The Comm and Gender Spot

Sunday, October 16, 2005

One Class Nearly Done, But Was It Worth It?

This week marks the eighth week of the Indiana University fall semester. This also means that it is the last week of my eight week Gender Studies course.

I’ve enjoyed this course (GNDR G702-Researching Gender Issues) more than I thought I would. It turned out to be much more of a history course than I originally thought it would be, even though going back now and rereading the course description I should have know what it was. I have read a lot of interesting articles and historiographies that examined various topics in Gender Studies. I’ve worked incredibly hard during the first seven weeks, both because it was an approach that I am not used to working with and because it was an accelerated class. It was like having an entire week of a class in one session.

I often felt like there was no time to breathe and that I was behind the rest of the class.

But now as I approach the end of the class I’m left wondering, what did I learn?

I’ve been exposed to historical pieces and points-of-view that I had not considered before. However, outside of an awareness that they exist I’m not sure that I actually learned anything that I will either retain or use.

I think that this is partially due to the fact that the entire course was done in what felt like a rushed manner during only half of the semester. Perhaps if the class went the entire sixteen weeks I would feel better about what I am taking from the class. I would have had more time to think and reflect on a topic instead of rushing to finish the readings for one topic before immediately moving on to the next.

I can see the validity for having eight-week classes in some areas. (I took such a class as an undergraduate that taught me how to use some of the reference resources in the library.) But for a class such as this, I am left wondering if the students are done a disservice by having the class only run half the semester.


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