Well-Rounded Learning

As the first snowflakes of the season fall this week, it seems strange to be hearing the word “spring” around campus, but that is the case as the Spring 2017 course schedule here at Maria College is now available!

Over the next two weeks, students here will be meeting with their advisors to map out their course schedules for the spring semester and to load courses into their MyMaria carts. Then, on Monday, November 7, they can officially register for those courses.

There are some courses on the schedule for the spring that are new or haven’t been seen in a while that students may want to look into to round out their learning experiences: RES 203—Spirituality of Life and Death; COM 320—Social Media: Theory/Practice; ENG 205—Short Story; PSY 330—Psychology of Terrorism; SOC 300—Medical Sociology; and so much more!

Adam Frank, an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester, shared his views on the value of a well-rounded college learning experience in an editorial he recently wrote for National Public Radio, and I couldn’t agree more: “This means students must find a balance between the real pressure to find a job and the understanding that they will not get this chance to grow intellectually, morally and spiritually again.” You can read the full editorial here.

Professor Frank’s words are supported by a very famous person whose work changed the world: Steve Jobs, the recently deceased co-founder of Apple, Inc. In a graduation commencement speech at Stanford University, Mr. Jobs related a story about a college course he took in calligraphy. Now, I imagine that there are not a lot of jobs for calligraphers who are able to create beautiful, artistic letters.

But note what Mr. Jobs shared about his experience with that course: “I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great… None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But 10 years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally-spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them.”

As students here at Maria College make their course choices for the Spring 2017 semester, I encourage them to keep in mind this wonderful opportunity to learn and grow!

Until next time…


Leave a Comment