10 Courses With a Twist

The New York Times:

Why are so many nonmajors taking “Introduction to Computer Science” at Harvard or “Introductory Oceanography” at Cornell? Why is Temple Grandin’s livestock course at Colorado State always filled, and not just with students at home on the range?

Some professors can make a subject sing, and their courses are not just a credit but an event.

“I’ve wanted to take it since freshman year,” Rhyann Dozier, a Virginia Tech senior, said of “World Regions,” taught by John Boyer, whose high-octane style and throwback vibe channels Will Ferrell, turning lectures into performances.

Prepare to take on your demons in this freshman psychology seminar. Dr. Dweck’s groundbreaking research has helped shape current wisdom about success and achievement — that failure and recovering from it are more valuable than sticking with what you already know how to do. Dr. Dweck tells students to tackle something “they have never had the guts to try.”

A student belted out “The Phantom of the Opera” on a public bus; another struck up conversations with strangers in San Francisco. Ricardo Flores, a self-described introvert, challenged himself to run for dorm co-president and, though filled with anxiety, give a campaign speech. He spoke, and won the election. For his next task, Mr. Flores is honing his salsa skills in hopes of performing with Los Salseros de Stanford.

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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