The best classes at Chapman

by Danielle Lorberbaum

A typical day on our sunny and picturesque campus includes passing by professors from current or past semesters that know your name and ask about how you’re doing. At many universities, this is far from the norm. In top name schools like Berkeley or UCLA, students are often one in a thousand. No one cares to know their name, if they show up to class, or if they pass.

“The education system at Chapman values the professor and student relationship,” said Jen Oh, second year political studies major.

“Even little things like when I run into professors here…it’s just so cool how they know your name…you can’t get that from anyone else. That’s why I love it so much here. I’m growing to like it even more as I go.”

With Chapman’s intimate class sizes, the student-teacher relationship is second to none. Not only that, but some particular classes at Chapman have brought special changes into the lives of many students.

“You have to take the time to explore different ways of being in order to find your own beliefs,” said Samantha Huff, a senior business administration major and women’s studies minor, who took SOC 326-Ancient Wisdom Modern Madness last interterm.

“College is an important time for growth and Shambhala provided me with the tools to look at the world from a different lens. It's much more than a class, it's an experience.”

Most students would agree that college is a time for growth and discovering oneself, and it seems that experiences from certain classes have enabled this to happen. Chapman’s general education requirements include social inquiry, values and ethical inquiry, and a global citizens cluster that many students fill during time spent studying abroad.

“It was my first time traveling abroad. It made me want to travel the world and see what else is out there,” said Derrick Ly, junior strategic and corporate communications major, after taking FREN 353-Paris: Between Tradition and Modernity.

Derrick Ly (and friends) at the Eiffel Tour in France as part of an inter-term travel course.
Derrick Ly (and friends) at the Eiffel Tour in France as part of an inter-term travel course.

“Having the experience to travel and see something new is a learning experience in itself that broadens any person’s horizons.”

It may seem surprising, but many classes at Chapman cultivate self-growth and discovery.

“[I learned that] you’ll never be perfect but that’s okay as long as everyday you’re just trying to develop yourself and grow,” said Daniella Islas, Junior Creative Writing major and IES minor, about IES 103-Philosophy of Helping.

“The attributes of being a leader are huge and anyone can use them in life…unlike other teachers that I’ve had, [Dr. Resurreccion] talked with such passion, and had an interest not in just the material he was teaching, but also in the students he was teaching,” said MJ Nelson, sophomore business administration major and public relations minor after taking LEAD 101-Introduction to Leadership: Principles & Practices.

Mark Maier and his LEAD 314 teams class after completing the ropes course at UCI.
Mark Maier and his LEAD 314 teams class after completing the ropes course at UCI.

“I feel like it’s made me a more rounded person,” said Hannah Inman, senior biology major and leadership studies minor said in regards to the culmination of all the classes she took as part of the leadership minor.

Many times this type of growth may also come from something completely unexpected.

“I really did adopt a more worldly point of view… it made me more aware and accepting of stuff that I really had never read before from places of the world that I’ve never been before,” said Alanna Rice, sophomore English literature major and IES minor in regards to English 339-World Literature from 1900 to the present.

“It helped me develop an understanding of the necessity to have balance in your life, just like there needs to be balance in a balance sheet,” said Christian Brown, senior accounting major, anthropology minor. Christian started at Chapman as a business administration minor, and after discovering his success in accounting through this class, switched majors.

“It just builds you up to be a better person…you walk in thinking all these self-conscious things about yourself but then you walk out feeling so proud of yourself and feeling that your are enough and that everything you do is fine and if you make a mistake that’s just as beautiful as when you think you’re excelling perfectly in class,” said Danielle Ridge freshman screen acting major after taking TH 112-Acting Fundamentals in her first semester.

Whether it be an English, acting, or accounting class, students are discovering more about themselves and the world through learning inside the classroom and through the ways our professors are helping them look at the world.

“When I look back at the class, I don’t remember any of the lectures or readings we did, I just remember the lessons he taught us: to question everything, don’t take anything for granted, like he taught us the value of education,” said Jen regarding her POSC 130: Introduction to Comparative Politics class.

Perhaps the biggest take-away from college is not the knowledge we gain from each class, but the largest lessons we walk away with forever. And at Chapman, this certainly seems to be the mission. 

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