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Gen-Ed's I Recommend: Comp-Lit 131 "Brave New World"

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We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin

As a first-semester freshman at UMass, chances are high that you will be enrolled in multiple gen-ed classes. Gen-ed's are introductory courses that introduce you to the range of subjects UMass has to offer!

Pro-tip #1: Try to find gen-ed classes that satisfy two requirements at once. These classes will help you meet your gen-ed requirements quicker than if you took individual classes for each requirement. Not only does this save you time, it definitely saves you some money!


Pro-tip #2: You can use your Spire account to see which gen-ed requirements you have already satisfied, and which ones you still need to take. This can be found by logging into Spire, clicking the Main Menu tab, selecting Academics from the drop-down, and then going to the Academic Requirements section. In this area, you will find your gen-ed requirements as well as your specific college and major requirements that need to be satisfied in order to graduate.


As a way of satisfying both the Arts & Literature (AL) requirement and the Global Diversity (DG) requirement, I took Comp-Lit 131 last semester. "Brave New World" is a comparative literature class with a focus on utopian and dystopian societies. All of the works we analyzed, which included excerpts, novels, television shows and films, related to this focus. We got to watch some of the Hulu show based on The Handmaid's Tale after reading the novel itself, so it isn't the type of English class that solely has you reading lengthy novels for homework! We also read We (as pictured, from the 18th floor of the library), Brave New World, and 1984, which is great for those of you who already read it in high school.


In terms of what was required of you while taking this class, there were only two take-home essays during the semester and one in-class essay for the final exam. We had readings assigned on a weekly basis that came with a short and always easy in-class quiz during discussion sections to prove you read/watched the material. 


Attendance during lecture was mandatory but the professor, Jim Hicks, was great at keeping students engaged with the material! I always enjoyed going to that class and highly recommend it to anyone looking to fulfill their AL and DG gen-ed requirements. 



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Isenberg is Interactive!

Students in a class at the University of Massachusetts face lecturers in a modern brightly-lit space

When you picture what business school classes might be like on a college campus, you might picture a large lecture hall with a professor at the front droning on about corporate finance and maybe scribbling a few numbers on the board. What I love about UMass, and specifically the Isenberg School of Management, is that is certainly not the case! To help show you what I mean, here are some examples of some interactive and interesting assignments that I've had this semester: