If you could create a class at TCU, what would it be?
More from Spring 2017
More in Campus News: Alma Matters
Topics: Faculty Roundtable
It would be “Musical Theatre Performance for the Hopelessly Tone Deaf.” I grew up in New York loving Broadway musical theatre, but could not sing to save my life. I’m sure there are others who share that curse, and I would relish the chance to coach the tune-challenged as they shamelessly belt out “Adelaide’s Lament,” “Seasons of Love” and “The Impossible Dream,” which would probably be an appropriate name for the class!
I would create a class for our fine arts students that deals with mental health. I think this is an area of great concern in recent years. People can be brought down by mental health issues between the ages of 16 and 24, and those are really the ages of our students. I think it is important that we understand this is an issue and that we give our students tools to help them cope. I think the arts have many ways to help people cope with anxiety and mental disorders.
If I could teach anything that I am not already teaching, I think a fun class would be called “That Damn Sasquatch.” It would debunk myths in education: If a child can read the words, then understanding them comes next; charter schools are better than public schools; and IQ tests somehow predict success. We as a responsible university could teach a class on how to learn evidence-based practice so that our graduates could go out into the world and debunk those myths.
If I were going to create a class for TCU, it would be for our senior nursing majors about the next step in health care and what they can do in the future as nurses, whether that is a nurse practitioner role or clinical nurse specialist or other options they have in health care.
I would love to create a class that focused on the writings of George Eliot. She was a 19th-century British writer. She was really famous, and no one knows who she is now. However, if I did teach that class, I would be the only one there and it would be very lonely.
I would teach a class on identity in international relations. I think it is important to cover issues such as gender, race, ethnicity and class. Those issues would be useful to look at in an international context.
I currently teach a course called “Parapsychology: Science or Pseudoscience.” Parapsychology is a field where things are roughly related to the paranormal, where we talk about telekinesis, clairvoyants, spirit communication, ghosts and hauntings. The idea of the course is to do a critical evaluation of the evidence. Students really like for me to just talk about ghosts and hauntings, so I think an interesting class would look at famous cases of supposed hauntings.
TCU does a great job, particularly here in the Neeley School of Business, of teaching people to be good accountants. We prepare our students very well to go out in the world. One of the things we don’t do is teach them how to manage their finances on a regular basis. There are important things in life, such as being a parent and learning how to manage money, that we don’t teach. So I recommend we have a course in personal finance.
–Compiled by Will Konig
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