rivas

It’s that time of year again. While Halloween is indeed steadily approaching, students at William Jewell College have something else in mind: advising and scheduling. The infamous Jewell fall advising day is Oct. 27, and each student will meet with his or her advisor to talk about progress and to schedule the 2016 spring semester. Most majors may have little options, but one thing Jewell students have full control of is what level two “Critical Thought and Inquiry,” (CTI) classes they take.

“Scheduling is the last thing I think of before I go to bed and the first thing I think of when I wake up,” said Riley Adelmund, sophomore biology major.

Jewell gives students an entire day to compose their schedules, but many advisors prefer when students come in with a “mock” schedule in mind.

“My life may not be together, but my schedule is, and it’s color coded,” said Adelmund.

Level two CTIs are placed into four categories: Power and Justice, Science Technology and Human Experience, Culture and Traditions and Sacred and Secular.

When a student’s major corresponds to one of these particular fields, he or she is not required to take a course in that category.

Here is a preview of some of these classes, their descriptions and what students on the Hill thought of them.

Power and Justice

The classes offered this spring for Power and Justice are “World War II and The Holocaust,” “Medicine, Money and Morals,” “School and Society,” Slavery and Abolition” and “Philosophy of Power, Sex and Gender.”

“World War II and The Holocaust” is taught by Dr. Howell and meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 AM. The course catalog describes the class as an examination of the ethical and practical problems involved fighting even a ‘just’ war. All aspects of the greatest conflict in human history from the rise of Hitler in Germany to the Holocaust to the controversial use of the atomic bomb to end the war will be examined.

“In Dr. Howell’s class, you don’t study World War II from an American perspective, which is unique to my past classes about the war,” said Jackson Ritchie, sophomore vocal performance major. “The class is lecture based. There are regular readings and essays for the course. I’d recommend this course to anyone who is good at note taking and has an interest in learning more about the topic.”

“School and Society” is taught by Dr. Gardner and meets Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12:30 PM. The course catalog describes the class as examining the development of American schooling within the context of social history.

“The class is very discussion based. We would read a certain text and would have guided discussion led by Dr. Gardner,” said Savannah Drew, senior accounting and business administration major. “I’d recommend this class to anyone who enjoys the history of a specific topic, public policy and learns best by discussion.”

Culture and Traditions

The classes offered this spring for Culture and Traditions are “Cultural Values and Visual Art,” “La Doulce France,” “Film Worlds,” “United States Pluralism,” “Performance Studies,” “Wagner: Lord of the Rings” and “Intercultural Communication.”

“United States Pluralism” is taught by Dr. Rangel Tuesday at 6:30 PM. The course catalog describes the class as providing an examination of racial, ethnic, gender and other types of diversity in American society with the aim of increasing understanding of American pluralism and culture.

 The class looks at different mediums to analyze these topics, such as autobiography, literature and film.

“You discuss many modern day issues that regard these inequalities,” said Gavin Kiger, junior political science and international relations major.

A mixture of lecture and discussion centers the class, and further learning comes from both papers and oral presentations to evaluate these topics.

“I’d recommend the class to anyone who wants to become more aware of the problems in our society today,” said Kiger.

“Film Worlds” is taught by visiting professor Dr. Jani Tuesdays and Thursdays at 12:45. The course catalog describes the class as using films as texts in order to explore the social,historical and cultural contexts the films depict.

While spring 2016 is the first time Dr. Jani will be teaching a CTI at Jewell, Sarah Crosley, senior English and classics major and current student of Dr. Jani commented on the professor’s teaching format.  

“She mixes lecture and discussion pretty well. Normally English classes at Jewell are primarily discussion based so it is interesting that her classes feature more lectures than usual,” said Crosley, “Dr. Jani definitely emphasizes classroom participation so if you’re looking for a class where you can sit back and be silent, this is not for you.”

Sacred and Secular

The classes offered this spring for Sacred and Secular are “Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” “Reading the Bible: Then and Now,” “Religion in the Modern Age,” “Magic, Science and Religion” and “Songs, Symbols and Services of Christian Worship.”

“Judaism, Christianity and Islam” is taught by Dr. Horne Tuesday and Thursday at 8:45 AM. The course catalog describes the course as offering a comparative overview of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in their comparative histories, varying theological and ethical centers and scriptures.

There are required readings, and three essays for each religion. However, if a student receives a 95% or above on an essay, he or she is not required to complete the remaining essays.

“The course offers a comparative overview of Judaism, Christianity and Islam in their comparative histories, varying theological and ethical centers and scriptures,” said Cole Allee, sophomore religion major. “I would recommend this class to anyone who studies or wishes to study something that involves any one of these three religions, because that subject is almost guaranteed to involve one or both of the other two.”

“Reading the Bible: Then and Now” is taught by Dr. Chance Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3:00 PM. The course catalog describes the class as exploring the reading of the Bible in the context of the history of Christianity. After surveying various ways of reading the Bible throughout Christian history, special attention is given to modern and postmodern modes of biblical interpretation.

“There are required readings and graded Moodle posts for every class,” said Brianna Steiert, sophomore Oxbridge Molecular Biology major.

Steiret recommends this course to second semester first-years or sophomores.

“The material was engaging, I learned a lot.” said Steiret, “It’d be beneficial if the student enjoys reading.”

Science Technology and Human Experience

The classes offered this spring for Science Technology and Human Experience are “Ethnobotany,” “Sustainability,” “Energy and Society” and “Astrobiology.”

“Ethnobotany” is taught by Dr. Shafer Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12:30 PM with a lab on Thursday at 10:45 AM. The course catalog describes the class as studying the interactions between humans and plants, focusing on how plants are used every day by humans for food, medicine, recreation, housing, clothing, etc. This class explores the cultural, religious and historical importance of plants to humans as well as focusing on the study of plant biology.

“The class is more lecture-based. We had a few group projects where we had discussion time, but it was a lot of lecture note-taking, with small discussions throughout,” said Caroline Wells, senior non-profit leadership, Spanish and religion major. “The class had an interesting nonfiction book called “The Botany of Desire,” which focuses on a few specific plants and how they impact our lives today. I loved that book, the author told a lot of neat stories.”

“Astrobiology” is taught by Dr. Sheer Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12:30 with a lab Thursday at 7:45. The course catalog describes the class as studying the origin, evolution and distribution of life in the universe. It uses interdisciplinary science at the intersection of biology, geology and astronomy to discover where and under what conditions life arises and exists in the universe.

There was a little bit of both classroom discussion and lecture. There were a few in-class worksheets, and a few papers, but the workload is very manageable and interesting,” said Delaney Granger, senior psychology major. “We got to use the telescope, and many of the other labs were very interesting. Even if you’re not familiar with the content, Dr. Sheer would make it fun.”  

Registration for the spring 2016 semester begins with seniors registering Nov. 3 at 10 PM and ends with first-years registering Nov. 11 at 10 PM.

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