5 Mount Holyoke Classes that I Have Loved

It’s hard to believe that Spring Semester is ending in just a few weeks, which means that in just a few weeks I will officially be a senior. Over my years at Mount Holyoke, I have taken classes in a variety of different departments and on a variety of different topics. Some classes have really stuck with me, even if they weren’t directly relevant to my sociology major. Many of these classes have provided me with a new perspective on things, and have enriched my experience at Mount Holyoke. Since class selection is just around the corner, maybe this list of Mount Holyoke classes that I have loved will give you some ideas on what to register for. Unfortunately, some of these classes may not be available during the upcoming Fall semester. Either way, here are 5 of the classes at Mount Holyoke that I have loved.


1. Introduction to Creative Writing

Writing has always been a passion of mine. Ever since I was little, I’ve wanted to be an author, so I knew that I wanted to take a creative writing course once I got into college. It was both an enjoyable and challenging experience; It was enjoyable because I was able to do what I love and share stories with my peers, and it was challenging because a lot more goes into writing an effective piece of creative writing than one may think. Overall, it helped me become a better writer, both when writing on my own and in my other classes. I took this class with Professor Andrea Lawlor. Each class, we would be assigned a writing prompt to inspire us and several readings to analyze. Unlike other English classes, we analyzed writing a bit differently in this class. We’d look at writing from the perspective of a writer instead of an academic in order to learn what made writing “work.”


2. Collective Behavior and Social Movements

I’m currently taking this class and I absolutely love it! This class really focuses on the theory behind social movements, using many different examples throughout history. It has helped me better understand what causes movements to start, what makes a movement successful, and how people in the past and today are able to make a difference. Many of the movements we focus on are activist movements like Feminism or the Civil Rights Movement. I feel like I can take many of the lessons learned in this class and apply them to my own activism. This is a lecture-based class taught by Professor Kenneth Tucker. Each week or so, we focus on a new example of a social movement or collective behavior. We then discuss the readings in class and compare past examples of social movements to modern day movements.


3. Cults, Conspiracies, and Moral Panics

I chose this class for two reasons: it was within my major and I find conspiracy theories to be really interesting. In class, we discuss different case studies and learn why people join cults, why people believe conspiracy theories, and why people often get sucked into moral panics; we also focus on how we could possibly prevent their spread. Before this class, I had never really considered why people believe that aliens abduct people, or that Satanism was going to corrupt the youth through heavy metal songs, and so learning the answers to those questions was an eye-opening experience that gave me a whole new understanding of humanity. Professor Nikki Michaud Wild teaches this class in a lecture-style, often showing video clips and providing alternate sources during her class.


4. Writing Fabulist Fiction

Since I absolutely loved taking the intro level creative writing course, I knew that I had to take another creative writing class. Fabulism is a genre that’s a blend of literary realism and genre fiction (horror, sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, etc.). Not only did this class allow me to flex my creative skills and learn about a completely new genre that I had never heard of before, it also introduced me to many unique and powerful pieces of writing that I never would have discovered otherwise, such as the writing of Leonora Carrington. Since it was a 300-level course, we were also able to dive deeply into our own writing and really dissect it in ways that produced some amazing results. This is another class taught by Professor Andrea Lawlor. Like the Intro class, we would read different pieces each week and write based off of different prompts.


5. Introduction to Gender Studies

There’s a common saying on campus: “did you really go to Mount Holyoke if you didn’t take a gender studies class?” Gender Studies is considered a “staple” class for good reason; it’s both interesting and informative. At the time, I was still questioning my gender and hadn’t quite figured out that I was nonbinary, but this class really helped me learn a lot about myself along with teaching me gender theory. I took this class with Professor Jacquelyne Luce, who taught the class in a lecture-style with plenty of time for group discussions.

Overall, I’ve enjoyed the vast majority of the classes that I’ve taken at Mount Holyoke. It’s sad to think that I only have one more year left here. Even though my time at Mount Holyoke is slowly coming to an end, I’ll always be able to keep the lessons that I’ve learned here.


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