As you begin your freshman year at Marquette you quickly realize that you are on your own. Your nagging parents are replaced with fellow students who would like to go out, watch movies, play video games, who would like to do anything… except study. It is very easy to start skipping class and fall behind in your coursework. This behavior will not only result in terrible grades but it will cause you to miss out on a major opportunity here at Marquette – learning.
In high school many of the classes probably seemed dull and pointless. While you may run into some similar courses here at Marquette, there are many great professors to learn from and a variety of different subjects to learn about. Do not pass up this opportunity.
Every student is required to take classes from the Marquette core curriculum. At first you may believe this requirement is unnecessary. Many ask why a math major needs to study philosophy or theology anyway. The goal of these required courses is to make every Marquette student well rounded, or at least to allow everyone to experience unfamiliar subjects that they may enjoy.
Some of the most important classes in the core curriculum are the theology classes. Marquette requires most students to take at least two theology classes. These classes are not simply limited to Catholic theology but extend into other religious beliefs including various Protestant faiths, Islam and Judaism. These courses not only give you a lot of information on these different religions, but deal with some of the most important questions people ask themselves such as: How am I going to live my life? or what type of person do I intend to become?
Also in the core curriculum are classes on philosophy, diverse cultures and history. All of these courses deal with ideas, individuals and events that have impacted the world we live in today. Many of the problems we currently face have already been dealt with and in order to solve them it can only help to study the decisions people have made in the past.
In order to enjoy these types of classes you have to search out the courses you are interested in and find a good professor to take it from. Throughout my time here at Marquette I have benefited from some extremely passionate and intelligent professors. In order to help you with your search I would like to share with you the professors I have been influenced most by and urge you to take some of their classes.
Professor Mark Armstrong teaches courses on international politics; he is extremely informed on current events and the history of the 20th century. Professor Michael Fleet also teaches in the political science department; he is very knowledgeable about political systems of countries all over the world. Two other professors that offer unique and informative clases are Professor McGee Young and Professor Ryan Hanley.
In other subjects, the Rev. William Kurz, S.J., teaches excellent theology classes, and Dr. Olga Yakusheva teaches many economics courses. I highly recommend taking economics, as it is an extremely important subject that forces individuals to think logically — something people in America often fail to do. Professor Daniel Meissner teaches history courses on China and East Asia, which count for the diverse cultures core requirement. There is currently a Facebook group for him entitled “Dan Meissner: Confucian Gentleman and Shinto God,” so you know he must be popular.
These are just a few of the professors from whom I have had the benefit of learning over the past three years. I urge you all to take advantage of the great opportunities you will have over your college career to develop into informed individuals. This will not only make you a more interesting person but will also make life more enjoyable for you.
As Socrates once said, “The greatest pleasure in life is talking about the questions that really matter with the people that really care.”