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Thread: The classes you're most happy you took

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    The classes you're most happy you took

    I'm curious has anyone here ever taken a course in logic? I have to say it was one of the most useful classes I ever took. Even though the course credit did not count towards my major or minor and I took it only for 'fun', it has proved its worth many times over. I can no longer read a letter to the editor without instinctively dissecting it. I look upon it as a life skill. Chemistry is another subject I'm glad I took a couple of classes on. I did quite poorly grade-wise and I've never needed to recall any formulas for calculating molarity. It's worth to me, however, is in terms of it how it laid a foundation of my understanding the physical universe - gave it some sort of referent if you will.

    What are some of the most useful classes you've ever taken and why do you value that knowledge today?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    I took a class on prevalent Western worldviews. Most valuable class I've ever taken. It's easy to disect perspectives, religions, philosophy, economic principles, political outlooks, etc., to a specific comprehensive worldview and its history.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Some of the ones that stuck with me the most had nothing to do with my major in college, but we subjects that just interested me for the heck of it.

    The Astronomy, Anthropology, and Architectural History classes were good ones.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Undergrad (late 1960s/early 1970s): astronomy ... If I ever get lost in the wild in the Northern Hemisphere, I can find my way home via the North Star, which I can find by locating the pointer stars in either the Big Dipper or Cassiopeia.

    Graduate (mid 1970s): seminar in immigration history ... the best history course I ever took ... it gave me a unique perspective on American history and enabled me to connect to my immigrant roots!

    Career change (1980): Computer Science 101 ... I took a computer programming course because I read in a women's magazine article that computer programming was a good career for women because there were, literally, no barriers to women's advancement in the field. The first time I typed a little program onto punch cards and got back the printed results (a list of the first five prime numbers IIRC), I knew I had found my new career. I still feel that high when I have success -- and yes, the article was right, although I personally haven't pursued extensive career advancement.

    For a lark (2010): American Civil War ... Since I work at a college, I get free tuition, so last spring I took a course in the American Civil War and got to go on a field trip to the Manassas, Antietam and Gettysburg battlefields. Standing in the Bloody Lane at Antietam or on the crest of Little Round Top at Gettysburg, I could feel the meaning of "this hallowed ground".

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Critical Thinking (Logic), Ethics but mainly because of the professor and lively debates in the class, Classical Literature due in part because i never realized how many Greek mythology stories and Old Testament stories were so damn similar, Business Law (for obvious reasons) and finally...

    bowling
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Second the bowling.

    Also- although I tried to sign up and the class was full, the most important class I could have taklen would have been The History of Pornography
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  7. #7
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I really enjoyed sports motion. It was a class on kinetics and how different athletes use motion. It has helped me stay *fairly* injury free for years.

    We also had a wine tasting class. We just had to write a paper on each wine giving our tasting notes. Easy and fun!
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  8. #8
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I actually took two logic courses through the philosophy department in undergrad (I was considering a double major in philosophy at the time). They were actually among the most difficult classes I ever took.

    I took a Politics in Literature seminar course where we just read a few books (the ones that stand out in my memory were Gulliver's Travels, War with the Newts and Things Fall Apart) and then discussed them. The course was basically a book club with a grade but it was a lot of fun. We also watched The Battle of Algiers which was a phenomenal movie and one I have watched many times since then.

    Public Speaking was a course I took because I knew that I was a horrible public speaker and thought it would help me out. It did give me a bit of help but not as much as experience (or pre-presentation alcohol) has. Regardless, it was a fun class and we focused a lot on the classic debate format and persuasive speaking which was totally different than what I was expecting.

    I also took about 5 accounting classes in undergrad and a few finance classes and as somebody with a few liberal arts degrees, having those classes (and more than just the basic intro that a lot of folks take) has helped me look at finance and budget issues (home, personal, work...) from a different perspective than I otherwise would have. I also think that having that knowledge has directly impacted my job search in a positive way in the past.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I enjoyed gym and recess quite a bit.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  10. #10
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    The ones that stick out most for me include classes in logic, ethics (especially the part dealing with fallacies - that has helped me to see right through many otherwise unanswerable arguments from 'opponents') and an art appreciation course. They have all helped my to assemble my ideas, thoughts and opinions into more cohesive forms.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Administrative law, constitutional law, public finance, field geology of California

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Going to school at USU - skiing of course.
    At times wish I had been accused of minoring in class attendence during ski season.


    ursus would like that.
    Last edited by JNA; 04 Nov 2010 at 2:40 PM.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Undergrad: Urban Utilities. How septic systems work. We took a field trip to a wastewater treatment plant. Betcha didn't know that tomato seeds are not digested, and they grow luxurious plants at such facilities. Somehow the four types of landfillage has stayed with me. Don't ask what I did for my birthday last year; ask me the differences between rubbish, refuse, trash, and garbage.

