OT: Your favorite classes while at Michigan

Submitted by ypsituckyboy on May 12th, 2014 at 11:31 AM

I think there have been a few threads or discussions along this line in the past, but since new classes are added every year, I thought it might be fun to revisit given the dearth of non-OT news.

Here are mine (which all have "are easy" as a pre-req):

1) Psychology and Spiritual Development - One word - self-graded. I gave myself an A since I was an awesome student. Also, Richard Mann was super cool and had some great stories about the 60's.

2) Greek Mythology - A surprisingly useful class for life, especially if you like to read. Professor Verhoogt is funny and the class was pretty easy.  

3) The History of Witchcraft - Another gem in the Classic Civ department, which seems to have the highest ratio of easy classes of any department at the U. Don't remember the name of the professor, but he looks like Barack Obama (before he became President) and was a great lecturer. The material was fascinating. 

What are yours?



May 12th, 2014 at 11:40 AM ^

Stats 100.  It was easy as shit and I met a hot girl who I hooked up with.  She was from Calex, MI, wherever that is.  She lived in East Quad (weird) and I stopped hanging out with her when she told me she wanted to go to hell so she could hang out with Kurt Cobain.


May 12th, 2014 at 1:35 PM ^

I agree. However, I took it because a girl I was fancying invited me to take it with her. At that time, we could pick our lab partner.  For 21 year old Indy Wolverine this meant I was going to score! And let me tell you, together we made thousands upon thousands of beautiful Drosophila babies.


May 12th, 2014 at 11:45 AM ^

sure if these courses are still offered but I really enjoyed: Field Archaeology, Greek and Roman Archaeology, History of Early Christianity, and Neuropsychopharmacology (bio-psych course).

I was a bio major, so these were a nice break from my usual chem and bio courses.


May 12th, 2014 at 11:48 AM ^

According to my father, my favorite class in college was "Beers and Boobs."  

As in... "I spent $60,000 so he could study beers and boobs."


May 12th, 2014 at 11:47 AM ^

I was a sociology major, and one of the classes I took was Sociology of Sexuality.  We watched porn.  More than once.  

Before each time we watched it, the prof said that if it made us feel uncomfortable, we could stay home.  I thought this was a great excuse to skip class, but realized that I would probably just watch porn anyway, so I might as well show up and do it as a group.  


May 12th, 2014 at 2:19 PM ^

I automaticall thought of this scene from Mallrats:


Brodie: But my cousin Walter jerked off in public once. True story. He was on a plane to New Mexico when all of the sudden the hydraulics went. The plane started spinning around, going out of control, so he decides it's all over and whips it out and starts beating it right there. So all the other passengers take a cue from him and they start whipping it out and beating like mad. So all the passengers are beating off, plummeting to their certain doom, when all of the sudden, snap! The hydraulics kick back in. The plane rights itself and it land safely and everyone puts their pieces or, whatever, you know, away and deboard. No one mentions the phenomenon to anyone else.

Gil Hicks: [beat] Well, did he cum, or what?

Brodie: Jesus *Christ*, man! There's just some things you don't talk about in public!


May 12th, 2014 at 11:47 AM ^

Mammalogy at the Bio - Station.  If you like wildlife and want a great opportunity spend a summer at the bio-station taking classes


May 12th, 2014 at 11:48 AM ^

I cannot stress enough, if you are thinking about taking a witchcraft class at University of Michigan, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHICH ONE YOU ARE SIGNING UP FOR.  The class in OP's list IS NOT the same as the witchcraft class focused on the Salem Witch Trials, and co-taught by the Womens Studies people, which really isn't about witchcraft at all.  NTTAWWT...


May 12th, 2014 at 12:33 PM ^

It's not uncommon for the children of immigrants to learn to speak the languague but not write/read it, especially with a language like Chinese.  So it would have been an easy class for her where she got something out of it while being able to get an easy A.


May 12th, 2014 at 12:54 PM ^

This is true, it's often encouraged. My wife spoke Spanish before she learned English (also the daughter of two immigrants) and she has spoken Spanish her entire life, but she still took Spanish classes all through high school and college. She didn't do it for an easy A, although she had a leg up on many other students, she did it so she could read/write and speak properly in her parents' native language.

Just like English speakers, we learn how to speak at home, but still rely on school to learn spelling, grammar and literature. Saying a native Chinese speaker doesn't need to take Chinese classes is like saying I didn't need to take English classes.


May 12th, 2014 at 9:44 PM ^

If it was advanced Chinese, that's one thing, but if you're a native Chinese speaker, you're clearly taking 101 and 102 for a blow-off class. I had a German exchange student in my German class in high school. When I mentioned something about how easy it was for him, he said "Well, do you know the present perfect in English." Oh, good point. And then I find out the present perfect is just "I have been..., he has done...", etc., which I knew perfectly well already; I just didn't know the term. Besides, we weren't as far as the present perfect.

I'm not sure if Chinese parents might be different, but living in Korea and extrapolating from my experiences, very few children of Korean immigrants are fluent. They've usually learned how to chit-chat with their parents, but probably very few would actually be comfortable in a classroom in Korea.


May 12th, 2014 at 10:11 PM ^

Lucy spoke Chinese at home with her parents, so I recall, so it was easier for her. Students like her just had to memorize the writing system, which isn't easy, but they had the pronunciation and grammar down. It was really hard for me. But I did not mind at all showing up at 8am in the Frieze Building to sit next to her, she was cool and pretty and a great person. 

