This semester was crazy, but a good crazy. I want to share with you the classes that I took this spring semester, and what I hope I can keep with me possibly as lessons that I learned from each class. I got this idea from Life With Karla, so go check out her semester reflection.
History 490t- Senior Research Seminar
This was a class where I totally felt alone throughout all of it. Which I guess was the whole point of the class. The entire semester was dedicated to us conducting our own research on a topic that covered World War I, and to be able to write a paper about it and present our findings to the class. I felt alone because unlike this class, the class that comes before this one, 300B-historical writing. In that class, we were required to meet with our professor at least 3 times to go over our research and to have the professor suggest ideas. Now in this class, she did have meetings with her scheduled but she revised the syllabus over 3 times, and because of that she ended up just canceling class instead of holding these meetings. I know what your thinking “Jessica if you felt lost go to her office hours”. Yeah I wish that I would have put the entire semester there were issues with where all the history professors offices were because a pipe burst, so everyone was everywhere else, and not on that floor so I had no idea where to go. And plus, when we did have that 1 meeting, I felt like she didn’t help me at all with my research. But I got it done, and my research topic, Women’s involvement in World War I was interesting. Because I learned that the U.S. Marines and Navy allowed women in their ranks. Yes, there were women involved in munition factories, as nurses etc before WWII. All in all, though the class was fine, we all just were trying to get our research done and it was only a once a week class.
History 386B- American Social History Part 2
This class! There was like 13 books that we were required to read throughout the semester which was a lot. A book a week, and maybe 4 articles to read throughout the semester. I tried to read a lot of the books starting out the semester but then I started realizing that I did not have to try and read every page, just the intro, which usually gave the whole synopsis of the book, to be honest. And the requirements for the writing assignments were to give a summary of the book, information on the sources that the author used and how it fits in with social history. All in all, the class was interesting with the different topics that we discussed, which surprisingly enough was about minorities throughout U.S history and a lot about women. The only thing that I regret is really not reading a lot of the books entirely, but with trying to balance out my other classes, I was not able to.
History 481- California History
This class was not “oh California how awesome!” This class was all about the things that have been ignored throughout California History, with mainly the focus on the dark history involving the California Indians, and how the U.S. government funded the genocide of the native population within California. There were other topics at the end of the class that focused on other things, like the counterculture movement with the hippies in the ’60s and ’70s which was pretty interesting but all in all the main focus was on the native Americans. The final project presentation that we had to do the week before finals were cool because we got to pick a topic from contemporary history (current events) and relate it to what we learned in the class about California. My group ended up working on female homelessness in California and related it to a book that we had to read during the semester which looked at the history of incarceration within L.A. and how it was mostly minorities that were and have been incarcerated throughout L.A.’s history. We ended up getting a high grade on the assignment because I connected our topic to the book, and mentioned how the book failed to mention anything about women being homeless, even though they make up a huge portion of the homeless population within California. I really enjoyed the content of the class, and I learned stuff about California history that I don’t think I would have learned if I did not take the course. Because we had been discussing throughout the class how we would address these topics to students when we became history teachers (because like 90% in the class was taking this to fulfill a teaching credential requirement). And we all recognized that these topics were just being presented to us, since there was little mentioned about California history when it came to elementary school and junior high, because there was more of a glossing over of the harsh truths about California’s history, and the curriculum at the time only wanted to address the California missions and the gold rush in a positive way. All in all, I know that what I will be taking away from this class is the history that I learned and that hopefully, I could be able to teach kids about it when I become a teacher.
Secondary Education 320- Adolescent Development
This class I took to fulfill a requirement to get into the credential program. it was all about, adolescent development, and how and why adolescents change and what outside factors throughout there life are involved. This was a pretty easy course for me since it was online. It only required discussion posts once a week and maybe a write up about 4 chapters that we had read the textbook after every month was done. The final project, a powerpoint presentation, had us picking an adolescent from a film or book and explaining certain aspects of their development and how it was portrayed in the film. I kind of underestimated how long it would take me, but I addressed the criteria well and my B+ shows that I put the effort into the class, because of course when you find something interesting you are going to put your best efforts towards it.
That’s it for my semester reflection! All in all, I had a great semester with very dedicated professors. And I already know now that I will be definitely doing this same post again at the end of the Fall semester, with a twist since all of my classes will be the rest of the secondary education courses, which are offered online.