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Kai’s Favorite Classes

Kai talks about three of his favorite courses, from three different departments (that aren't for his majors/minor!)

Kai talks about three of his favorite courses, from three different departments (that aren't for his majors/minor!)

As a Senior reflecting on my time at Carleton, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite classes that I have taken so far. And in true liberal arts fashion, these are three of my favorite courses that come from three different departments outside of my two majors!

English 100: Writing about America and Globalization

All students take an Argument and Inquiry (A&I) seminar in Fall term of their first year at Carleton. My A&I with the wonderful Beth McKinsey, who I previously profiled in a blog post, remains one of my favorite classes to date. She welcomed us with open arms, supported our development with fascinating course discussion topics and essay prompts, and six essays later, I emerged from her class a more skilled and confident writer. Beth epitomized Carleton in many ways: an interdisciplinary professor (in English and American Studies), who was challenging but caring, intellectually stimulating but not intimidating.

Willis Hall
Willis Hall, home of my Ed Studies class (among many others)


Education Studies 250: Fixing Schools: Politics and Policy in American Education

What made this course so special was that our Prof, Jeff Snyder, was a wizard at facilitating class discussion. Our course materials consisted of timely news articles, book chapters, documentary clips, and podcast episodes, which I wholly enjoyed. From there, Jeff generated thought-provoking questions for discussions, presentations, and essays that helped us probe deeper into the challenges that our educational system faces today.

Art History 260: Planning Utopia – Ideal Cities in Theory and Practice

Free ice cream, free scones, and a free book of your choice? To top it off, with an Academic Civic Engagement project that supports the local community? The free ice cream at the Blast and scone at Bread People weren’t just two tasty treats; they were integral to our “Northfield Future” project. Our time patronizing two great local businesses was also spent observing how people interacted with the spaces around them. Our projects presented a vision for how we can create a better future for Northfield, which we shared with consultants working with the city to create its strategic development plan. Meanwhile, the free book was for our book presentations on a key work of urban planning. We also got to research and write about different aspects of Northfield’s development history as part of a joint project with the City that will eventually turn into a StoryMap website for the general public. It was a course of great fun and great learning with our Prof, Baird Jarman, who might be one of the most likable people you will ever meet.

It seems like just yesterday that Kai (he/him) first arrived at Carleton. Yet now, he is a Senior Political Science & Psychology major and Public Policy minor. Kai loves Carleton’s friendly campus culture, spending much of his time hanging out at Sayles/the Anderson Hall Atrium, taking walks around the Lakes or in the Arb, volunteering for Project Friendship, and pitching/playing infield for the baseball team.