It’s that time of year again- summer fades away faster than you know and suddenly it’s all back to dorm rooms, classes, study sessions, and college life. In a way, college is strange. You want to go back… but not school. For me, I hated being at home after that first year away at school. I had so much freedom and then all of a sudden I had my parents constantly around telling me to be home by midnight. Um… excuse me? It’s a lot for a girl to get used to and by the time August rolls around I’m about ready to pack up the car 3 weeks early and move my butt on down back to school. Granted, that so doesn’t mean I want the classes to start up again.
This semester is interesting for me because for the first time since freshman year I have no communications classes. At all. None. Instead, this is what my schedule looks like:
- ART111- Intro to Drawing- Monday and Wednesday from 10:10-12:05
- ART256- Commercial Illustration- Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30-10:45
- MKT338- Advertising- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:05-9:55
- PHI327- Business Ethics- Monday nights from 6:30-9:00
- PHI391- Aesthetics- Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 3:15
- SYE400- Senior Year Experience- Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:00
It’s going to be an interesting semester, that’s for sure. And where does any of this fit in with my major? Very minimally… Marketing is about the only one since I need it for Professional Communications. The rest? Well, my minor is the reason behind those lovely art classes, I’m taking Aesthetics as an honors course, and any well-rounded liberal arts education cannot be complete without an Ethics course somewhere along the lines. At least SYE is only 8 weeks long.
Here’s a thought though- while these classes don’t have a darn thing to do with communications which is technically what I am writing about, I’ll just take this time to let you know what you’re getting yourself into with a communications major. Just kidding, there are actually some really fun classes.
Obviously not all concentrations within the communications major need the same classes. But there are some core Comm. classes that everyone has to take (they tend to be huge classes as the major is actually quite popular).
· Understanding Media– I’m not sure who teaches this one now since the teacher that I had left. Basically what this class is, is an overview of all sorts of media, their history and impact on society, etc. You’ll cover newspapers, magazines, movies, radio, television, internet and other sorts of developing media. It’s an interesting class. When I took it we got to do this final project but you could do whatever you want so I did the evolution of television. Other people made paper, pin hole cameras, silent films… the list was endless. It’s a good class.
· Communications and Human Behavior– A very interesting class that looks at different cultures and their communication processes and how they differ. There’s also a bit on semantics and meanings in language. It may not sound like the best class but it really gives you insight on the American culture vs. Chinese vs. Ancient cavepeople vs. whatever. There’s a research paper in this class but it’s a good start to the communications program… there’ll be more papers just like it (only longer).
· Media Writing and Advanced Media Writing– Of all the communications classes, this one involves the most writing and work just because there are weekly newspaper writing assignments or magazine writing or whatever lesson you’re on at the time. But the good side of that is it’s extremely easy to get a good grade as long as you just turn something in- most of the assignments are small busywork type assignments.
· Practicum- There’s different forms of this but basically, first you have to work on the school newspaper for a semester to get some credit and experience in journalism writing. They hold workshops and informational sessions so it’s not like you get thrown into writing these articles with no experience. You can also be an editor or photographer for credit instead. It’s your call what aspect you want to be a part of. Then when you’re a senior you probably will need practicum experience, which is basically an internship but you still get a grade for it. For this you choose where you want to work, be it with a PR firm, newspaper, not-for-profit business, whatever. You choose and as long as it has something to do with communications it’ll most likely be approved.
Those are all pretty much the basics. You can find out more at http://www.quincy.edu/Academics/FineArtsComm/Communication/courses.php.