This time of year, I think the main thing on most of our minds is what classes we are taking next semester, and if you’re a little like me, a lot of that planning has to do with not waking up early every morning or not having classes on Fridays (both of which I’ve been unsuccessful at). So while I support you in your “no classes before noon, four-day weekend” quest, which will never come to fruition for me, I have some new options for you that may still fit in with the schedule of champions you have valiantly planned out.
That, my friends, is registering for Women’s Studies courses. Now before you start with the “It doesn’t fit in my schedule,” “I’m not a feminist,” “What can I do with knowledge of Women’s Studies?” or even, “I’m not a girl” protests, humor me for a moment.
First of all, you don’t have to be a feminist, or even a girl, to take Women’s Studies courses. In fact, if you don’t self-identify as a feminist, it’s even better. There can be no progress without differing opinions, so having someone who is not female, or not “a feminist,” just helps everyone. I feel that’s one of the main purposes of a Women’s Studies course – to learn about different viewpoints and, in general, learn things and have others learn from you. I promise, no one is going to try to convert you, and your different outlook truly just expands the minds of everyone. By the way, guys are especially entreated to take these courses, so it has less of a “preaching to the converted” feel.
For those of you who are concerned about your schedules, I ask you to look at the times listed for the Women’s Studies courses and see how flexible a lot of them are. There are classes that meet once or twice a week and typically in the afternoon (which is good for the schedule of champions, remember?). Also, if you’re worried about it not fitting into the overall schedule, it is worth mentioning that Women’s Studies is interdisciplinary, so it has opportunities for clusters and cross listings in both Humanities and the Social Sciences and, in some cases, even the Natural Sciences.
Speaking of cross-listings, this is something that needs to be brought up. You may be taking an English literature class or a German culture course and have no idea that it is a cross-listed course. And while people have no problem taking an English Lit, German or Anthropology course, they would hesitate to take the very same course if they saw it as a Women’s Studies course first. Well, I think that’s kind of silly, because for one thing we should all take courses outside of our major’s specialization, and two, it’s strange to be prejudiced against an entire department. So no matter what your major is, for the vast majority of the humanities, the social sciences and some of the natural sciences, there is probably a course cross-listed as Women’s Studies for which you could still get major credit.
Now, by the time you read this, most of you will have already registered online for Spring 2007. But if you’re still unsure about some aspects of your schedule, or something changes, I think you would only be doing yourself a favor by going to the end of the course book and looking at courses such as International Human Rights, Issues in Film, Women in Medicine or Urban Schools: Race and Gender.
You will find yourself well served, as not only will you learn more about the world and the people in it, but you might also not even have Friday classes. And who wouldn’t want that?
Frank is a member of the class of 2009.