We're back with our second installment of our shopping week feature, this time with classes good enough to watch—and not just through lecture videos.
Before we get to our list, we have some gossip to share. We heard that Adam E. Cohen '01, an assistant professor who teaches Physical Sciences 1: "Chemical Bonding, Energy, and Reactivity: An Introduction to the Physical Sciences," popped hydrogen-filled balloons, certainly an explosive and delightful start for Harvard's beloved pre-meds. In Historical Study A-87: "Madness and Medicine: Themes in the History of Psychiatry," we heard that students got to watch an intense video of an argument between Tom Cruise and NBC's Matt T. Lauer about the legitimacy of psychiatry, leading to an equally heated conversation in a packed Science Center B.
In what we can call a class with a huge payoff, we heard that in Computer Science 179: "Design of Usable Interactive Systems," students formed groups, and each group got an iPod Touch to use for the course. We're not sure whether they'll be able to keep them. The course Web site uses the word "loaned" to describe the state of the iPod, so probably not. But hey, a programmer can hope.
And now for the list! It’s Tuesday morning and shopping week has officially begun, but the closest encounter you’ve had with reality during the past five weeks is reality TV and unfortunately Harvard has yet to offer Culture and Belief 1819: "The Myth of the Guido on the Jersey Shore."
So what do you do? Take the courses that resemble your favorite TV shows. Here are our picks:
1. Ethical Reasoning 24: "Bioethics"
If you like House, study what Dr. Gregory House refuses to acknowledge: how ethics and medicine intersect. The course covers “moral dilemmas that pit health against freedom, prevention against rescue, and the claims of those with competing needs when life itself hangs in the balance.” | T., Th. 1-2:30. Link.
2. Sociology 171: "Sociology of Crime and Punishment"
If you like Law and Order, this class may be for you. This course, which covers crime and criminal justice trends, might just make you want to become a cop. We hope each class starts just like Law and Order. | M., W. 2. Link.
3. Literature and Arts B-85: "American Musicals and American Culture"
If Glee's Rachel Berry went to Harvard she’d enthusiastically take this class, which explores “the musical artistry and cultural resonances” of a number of iconic Broadway musicals, including Shuffle Along, Show Boat, The Cradle Will Rock, and Oklahoma! | T., Th. 12. Link.
4. Historical Study A-86: "Men and Women in Public and Private: the US in the 20th Century"
Mad Men’s just snagged its third consecutive Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Television Series. So we’re thinking that this course, which delves into “expectations for manhood and womanhood as they play out in family lives, work, popular culture and politics” couldn’t be more timely. | M. W., 12. Link.
5. Government 40: “International Conflict and Cooperation"
This course asks the questions: "Why do states wage war? Why do they cooperate? Have the answers changed historically?" The only question it won’t answer: "Why is Jack Bauer so damn badass?" | M., W., (F). 10. Link.
And if you like The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, take a few painkillers. We’re truly very sorry for your loss, but feel free to e-mail us about stuff that's taking place in your classes.