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April 14, 2005 - Image 17

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 14, 2005




The Michigan [

Best Class|English 225: Creative Expression
English 225 makes the grade, Stats fails

shakennotstirred with. Ellen McGarrity

By Amanda Shapin
Daily Arts Writer
With another semester coming to
a close and registration underway,
students will undoubtedly be asked
by countless peers which classes
were their favorites and which made
them fall asleep the minute they sat
One class at the University, Eng-
lish 225: Argumentative Writing,
which combines creativity, free
expression and a comfortable atmo-
sphere, will undoubtedly be passed
through the lips of knowing stu-
dents. English 225 instructors and
students alike agree that what makes
argumentative writing so interesting
is that the material is all personal.
Because there are many differ-
ent sections to the course, students
are able to write and argue what

they care about, whether itl
Supreme Court decisions4
marriage. Additionally, the
group of students attracted

be sex,
or gay
to this

class is a plus.
"English 225 draws the most
diverse student body in every
respect - from their age to their
major - which makes it a truly
dynamic classroom," said English
225 instructor Peggy Adler, who has
been leading the class for the past
five years.
While the course is required for
some majors - such as sports man-
agement and business - students
from English, theater and other
humanity majors are also drawn to
the class.
"Through research and writing,
my student's understanding of what
they care about deepens, which
keeps things interesting for all of

us," Adler added.
Students who have taken English
225 in past semesters appear to have
nothing but positive feedback on the
class and its instructors.
"Aric Knuth, my teacher for 225,
has a fascinating way of letting
people know how they are doing at
accomplishing the task at hand,"
said LSA junior Lindsey Mossman.
"His inspiration could be seen in
all students' papers, and he helped
our class to be more creative with
our topic choices and specific argu-
ments we made."
Instructors each have a differ-
ent style of keeping students inter-
ested throughout the semester in the
"I assign a wide variety of read-
ings from newspapers, nonfiction
books and magazines and also dis-
cuss very current and controversial

LSA freshman Doug Hurt falls asleep in Statistics 350.

topics such as No Child Left Behind,
Affirmative Action or the Middle
East conflict," said two-year English
225 instructor Sharon Pomerantz.

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Jackson Role, Wyoming
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"(English 225) was probably
voted the best class because of the
flexibility in assignments and room
for creative expression. I've taken a
couple of classes that I like just as
much as I like English 225," LSA
junior Shauna Waino said.
Worst class
Although some students enjoy
courses based on theories and set
numbers, many find Statistics 350
and its topic tedious and simply take
it to fulfill the Literature, Science
and the Arts quantitative reasoning
requirement or as a requirement for
their majors.
While the course may not be very
popular, Prof. Brenda Gunderson has
been given high ratings for this class
(an average of 4.16 out of 5, based on
The University of Michigan Office
of Evaluations and Examinations
Teaching Questionnaire from fall
And of course, like any knowl-
edgeable statistician, Gunderson has
acknowledged that every survey has
its faults. And while Statistics 350
may have received the vote for worst
class according to Daily staffers,
this might not be the true feelings of
the University community.
However, some students do agree
with the result.
"Stats 350 is all busy work and
very time-consuming - not only in
class time, but also time spent doing
the weekly homework assignment,''
Waino said.

When I graduate from this
campus in just 16 short
days, the thing I will miss
most is the Diag and the maze of
paths that lead to it.
I love when I'm walking through
and I come to a place where three
or four paths meet and students are
coming from all different directions.
Some are riding a bike, some are
speed-walking to their next class,
and some take a slower gait while
they chat with a friend. For a split
second, I think it's inevitable that
two of us are going to collide as we
pass that meeting point - each of us
at our different pace and some of us
with our minds clogged with what's
on the exam we're heading to - but
no one ever does collide. I mean, I'm
sure it happens, but not often.
I love crossing the Diag early in
the morning in wintertime after
it has just snowed. The trees look
like someone poured vanilla syrup
through their branches and only a
few footsteps have started to ruin the
fresh snow that covers the ground.
I am all bundled up with my Uggs,
my Patagonia coat, my earmuffs,
my scarf, my gloves - all but my
face, which is exposed to the cold. I
breathe in deep and the icy air hits
my lungs and I almost feel like I'm
choking. But then I look up at the

flagpole, to the Graduate Library,
then toward Rackham and the Bell
Tower. I feel like all this beauty must
surely have been made just for me.
I love approaching the Diag at
noon or late at night and discovering
what campus group is there that day.
Freshmen year it was Festifall with
the tables covering every inch of
those paths - students smiling and
wanting me to choose their group to
be a part of for the next four years.
As a sophomore, I remember going
with my Singaporean roommate for
a late-night Chinese New Year cel-
ebration. We feasted on moon cakes
and were given pretty paper lan-
terns as souvenirs. Then there are
the fraternities and sororities for
Greek Week - teeter-tottering for
hours to raise money for some good
cause. There's Goodness Day when
they pass out candy and you can
jump around in a ball pit like you're
a kid again. And just last weekend,
I passed at dusk, and a Take Back
the Night rally was going on. A tear
rolled down my cheek as I stopped
to listen before heading on my way.
I love in March when that first hot
spring day hits. It might only be 60
degrees, but everyone comes out all
the same. Girls in short skirts and
tank tops and sandals, boys barefoot
and in just khakis: some play Frisbee

and some lay out to jumpstart their
tan. Entire discussion sections will
form circles on the lawn while they
half-heartedly try to focus on the
lesson for the day and whole-heart-
edly enjoy the outdoors. It is truly a
celebration - one that can only occur
in cold places like Michigan where
people learn not to take a nice warm
day for granted.
The Diag is the heart of this cam-
pus. The students are the blood
pumping through it day in and day
out. We have a rhythm, an ebb and
flow. Like a tide, we emerge from
our classes on the hour and crash

through all her pathways. Then we
subside again into the buildings for
more classes and the whole process
begins again. It's actually extraordi-
nary - this campus of students that
are brought together for moments in
time as they pass through the Diag.
My moments are up. But I am thank-
ful that if only for a brief time, I
added my spirit to the flow.
Ellen thanks everyone who took a
moment to read her columns and hopes
students will continue to pass through
the Diag and enjoy its rhythm. She can
be reached at emcgarri@umich.edu.


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