Tag: Class

Life Lessons from Anthropology 101

Life Lessons from Anthropology 101

Walking into ANTH 101: Human Origins in late August I didn’t have high expectations of the course. I assumed that by attending weekly lectures and studying for exams I would sneak out with an A and some new found knowledge on evolution. Honestly, I didn’t want to be taking this class at all. Walking out of ANTH 101 in early December I was blown away by how seriously I had misjudged this course.

There’s no doubt that my professor,┬áDr. Calcagno, was the best part of anthropology. Teaching the largest anthropology class in the history of Loyola is no easy task. But from the beginning Dr. Calcagno made it clear that he would do his best to teach the class as if it were an average sized classroom. I’m not quite sure how he pulled it off, but our class always felt small to me.

We covered the basics of anthropology, studying evolution, primatology, human origins, and modern human variation and behavior. Lectures always lasted the full 50 minutes of class and were always interesting enough to pay attention too. Plus, I never wanted to miss the one-liners Dr. Calcagno would often slip into his lectures.

I never doubted Dr. Calcagno’s passion for anthropology or education. He often reminded us of the importance of making the most of our education and truly appreciating the opportunity to attend Loyola. Receiving a college education is something I think we all know is something to be grateful for, but the sincerity of our professor’s reminders made us all a little more appreciative.

During his last lecture Dr. Calcagno wrapped the course up by giving us three final evolutionary thoughts.

  1. Golden Rules. An important rule in many religions, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. We were reminded to focus on acting out the message, not fighting over who the messenger is.
  2. Go forth and put out small fires.” A spin on St. Ignatious’ “Go forth and set the world on fire” and Dr. Calcagno’s comment that he’s not sure if Loyola has given its students enough matches–so instead know that you evolved to be selfish by helping others.
  3. A nod to Dr. Calcagno’s favorite, David Bowie–Even if just for one day, we can be heroes. It is up to you.

This is one course that will stick with me for many semesters to come. Because not only did Dr. Calcagno teach a class that was worth taking, he also managed to put Jesus, St. Ignatious, and David Bowie in one lecture, and that is truly impressive.


Field Trip!

Field Trip!

I have one of the best Digital Media professors. Dr. Kamerer seems to have made it his mission to ensure that every student who passes through his classes will get a job. He works very hard to give us marketable skills and goes above and beyond the call of duty of a normal professor.

So it was pretty awesome to get a chance to go on a field trip with him and my digital media class. It’s a Tuesday night class, from 4:15 – 6:45 p.m. There’s about 8 of us in the class, and it’s all Seniors. This means that he can afford to be a little more loose with the class structure.

Last week (before Thanksgiving break) people were asking if he was going to cancel our Tuesday night class since Thanksgiving break started on Wednesday. He answered a student’s the question by saying, “Yes, we’re having class on Tuesday… [pause, looks around room] … OK, be honest now, how many of you are just not going to be here whether or not we have class?”

A few raised their hands, and so he decided that he’d plan an “alternate” activity to explore the week’s topic, mobile technology.

our "Alternate activity"

The next week we went out to explore some mobile apps and field test them at Macy’s and ShopTop. We checked out ShopKick and SCVNGR. I liked SCVNGR a lot more, but we overall decided that both of the apps took us out of the shopping experience, and until they were buttery smooth, they detracted from customer engagement.

But the cool part was just wandering around Water Tower Place on Michigan Avenue and going through stores with our smartphones DURING CLASS TIME. Even cooler was that about an hour and a half into our two and a half hour class Dr. K asked us how we felt about going to a nearby grill for burgers and fries.

So the last half of class was us eating burgers and fries at a place near campus, on his dime, before he left to catch his flight to Kansas for Thanksgiving. The rest of us stuck around and had some good classmate bonding time. It was a heck of a night.