Five classes you should take before graduation
By Ally Ortolani
Throughout my four years at High Point University, I have taken quite a few classes—134 credits, to be exact. And as an irrelevant senior, allow me to recommend some of my favorite classes as a journalism major with a minor in Italian studies:
HNR 3608: Death
For honors students, I highly recommend taking Death as one of the required seminar courses. It’s perhaps one of the oddest classes I’ve had the chance of taking but also one of the coolest classes ever. And for those who are wondering what the class is about, allow me to refer to the syllabus: “In this course, we will take the time to understand what life, existence and death are. This course is designed to give you the tools with which you will be able to think about such issues more carefully and clearly. We will achieve this by examining the cultural portrayal of death and ultimately identifying how these factors influence our own understanding of death and, in turn, life.” Much of the class is discussion-based, which really adds to the experience. I’ve had some of the most thought-provoking discussions in this class, and it’s partly thanks to my professor too.
COM 2001: Techniques in Media Production
If it wasn’t for Techniques in Media Production, formally known as Video Production, I wouldn’t have been as well-versed in Adobe Premiere Pro. The assignments were tedious, but the skills I learned from those assignments still help me today. “As an introductory level video production class, COM 2001 centers on basic techniques of field production and editing,” states the course catalog. “Students will cover pre-production, production and post-production skills through hands-on exercises. The class will particularly emphasize basic, shooting, editing, audio and lighting techniques. These skills will prepare students for successful completion of upper-level video classes.” Being proficient in Adobe Creative Cloud can be extremely important for a number of communication-based jobs. Or if you’re just feeling creative, shooting with a high-quality camera and learning Adobe Premiere Pro can be fun.
ITA 1010: Elementary Italian
Choosing to take Italian freshman year was one of the best choices I made in my college career. My first class was Elementary Italian, and I will never forget when my professor told me that she started speaking Italian during the second semester of her freshman year. Immediately, I felt that I could do the same. And I did. For the past four years, I have fervently studied Italian, and I am at an advanced level. Even if studying Italian isn’t for you, I cannot stress enough the importance of learning a second language. HPU offers classes in the following languages: Chinese, French, German, Russian, Spanish and even American Sign Language.
COM 1450: Media Law & Literacy
I think every student needs to take a class with Dr. Dean Smith before graduating. Prior to taking this class sophomore year, I didn’t think I would want to pursue a career in law. I can honestly say that I have yet to be bored in his class. “Students will learn about the central role the First Amendment played as the founding fathers established the world’s first constitutional democracy and the importance today of enduring First Amendment values in our system of democratic self-government,” states the course catalog. If you’re passionate about your First Amendment rights and the importance of free speech, then this class is for you.
JOU 3323: Copy Editing
Regardless of your major, proper grammar and spelling is always necessary. This class is one of the hardest classes I took at HPU, but it definitely is still crucial to take. Since I am obsessed with the English language and language in general, this class was one of my favorites because I learned an abundance of new knowledge. While the course is designed for journalism students, students of any discipline are welcomed to join. “Introduction to the skills and techniques required for story publication” is the focus of this course, as stated in the HPU course catalog. “Practical work will focus on editing various forms of news stories and practicing writing headlines.” Since taking this class, I always double-check my work before submitting assignments.