Whether you go to a large public school with a ranked football team or a tiny private one focused on farming, all colleges are pretty similar. The first day is awkward, you become close with your floormates from freshman year, there’s at least one student who raises his hand to ask if he can go to the bathroom, etc.
In terms of education, the similarities are even greater. No matter what school you choose, you can be assured that it will offer the standard persuasive writing, introductory calculus or public speaking classes. It is for this reason that it excites me to see Drexel offering classes that are out of the ordinary.
The latest class, which gained media attention from Geekadelphia, is “A Game of Thrones,” which will be offered as an honors class this summer term. The class will compare and contrast the HBO series with the novel by George R. R. Martin.
In fact, this is not the only unorthodox course being offered by the Pennoni Honors College in the summer. Courses titled “Fashion, Film and Popular Culture” and “Superheroes in America” will also be available. When I think of college education, these are the classes that I think about.
While the purpose of attending a university is to obtain a diploma as a precursor to finding a job, enriching one’s education should also be a priority. These honors classes may not directly give students the skills that employers look for, but they do add to the college experience.
These classes are the perfect electives for many reasons. Critical thinking and discussions are the main benefits. These classes force you to learn material, form an opinion on said material and share it with others. While many literary classes have the same structure, these off-topic classes do not normally have SparkNotes with the answers. These classes offer a unique experience that is hard to find elsewhere.
That experience is also one of the selling points of these classes. Ten years from now, you probably won’t remember anything from your history of technology class except for the C you received, but you will definitely reminisce about the debates on Spider-Man and Superman. Anyone can pick up a textbook and learn the basic knowledge of a subject.
What college offers, more specifically these courses, is the exposure to this knowledge with the added benefit of having others push your analysis and evaluation of the material. These are the classes that make college a memorable and worthy investment. I applaud Drexel for offering these niche courses, and I encourage everyone to take advantage of them.
Roberto Salome is a senior majoring in computer engineering and can be reached at [email protected].