With two months left in my four-year stretch at Ithaca College, I have taken classes that were time well spent and some that I have forgotten about. But, I can’t help feeling a little regret for not making the most out of each semester. With the mandatory major requirements, we lose our freedom to choose. The least I can do before I leave is help out those who still have a lot of time left by offering underclassmen a mock schedule. These four courses were the most thought-provoking, rewarding and enjoyable, and the professors have really had an impact on me.
Worlds of Music: Naeem Inayatullah
Worlds of Music isn’t really just about music. It’s about life and understanding yourself. You will learn a lot about music from around the world, but the focal point lies behind the idea of asking yourself, “Why do I like the music I listen to?” If you’re ready to be honest in answering that question, Inayatullah will push you even further to ask what that may say about who you are, your values and politics. Really, just take anything the man teaches. I can’t predict what your experience will be like after one semester but can only hope that it’ll have an impact.
Critical Thinking: Ben Crane
Crane is very smart, logical and is a great impersonator. Most importantly, Crane is a skeptic. But don’t be quick to judge — critical thinking is about looking at the world for the way it really is and not for how you want it to be. You discuss how many beliefs and ideas that are prevalent in society hold no evidence at all and how manipulative the media can be in the existence of these beliefs. Applying philosophies and laws that were taught in class has improved my decision-making and logic. Crane is just giving you truth supported by facts and reminding you to always ask questions. Agree or disagree with Crane, that’s totally up to you, but shouldn’t you at least hear him out first?
Hip-Hop Cultures : Sean Eversley Bradwell
Eversley Bradwell has an uncanny way of being personable and relatable. It could be that he’s more youthful than most teachers, but that still doesn’t quite explain it. He’s knowledgeable in a multitude of subjects from academia to the topics that you and your circle may debate about while hanging out. It’s how he teaches that makes you want to engage in his classes. Hip-Hop Cultures will give you the background to a culture that MTV, BET and VH1 misrepresent as a genre. He does require a good amount of reading, but at least if you don’t like to read he will get you to start liking it.
Introduction to African Diaspora Studies: Sean Eversley Bradwell
African Diaspora is one of the most important classes I’ve taken because it was an introduction to a long history and assembly of events that isn’t taught in high school. Everyone should know at least a little about their history and that separating the African Diaspora from American history is nonsense. Eversley Bradwell somehow takes you back in time and back to the present in an impressive, organized fashion. Also, how many professors can you argue with about who’s a good rapper during the five extra minutes when class ends before the next one comes in?
I’m sure there are many classes that people would suggest that I may have never even heard of. For younger students who’ve already taken classes with all three professors, you should try and combine them to form the best concentration ever. For others, at least consider these three.
Jon Kagan is a senior audio production major. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.