1. Acting (DR-0010): Ali-Reza Mirsajadi
Intro to Acting was hands-down my FAVORITE class I’ve taken at Tufts. Now, this is coming from a girl who had major stage fright and refused to be in any high school play. I don’t mind public speaking, but anything to do with performing or improv terrified me. I took the class with Reza, who is awesome—so kind, funny, and an amazing teacher. Going to acting class was the highlight of my week. I never laughed so much in a class or had so much fun getting to know and working with my classmates and instructor. Each class started with taking our shoes off, sitting in a circle, and “checking-in”: this is where we would go around the circle and share how we were feeling. Checking in allowed us to get to know everyone on a deeper level and share funny, exciting, or sometimes stressful things that were happening in our lives—like a big vent sesh with a bunch of new friends. I will say, the first few times getting up and “performing” in front of the class were awkward, but I promise this feeling goes away so quickly. You just feel like you’re having fun with a group of friends playing silly, fun games and learning more about how to be a successful actor/actress. Homework assignments were minimal, mostly centered around a journal that you kept each week to share your opinions on the previous classes and the exercises and how they made you feel. This was a class I looked forward to and never wanted to miss—sometimes I ended up laughing so hard I was in tears. Do NOT leave Tufts without taking this class.
2. Finance (EC050): Christopher Manos
Before taking Intro to Finance, I knew I was interested in working in the business world one day; when people asked my career plans, my classic answer was “Yea, I think I want to go into finance.” But in all honestly, I had no idea what the word “finance” even meant—I knew it had to do with money, but beyond that I was at a loss. Not only did this class teach me what finance meant, but I have been able to apply what I learned to my own finances and investing decisions. I had always been interested in investing, and I knew I “liked” ETF’s (exchange traded funds), but I had no idea why I did any of this. I was also able to apply what I learned from the course when watching the news. As Professor Manos put it, “Finance is a Priesthood.” Often the lingo can be incredibly confusing and mean the opposite of what the word appears to mean; simply learning the “language of finance” can create so many opportunities for you to learn and understand what is being talked about in the news. This class is absolutely applicable to real life and never felt like information I would memorize and soon forget once the course ended. Not to mention: Manos is amazing. He truly knows his stuff and he loves to teach. He has had his fair share of success and experience in the business world, and now he is doing what he loves—talking and learning with students about finance. This is for sure not a class to miss.
3. Child Development (CD-0001): Chip Gidney
Chip Gidney is hands-down the most passionate professor I have ever met at Tufts. I remember reading an article about the opioid epidemic in class and how the epidemic was impacting children. Chip broke down in tears in front of our lecture, as he was so pained by how much these innocent children were affected. He is so invested in understanding children and promoting the well-being of all children. He is knowledgeable about the subject matter and such a kind-hearted man. He is excited to speak with students about absolutely anything. I think that Intro to Child Development is a great class for freshmen (or anyone) to take in order to get situated at Tufts. It’s a large lecture course, but allows you to get a feel for a college workload without getting too overwhelmed. The content of the course is very interesting and Chip always makes the classes engaging. Regardless of the size of the class, he likes to hear from all of his students and get to know everyone on a personal level. Whether you love children or not, I would highly recommend this class at Tufts!
4. Social Psychology (PSY0013): Sam Sommers
Sam. Sommers. I know I have been raving about professors at Tufts, but you can’t top Sam Sommers. He is the most fun, engaging, outgoing, passionate, most incredible professor at Tufts. Just trust me: he’s great. I look forward to going to every class to learn about social psychology. He makes every topic, not matter how boring it may seem to someone else, the most interesting and most enjoyable material to learn. He teaches the course in a lecture style and weaves in volunteer-based class activities and often-hilarious video clips from sitcom television shows to explain the daily topics. Sommers makes it a point to get to know all of his students by name, even though it is a very large lecture. He makes you feel like he cares about each and every student and wants all of us to succeed and love social psychology as much as he does. The best part about Social Psychology is its applicability to your everyday life. Ever wonder why your friend acted in such a “ridiculous” way, or why the woman at the airport baggage claim is so “grumpy?” Take this class!! I promise you will love it and Sommers. He also helped write the textbook for the course, which is super cool! He loves what he does and he makes all of his students love what he teaches, too.