While I love my engineering classes, my favorite course this semester happens to be a General Education or “GE” course. Every student at USC, regardless of his or her major is required to take 6 different GE classes at USC. I really appreciate the fact that these classes force me to think about a variety of subjects and world issues. After all, engineers in the industry must solve problems on a global scale, and I think it’s important to learn about all kinds of different subjects. My goal (and in my opinion, Viterbi’s goal for all of it’s students) is to be a well-rounded engineer upon graduation. That being said, my favorite course this semester is a GE Category 5 Arts and Letters class titled “Literature of Resistance.”
My professor, Dr. Yaffa Weisman, actually works at the Hebrew Union College on 32nd street, just north of campus. My class, like most GE 5 classes, is pretty small – perhaps 25 students or so. The curriculum for this course spans a huge variety of medias from novels to movies to poetry to music. It’s only week six, and we’ve already read classic literature such as Fahrenheit 451 and A Handmaid’s Tale, watched the 1979 musical film Hair, read short stories and poems, listened to music such as Jay-Z’s “Picasso Baby,” and discussed a variety of different topics and issues as they pertain to resistance movements. Later in the semester, I will be giving a roughly 10 minute presentation on a resistance-related topic of my choice.
In this class, I’m learning not only factual information about historical resistance, but also skills such as analyzing information, writing on a specific topic, presenting my ideas in an organized format, and understanding the effectiveness of how ideas and information are spread through various forms of media.
To be honest, I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I signed up for this class. I picked it from the selection of GE 5 options because it sounded vaguely interesting and it fit my schedule well. As it turns out, I look forward to this class every week, and find myself thinking about what we talked about in class that day long after class ends. I hope every USC student chooses to take GE classes that he or she enjoys as much as I have enjoyed this class so far.