One of the most unexpectedly interesting classes I’m taking this semester is My Body, My Health. It’s a public health course that fulfills some basic general education requirements and is also a requirement for any public health majors. I’m considering a double major so I decided to take this class to get an idea of what this path has to offer. I can confidently say that this class has been one of the most rewarding I have ever taken.
This class is a far cry from your normal college lectures and even classes you’ve taken in high school. Dr. Gerber, the professor, utilizes unconventional methods of teaching to convey the class material in an effective way. Instead of him droning on and on, he has us work with a group (the same one for the whole semester) to achieve some sort of objective for each class. Apparently, the number one skill that employers in recent years have been looking for in potential employees is the ability to work well with others. So, Dr. Gerber has made strengthening this skill the number one priority in his class.
The subject material in this class consists of the most important things we as human beings need to learn. We begin the semester by asking ourselves, who am I, and what is my relationship with the world? We spend the rest of the semester answering that question. Units include environmentalism, social image and media, healthy lifestyles, and more. Each class period offers a new adventure. One day you’re making an advertisement promoting unique methods of reducing waste. Another day your group is racing everyone else in a scavenger hunt to find different health and safety related places on campus.
The homework consists of journal entries in response to some sort of prompt that calls for us to change some aspect of our behavior and write about it. For example, one journal entry was to go out of your way to do a list of kind acts for someone else and see how you feel afterwards. Another one was to find ways to express gratitude to those who you are close to. These concepts seem trivial at first, but after doing them and reflecting you begin to see the value of incorporating them into your lifestyle. You are also required to do eight hours of community service for the class to once again ensure you are an active participant in the community around you.
There are so many interesting classes at UMass. I highly recommend taking something that sounds unique and interesting to you because classes like these are what really define the college experience.