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 12:02 PM ^

EECS 376, 203, any calc class... after three years of having no favorite class at all I realized I'd screwed up in choosing my major. 

Business of Music ended up being my favorite.  Helped me out a lot.


May 12th, 2014 at 12:07 PM ^

TV Analsys - We talked about 60 minutes, soap operas, and The Simpsons.  There were a lot of football players and Engineers taking it as an elective.


May 12th, 2014 at 12:45 PM ^

Yep.. People couldn't figure out why Chief Wiggum was so irresponsible in regards to his job and his son Ralph. It was clear that he used his power within the community to keep Ralph moving forward in school despite his issues lol


May 12th, 2014 at 12:18 PM ^

I think it was Aero 471. Technically, it was a lab wherein we went flying once or twice a week in a Piper Archer out of Ann Arbor Airport (the professor was the pilot in command). The group I was in were all licensed pilots so the prof let us get a bit of stick time on top of the data we were collecting.

One of the most incredible moments was when one of the students I was flying with put his head through the side window of the aircraft. He had unbuckled to get a better look at the instruments and lost his balance (I can't remember if it was due to turbulence or the maneuver that was being flown). Fortunately, he had a set of David Clark headsets on, which took the brunt of the force. Needless to say, he was seeing stars for a few minutes as we flew back to the airport.

All in all, though, getting to go flying for credit has to be #1 Best Class.

EDIT: Reading further in the thread, I stand corrected. Getting to watch PORN for credit, has to be the #1 Best Class.

Cold War

May 12th, 2014 at 12:11 PM ^

A quick note to non-alums, if you'd like to take a Michigan class free of charge via the Net, check out Coursera. You  can earn a certificate for the courses, but it's non-credit and you will not be considered a Michigan alum. 

Surveillance Doe

May 12th, 2014 at 12:19 PM ^

I was just talking to someone last night about Richard Mann's class. I haven't heard or thought about that name in years. He, of course, would get a kick out of that though. Really interesting guy.

John Rubadeau's advanced essay writing course was my favorite at Michigan. Any one from my series of classes with Ralph Williams could be named as a runner up.

LSA Aught One

May 12th, 2014 at 12:20 PM ^

Geo 116: Geology of the Rockies

8 weeks onsite in Jackson Hole and the surrounding states learning about rocks, beers and life.  We lived in cabins at the foot of mountain.  Every morning, you were awoken by air raid siren and got to see the mountain covered in fog/snow.  It started in mid June and ended in mid August.  Best 8 credits ever!

Evil Empire

May 12th, 2014 at 2:18 PM ^

Me too.  Looks like I was there a few years before you.  I forgot about the siren.  Climbing Cream Puff with my roommate toward the end of the term was a great accomplishment, though I remember how much my ribcage hurt that night from all the exertion.  He only took the class because his grandpa was Chuck, the camp caretaker.  I think he had fun though.  Our cabin had been labeled The Opium Den.  I had thought about going before my freshman year but went two years later instead.  A good choice - apparently it rained all summer in 1992 and the field mice took over the cabins.


May 12th, 2014 at 12:25 PM ^

basically any of the classes involving group work with partners you can't choose (Lab 360 and Lab 460).  Lab 460 was especially bad for me; we had three rotations, and generally you only have to present for one of the three, but due to an odd number of people in the class, I was the lucky one that had to present twice.  Presenters are considered team leaders for that rotation, which involves more responsibility.  I got two completely useless partners for one of my rotations; one guy was just unstable and we basically had to meet whenever he wasn't drunk, and I caught the other writing an email that said "this meeting is so useless" after I'd written the entire 20-page lab report by myself.  When you get good partners, it's like a dream by comparison.   


May 12th, 2014 at 12:30 PM ^

Sadly, I think my favorite course was EECS 371 (not sure if that's the name).  It was a senior design course I took as a junior and we designed a little car that could follow a yellow line back when that was pretty cool (think 2001-2002).  All with an FPGA and a cheap lab network.


May 12th, 2014 at 12:33 PM ^

No idea if it's still offered, but it was an interesting class.  Sadly, I remember more from it than from any actual history class I ever took.  Although if I missed out on taking the history of witchcraft, I'll be upset... I hope that didn't exist when I was there.

Turn Texas Blue

May 12th, 2014 at 12:35 PM ^

History 285 - Science, Technoloyg and Society Post WWII - I don't know if this is still offered and can't remember the name of the professor, but it was a fasinating class. I'm not a big fan of history classes because many of them are just about memorizing names and dates - this was not the case in this class.

Geoscience 206 - Water and Environment - Super easy, but pretty interesting. You could tell the professor LOVED the subject and got pretty animated, sometimes, over meandering rivers, cutbanks and the like. Made for some pretty funny moments.

Glen Masons Hot Wife

May 12th, 2014 at 12:37 PM ^

History of the University with Duderstadt... I think I went to two classes... and I got an "A"

You only needed to write like 3 2-page papers, and that was it.

On a side-note, there was this gorgeous Jewish girl in the class... Oy vey.  Should have gone more often.


May 12th, 2014 at 12:44 PM ^

AmCult 2XX - History of American Popular music was outstanding, Bruce Conforth knows his stuff. I heard that his Beatniks, Hippies, and Punks class was even better but I couldn't take it.