That was my first impression of Ann Arbor. I really had no idea about Michigan at all, other than the fact that they had the best polisci department in the country and gave me a scholarship and a spot in the doctoral program, so I just showed up. I moved from Paris to Ann Arbor and thought it was going to be a complete bummer but when I walked into my first class and saw her there I thought, maybe this place is going to be OK. 


May 12th, 2014 at 1:52 PM ^

Lucy didn't "need" to take it, she did it for the easy A. More than half the class were Chinese American students doing the same thing. The other half were grad students like myself using Chinese sources in our research. 

I still remember the morning she came in and told me she tried out for the lead role in a play on campus, even though she wasn't too serious about it (her major was East Asian studies) and she got it. We both laughed about it. Well I guess that kind of worked out. 


May 12th, 2014 at 9:47 PM ^

"So Lucy Liu needed to take basic Chinese? A daughter of Chinese immigrants.."

He never said she was the daughter of Chinese immigrants. The Chinese have been in America for a long time. Just like I don't speak French, and I only speak some German because I studied it, foreign languages usually burn out pretty quickly through generations.


May 12th, 2014 at 11:54 AM ^

EEB 440/441 - Biology of Fishes and its lab. From what I've heard the class has changed a bit since I took it due to a revolving door of profs, but it was great when I did. The lab was just a series of field trips to local rivers/lakes to catch fish, learn how to identify them, then a short quiz over them the next week before heading out. Took a weekend field trip to the Biostation as well. 

EEB 487 - Ecology of FIshes. Jim Diana is the man. He's a great teacher and the lab for the class is great as well. On the last day of lab he had us all out to his house for a bbq.

Musicology 123 - Intro to Popular Music. A fun class that took a look at music from the times of blackface minstrelsy up to modern music. I actually ended up learning a fair bit, and it was easy. 

Anthrarc 285 - Frauds and Fantastic Claims in Archaeology. Lisa Young was one of the best profs I had here. The class was great and is what lead to me declaring an Anthrarc minor. We covered topics like Bigfoot, Loch Ness, Troy, ALIENS, and much more. Would definitely recommend to anyone looking for social science credits (I think it counted for Race and Ethnicity as well.) 


May 12th, 2014 at 11:57 AM ^

1.)  Beat Generation.  I spent the semester taking mescaline and smoking pot with a purpose... well, at least that semester I could pretend that eating mushrooms and writing was 'homework'.

2.)  I don't know the exact number but I took a physics class on the first three minutes of the solar system.  Opened my mind to a lot of concepts I never really thought about before...





May 12th, 2014 at 11:58 AM ^

FilmVid 236 (In what is now the Screen Studies Program but was previously the Program in Flm and Video Studies) taught by Hugh Cohen. Yes, we watched movies...lots of them--especially Martin Scorsese films since his films were the focus of the class that semester. I decided to major in Film and Video Studies after taking it. Films watched included Chinatown, GoodFellas, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Mean Streets, Cape Fear (1991), Annie Hall and Terminator 2,  among others. We were supposed to watch High Noon the evening of Sept. 11, 2001, but that was cancelled for obvious reasons. 


May 12th, 2014 at 1:53 PM ^

One of my few electives since I was in Computer Engineering.  I really enjoyed it.  Watched some Federico Fellini movies, Michaelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up (which was redone as Blow Out by Brian DePalma) and 1970s counter culture movies that were big back then.  I think we even saw a classic western, Stagecoach, with John Wayne in his prime.

I had one more elective and needed something with a lot less work than engineering classes the following year, so I took Philosophy of Film since I had met the pre-reqs for it.  Interesting class (really strange short films) and a place where I ran into many familiar faces that had dropped out of the Engineering school.


May 12th, 2014 at 3:10 PM ^

Definietly SAC 236 with Prof. Cohen.

My semester it was a Sidney Lumet focus.  We watched Dog Day Afternoon, Network, 12 Angry Men, Chinatown, Terminator 2, High Noon, Citizen Kane, The Verdict, Match Point (final paper).  It was a great mix of films not to mention the scenes and shots of countless others he showed in class.

I later took SAC 455 (Religion in Film) with Cohen and, though I consider myself agnostic, it was really great and interesting.

Also, SAC 367 (i think) topics in digital media or something like that was really interesting.  Loved the film classes I took.

Non film fav: EECS 475 Crypto


May 12th, 2014 at 7:31 PM ^

I second this. I only took Great Works of Literature with the focus on Primo Levi my last semester, but I wish I had taken some classes with him earlier. Although some of the other comments about his repetition are true, his knowledge and passion were generally unrivaled. I thoroughly enjoyed how he challenged us to delve deeper into the material and think differently about it.


May 12th, 2014 at 12:00 PM ^

It was 25 years ago, so don't know course numbers, or if they are still even taught...

1. SPORTS AND DAILY LIFE IN ANCIENT ROME... we watched and analyzed Sparticus and talked about gladiators.

2. DINOSAURS AND OTHER FAILURES... this was one of those famed "mini-courses."  Again, not sure if they still exist.

3. ADVANCED MICROBIOLOGY LAB... our class project was to make beer.

4. FOOD OF THE ANCIENT WORLD... lots of recreated ancient dishes made by us and wine provided by the professor.  Honestly, a class based on the premise and eating and drinking like the glutonous ancient Romans.  How can you top that?


May 12th, 2014 at 7:15 PM ^

Had him for Warfare in the Ancient World. Great lectures, pretty easy class if you can write at all, and one time while taking the class I saw him on the History Channel talking about Alexander the Great.