December 2012

Some academic advice: explore!

Just about all the schools that make up Saint Augustine’s University require you to take free electives to graduate. Free electives are classes that you take outside of your major. I personally think its necessary to take them; you will be surprised how what you learn could open your eyes to some new things you could get into in the future. For instance, If you are a business major, take a class in communications that focuses on public relations. A public relations class teaches you how to brand your business and maintain an image. It also may offer many concepts that are relatable to marketing and advertising classes that are in your major curriculum.

I’m a senior this year, so my schedule is full of free electives, and I ventured all the way outside of my major to see what was out there for me to explore. I’m taking classes like psychology, marketing and creative writing. My favorite, thus far, has been Introduction to Film. Taught by a new professor, Watricia Shuler, the class is offered in the fall and spring semesters and is geared toward non-film majors. My class has students majoring in Communications, Sports Management, Theatre, Human Performance and Wellness, and the list goes on.

The focus on this class was broadening our horizons in film – its beginning stages, its development, and how tom make a film. The students have learned so much about such topics as foreign films, gorilla film-making, cinematography, lights, sound, editing; we have learned about everything film-related.

And although the class is just an introductory course, it has opened up the minds of the students and it motivated them to want to make their own film. (EDITOR’s NOTE: The film is featured on the video link on the home page of this web site.) The film was written, produced, edited, and directed by the students in the class. Every aspect was chosen by them – each shot, every word, every movement. Professor Shuler watched over them, of course, but she gave free reign for creativity and fun. On Nov. 11, 2012, the film was shot right on campus.

To the students, it was a huge success. The students feel accomplished and very proud of their class participation.

I say all of this to make a point: Take time to indulge in something a little outside the box. It may just be that little getaway you may need from your major classes.

— Aisha Taylor