What have students said about Calderwood seminars they’ve taken?
The last assignment in each Calderwood seminar asks students to reflect upon what they've learned in the course, what they liked best, what they would improve or change, and what their favorite piece of writing turned out to be. Here are some excerpts from these assignments as well as from student evaluation questionnaires.
FREN/CLPT 359: You Say You Want to Change the World
Challenging, engaging, frustrating, rewarding. That’s how I would describe to you my Calderwood experience this past semester. For the first time, I was taking a class where the whole focus was on my ideas, my writing. I chose my topics to write about. I did all of the research. I had complete creative control over the writing process and complete freedom from the format of academic writing, although I’ll admit it took me many drafts to shed its chains.
—Katherine Jordan '15
AMST 355: Critiquing American Popular Culture
Taking time in my academic life to reflect about the utility of public writing and drafting essays for the eyes of an audience wider than a professor allowed me to build a bridge between my life as a student and my new career.
—Chloe Brieder '15
PSY343: Psychology in the Public Interest
I just ended my internship with the Office of Public Affairs at the Labor Department, and I wanted to let you know how beneficial last semester's Calderwood was for my work. From drafting the ideal 75 character tweet, editing press releases, to writing blogs on behalf of the Department, the work shopping skills from the class have proved extremely useful. My boss was often impressed by both my writing and editing skills and was always curious as to where I picked them up. This further proves that [Psychology in the Public Interest] is still the most beneficial class I have taken at Wellesley.
—email from Meredith Ausenbaugh '16
MUS301: Music in Public
MUS 301 was one of my favorite classes I have ever taken at Wellesley. I learned so much not only about my own writing and the writing process, but also about music and many of its applications beyond Wellesley. The small size of the class made it possible for us to spend a lot of time on each student's writing, and I think that I improved drastically throughout this course both because of the help from my peers and Professor Brody, and the frequency of writing. The assignments were all varied and asked us to think about music differently. I always found the homework engaging. The time spent in class was structured very well and I never lost interest.... As a senior, I really liked that this course gave me a bigger picture of the music industry in the outside world, and I felt like it showed me many applications for what I can do with a music major after Wellesley. There is no other course where you can learn writing skills and improve writing through a variety of projects that focus on going into a subject of your interest in-depth. I loved everything about this course.
—Alyssa Kayser-Hirsh '14
ECON335: Economic Journalism
I was incredibly challenged by the assignments, each in a different way, and spent several Friday and Saturday nights actually ditching my friends in order to spend another couple of hours researching and writing my article or re-write article. This did not happen because I procrastinated but because I cared about the assignment and the class. Instead of pulling an all-nighter being stressed out, I would have a glass of wine and read more about micro-loans in all kinds of news media and academic publications in order to add another interesting angle to my article. I know that other people in the class felt similarly. We would often have dinner together after class and spend the whole time speaking about the particular economic issue (Esther Duflo and RCTs, Lant Pritchett and labor mobility, or Larry Summers and the economic future of the U.S.), sometimes staying until quite late at night.
—Christina Gossmann '11