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Featuring My Fall Term Classes

Zoë spotlights the variety of interesting classes she's taking Fall Term.

Zoë spotlights the variety of interesting classes she's taking Fall Term.

Fall term has been a whirlwind of catching up with friends, immersing myself in classes, juggling my campus jobs and extracurriculars, and finding a healthy work-life balance. As a junior Sociology-Anthropology major, I am taking my first 300-level Sociology class, which is as exciting as it is daunting. For my other two academic courses, I decided to take an English class and a Philosophy class. Finally, I am enrolled in Orchestra and Yoga. It’s definitely a busy schedule, but as we approach 4th Week, I am pretty settled into my daily routine and rhythm!

SOAN 330.00 Sociological Thought & Theory

Full transparency—this class has a heavy workload. For the first half of the trimester, the course focuses on the writings of Émile Durkheim, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. Before every class session, we read 50-60 pages, brainstorm some reading questions, and come to class ready to discuss our comments and critiques. 

soan lunch
The SoAn department hosted a Meet and Greet lunch to ring in the new school year! Students and faculty mingled and enjoyed seeing each other in person.

Since the start of the school year, we have learned about Durkheim’s definition of “social facts,” his idealistic perspective on societal development, his preference for societies with a high division of labor, and his belief that religion is a necessary presence to help strengthen bonds between people. While the long readings are definitely challenging, I enjoy discussing our thoughts and asking clarifying questions in class. It’s also exciting to be in a higher level Sociology class with lots of other Sociology-Anthropology majors. 

ENGL 230.00 Studies in African American Literature

This is my first English class at Carleton! There are only 11 people enrolled in it, so it is discussion-based. We’re reading several books and plays, most recently finishing Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. The book brings up a lot of conversations about how black people (and people of color in general) experience invisibility and hypervisibility depending on the contexts and environments they inhabit.

We are currently reading A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, and I am really enjoying it. It’s superbly written, and a powerful portrayal of the family life and dynamic of a Black family getting by in South Chicago. I particularly appreciate the humor—the cutting jabs and familial teasing are extremely clever.

The reading materials for my English class.

PHIL 260.00 Critical Philosophy of Race

I appreciate how this class and my English class reinforce the other. While they cover similar overarching themes and topics, they approach them from different angles. (One of my favorite aspects of Carleton’s liberal arts curriculum is the interdisciplinary nature of departments!)

In this class, we are reading The Habits of Racism: A Phenomenology of Racism and Racialized Embodiment by Helen Ngo, discussing how people’s bodily orientations, movements, and gestures are influenced by deeply ingrained, racially-charged, pre-reflexive habits. Additionally, we are examining the lived experience of racism, considering how racialized bodies experience existential stress as they move through spaces populated by groups that objectify them.

The readings for this class are incredibly informative and enlightening, and I think it’s really interesting to look at race through the field of Critical Philosophy of Race. Minoring in Philosophy is a likely prospect for me at this point.

PE 199.00 Lifestyle Yoga

Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, I attend my yoga class. Our first class met by the Japanese Garden, and our yoga flow was accompanied by sun and a nice breeze. The teacher also brought us some coffee and tea which was a lovely gesture. I want to work on my mindfulness and improve my flexibility in this class, and starting a couple mornings of the week with yoga practice is something I look forward to.

MUSC 187.00 Orchestra

I’m a cellist in the Carleton Orchestra, and I joined the ensemble freshman year. We play a variety of repertoire, and it’s nice to sit down and play some music during the school week as a break from academic homework. Sitting beside my stand partner is always a fun time, and I absolutely love playing in the Kracum Performance Hall. It is so beautiful!

The interior of Kracum Performance Hall, featuring the stage we rehearse and perform on.

Zoë is a junior Sociology-Anthropology major who loves traveling and studying abroad, taking photos, and luxuriating in long walks in the glorious Arb. At Carleton, some of Zoë’s favorite pastimes include frequenting the various coffee shops in downtown Northfield, playing cello in the orchestra, participating in club soccer, and spending time with friends. Meet the other bloggers!