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A Love Story Between My Winter Courses

Is there a greater joy than discovering your courses are meant for each other?

Is there a greater joy than discovering your courses are meant for each other?

Picking three new courses each term can be a nerve-wracking process. There are just so many amazing courses to choose from, so many intriguing requirements to meet, and on top of that, we gotta start thinking about our major (and minors). However, if you are lucky and clever enough, you might end up with the perfect combination of courses, and that’s what happened to me this term!

While I am only a first-year, I am pretty confident that I want to major in Sociology/Anthropology (SOAN), and double-minor in Educational Studies and Cross-Cultural Studies. To this end, I picked my winter term courses so I would have one of each department in my schedule. They all cover distinct topics and are taught by specialized professionals in each field, and yet, they fit perfectly with each other.

This is the love story of three winter term courses that, despite all odds, found each other and made a Carleton freshman very, very happy.

The Courses

So now you may be wondering exactly what obscure course I am talking about. You might be surprised to know that none of my courses are actually unknown and that they are instead some of the most popular choices on campus.

students have a lively discussion in class
Small seminar-style classes are pretty typical of many of the courses Carleton offers.

SOAN 111 – Introduction to Sociology

Introduction to Sociology is, naturally, a requirement for the SOAN major. Since last term I took a more advanced sociology course, I was not excited about going back to the basics. However, I was amazed at how much the concepts we are learning in this class have illuminated my other readings. Going back to the foundational theories of Durkheim, Weber, and others has helped me contextualize the work of later intellectuals that we have studied in my other two courses.

CCST 275 – I’m a Stranger Here Myself

In this fascinating course, taught by the impressive Éva Pósfay, we are exploring the identities of those who have been historically considered “strangers” by reading both the academic and artistic literature of contemporary and classic thinkers. Most of these theoretical approaches were based on the very same groundwork laid by the sociologists we are learning of in SOAN 111, which makes my 40+ pages of reading a day for both classes a lot more bearable!

EDUC 262 – Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy

If there is anyone more passionate or more knowledgeable about current educational affairs than Professor Deborah Appleman, I have yet to meet them. In her class, we are learning about culture in all its forms as a vital component of a child’s experience within the educational system. As you can probably guess, the understanding that Éva’s class has given me on the importance of cultural and social belonging has elucidated this topic considerably.

Image of Leighton Hall, where I have class.
Leighton Hall is where the Sociology-Anthropolgy department lives!

The Love Triangle

Because of the beautiful overlap between all three of my courses, it is hard for me to pick the two of them that I think go the best together. Every time I recognize a theory from a Sociology reading for Cross-Cultural studies, or that a book in Educational Studies that references an author we read with Éva, it is physically impossible for me to hold back a smile.

It has been not only captivating but truly inspiring to see all the ways in which my three desired fields of study complement each other so exquisitely. It has taught me that there are plenty of ways in which I can dream of working with all of them in the future. I guess that is the beauty of a liberal arts education.

Fátima strives to learn everything about everything, but is especially interested in Sociology/AnthropologyPsychology, and Disney! As a freshman, she can’t wait to introduce her peers to her native Guatemalan culture, put in practice her newly acquired ASL skills, and play in the snow for the first time. In her free time, Fátima can be found watching cartoons, poorly playing the ukulele, or desperately missing her dog, Cosmo. Meet the other bloggers!