    Another class, lectured by an long-time fossil prof who last updated his notes during the FDR administration, offered the vocabulary word artifacts. Very useful when discussing dear ol' dad's estate.

    Grad school: the downtowns class was the most interactive. Environmental assessment class should have led to something. (That prof did not understand the basic rules for quotations and punctuation. He dinged me for indenting lengthy passages. Excuse me, I've worked in journalism...)

    High school and college: band band band. Just this week, someone mentioned that most former students can't recall their English teacher or what Shakespeare plays they read...but they can recall what arrangements they played in the spring concert, and the key changes in the fight song.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    I took a politics and literature class that was pretty amazing and I still think about some of the books today.
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

  15. #15
    Historiography. Excellent class with the second-most thought-provoking professor of my academic career.

    Pornography and Censorship. Was assigned to read the Marquis de Sade and report on it to class. Made me the prude that I proudly am today.

    Design Techniques for non-Design Students. Tony C's great class at BSU for planners and preservation students. Learned some great illustration techniques from a master.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    15 years working at McD's and Jack in the Box (10 years in management)
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  18. #18
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Undergrad: Urban Utilities. How septic systems work. We took a field trip to a wastewater treatment plant. Betcha didn't know that tomato seeds are not digested, and they grow luxurious plants at such facilities.
    Back in about 6th or 7th grade we took a field trip to the main Detroit Wastewater Treatment plant and that has stuck with me as the most interesting field trip I've ever taken. The stuff that goes on there is just unbelievable.

    My mom chaperoned that field trip (as she did most of the ones I and my 4 brothers and sisters took) and she still talks about that one about 20 years later...
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  19. #19
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Sociology of Popular Culture and Music: just a fun class--a lot of stuff I learned has turned into great icebreakers for public meetings. It was also helpful in understanding how to gain public interest in projects.

    Public Finance: how this isn't a required course for planners remains a mystery to me. Too many planners think funding for streetscapes falls from the sky, and they have huge misconceptions about the funding available from the Fed and State. Learned all about types of bonds, bond propositions, etc.

    Constitutional Law: Comes in handy when you have an underachieving city attorney.

    Cycling: Who knew that my problems in distance biking were because of my technique and not just being in bad shape? This course helped me figure out the type of bike that fit me best, and introduced me to off-road riding techniques for loose surfaces.

    Waste Planning and Management, aka "The Trash and Shit Class": I know more about landfill design & planning, and wastewater systems than I'll ever need, but did wonders for my abilities to communicate with the utility world when planning issues popped up involving them. I got to tour a couple of wastewater treatment plants and a huge landfill that included a composting facility and single-stream recycling system that was under development.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Microeconomics in college. Even for a non-math type, it made a lot of sense. It taught me as much about human behavour as all my psych classes did. The professor also made it interesting.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    Constitutional Law: Comes in handy when you have an underachieving city attorney.
    That reminds me of this class I took in high school called Law & Justice. It was Criminal Law the first semester and Constiutional Law the second semester. Learned a lot of stuff. For the Constitutional Law exams, we got to write our own opinions and everything! I did very well. Actually considered being a lawyer at one point, but decided not to.

    I also took Advanced Journalism with the same teacher my junior year of high school, which included writing for the school's newspaper and yearbook. Learned a lot in that class. As part of our grade, we actually had to secure advertisements from local merchants. And it's the class that introduced me to planning as I had to interview a planner about a new mall in the area for a news story.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  22. #22
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Minored in Poly Sci...thankful I took Public Policy and Public Administration.

    Since leaving college, 2 programs come to mind:

    Zucker's Complete Management Course for Planning Directors

    NH Local Government Center's 2 year certificate program in Local Government Leadership.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus
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    AIB NHPlanner

    Since leaving college -
    At EMI:
    - Managing Floodplain Development thru the NFIP
    - NFIP/Community Rating System
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  24. #24
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Biological Anthropology
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    All Geography Classes except Political
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    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  25. #25
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Downhill Skiing
    - Show up on first day of semester in lecture hall.
    - Find out what day will be U of Northern Colorado ski weekend at Winter Park resort
    - Borrow Dad's SUV
    - Load the back with buddies, beer, and Jagermeister
    - Find out the 4WD does not work in white out blizzard on Berthoud Pass
    - Creep into town, start drinking
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    - Ski rest of afternoon
    - Drink in lodge with a sampling of Co-eds from school
    - Take another advanced lesson Sunday morning, ski on own in afternoon
    - High tail it back to campus

    - Get an "A", blame broken 4WD button on the Ford Motor Company
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
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