As an engineer everyone else probably thinks my other classes were weird, but Internal Combustion Engines and Vehicle Dynamics were also really good.


May 12th, 2014 at 12:46 PM ^

There were a fe notable ones, but I really did like Affective Neuroscience, which when I took it was actually taught by the man who coined the term - Jaak Panksepp (who also taught at Bowling Green, and indeed, he was commuting to Ann Arbor from there as a guest lecturer, I believe). The neurological mechanisms of emotion actually made for some fascinating reading, I thought. We were even introduced to some of his work studying laughter in animals - very cool stuff. 


May 12th, 2014 at 12:47 PM ^

Anything Spring or Summer Term. Smaller classes, more laid back atmosphere but at the same time an accelerated syllabus, nicer weather and the eye candy that comes with it. If I had to pick one, it'd probably be an intro painting class... kind of a nice change of pace for an engineering student for sure. A close second was a math class in cryptography.


May 12th, 2014 at 12:48 PM ^

"Renaissance Poetry"

23 students in that class.  I was the only guy.

And "Politics of Geology"

That was facinating because it was taught by one of the two conservative professors I ever had at Michigan and the class was liberal as hell.  Made for some very spirited debates in clsss to say the least.


May 12th, 2014 at 1:03 PM ^

Anthing Victor Lieberman teaches-I had Arab Israeli Conflict and History of Southeast Asia.  I saw he won the Golden Apple this year, well deserved.  Best lecturer at the University, hands down.

History of College Athletics-John U Bacon.  Nuff said.

Great Books-I always kick myself for not doing much of the reading.  I'll never have an opporutnity to be guided through the canon by experts again.  

Europe in the Era of Total War-Brian Porter Szucs.  Outstanding lecturer, fascinating class, pretty easy.  

US Intervention in Latin America-An uncomfortable class, but fascinating.  Richard Turits was great and I see that he is at Michigan.

I took a couple of AnthroBio courses to fulfill my NS requirements and they were fascinating, also easy.  

Campaign Stratagies and Tactics-Our professor ran numerous campaigns, lots of real world experience to back up the lectures.  


May 12th, 2014 at 1:07 PM ^

John is a fantastic professor and seemed to find a way to challenge all of his students to dedicate themselves to improving their writing. 

Eng 401 analyzing the Bible's literary aspects with Williams 2nd. Ian Fulcher also taught an English class about comic books but I can't remember the number. Among the comics we analyzed were what I believe will be the comic inspiring the Batman-Superman movie as well as Maus.

Bando Calrissian

May 12th, 2014 at 1:16 PM ^

Slavic 490: Rock Kills Communism. A mini-course on Polish rock music. Basically involved listening to a LOT of music, watching some really rad 60s cartoons, and writing short papers on why all this stuff basically sounded exactly like Blondie and The Police if both were Polish bands writing about trying to topple a totalitarian government.

Anything with Ken Mikolowski in the RC. 

And, of course, both of John Bacon's courses (College Athletics and Sports Writing).


May 12th, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

History of American Radicalism with Howard Brick

20th Century American Wars with Jon Marwil

Urban Politics with Greg Markus

Congress and State Legislatures with Joe Schwarz

Theory and Practice of Communism with Zvi Gitelman


I bet you'd never guess I was into polisci/history....


May 12th, 2014 at 3:56 PM ^

Maybe I had a different prof (early 90s), but I found American Wars hugely disappointing. Walked in hoping to learn about guns, bombs, and battles. What I actually got was a semester full of how minorities and women truly won the wars for us, sigh...


May 12th, 2014 at 1:30 PM ^

Anything with Ron Suny is great. He's a Soviet historian, probably the foremost in the world. I think he's back on campus and teaching in the fall from what he told me.

If Matt Lassiter is teaching, his classes are also great. History of suburbia sounds boring but is sweet.

Brian Porter-Szucs is also a great lecturer. I especially liked his history of Poland classes.

Lieberman is fantastic too. He's personally very pro-Israel which upsets some people but you honestly can't tell in class. His lectures are not biased, and I don't have a stake in either side.


May 12th, 2014 at 7:26 PM ^

Suny is amazing. Took 3 classes from him. He's great to listen to and the classes were very small, so we had some great discussions. He's the only prof whose total lack of technology skills I found endearing. (There was a girl who always had a laptop - Suny would be going on about some statue in St Petersburg, and wishing he had a picture to show us. Girl pulls up statue on Google image search. Suny is flabbergasted.)

Actually won an undergrad CREES writing award for a paper I wrote for his class. Was rather odd going to their graduation to accept my award and being an aero engineer in a room full of Eastern European language majors.


May 12th, 2014 at 9:24 PM ^

Agreed that Lassiter and Porter were both excellent. Two of my favorites in the department,

Porter's History 318 (Europe in the Era of War) was easily one of my favorite classes ever.


May 12th, 2014 at 1:41 PM ^

Sport Law- David Shand

The David Shand that played hockey at Michigan, the NHL and Europe and also was a co-host on WTKA for a while. 

Every lucture was a lesson in profanity, it was phenomenal

Also told us he didnt like cocaine because it prohibited him from doing his 3 favorite things: 1) Sleeping 2) Having Sex 3) Eating