Every semester, I try to coordinate my classes to all fall within a certain theme, because it’s really nice when one or more classes cover similar topics. Christopher Newport focuses greatly on a liberal arts education, which is inherently interdisciplinary, so my plans to coordinate my semesters usually reveal a lot of other overlaps that I didn’t see coming.
I planned for this to be my electives semester. I am taking an argumentation class for my communication major, cross-cultural leadership for my leadership minor, a general language-major class about critical thinking for different texts in context, and a special topics course in Spanish on how ghosts were used in storytelling to convey the struggle of migrants. In addition, I am in an economics class, a biology lab and the University Chorale, rounding out my 17 credit hours.
Of these classes, my communication, leadership and Spanish courses are not part of the core curriculum, but rather classes that I chose to take to fill elective requirements. My class on ghosts is super interesting, and we have great discussions about our readings and the way that authors describe the Mexican-American border and the culture of the region. We had another professor come in and talk about “crossfade” culture, which is the idea that the U.S. and Mexico share a culture near the border, rather than act completely independently on either side.
My classes at Christopher Newport open my eyes to varying perspectives and give me the opportunity to simultaneously learn from a wide variety of disciplines while also specializing in certain skills. My classes last year focused on the different aspects of rhetoric, last semester was focused on different aspects of communicating, and this semester is about understanding the perspectives of others. I’m excited to find out what’s in store for the rest of the semester!