Top Ten Classes

My number one New Year’s Resolution was to take a class and learn something new. Lately, I’ve been reflecting not only on classes I would really like to take, but also classes that I’ve enjoyed in the past. Here’s what I came up with!

  1. History of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Many universities offer a course on the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but Indiana University offers a few, including The Music of Jimi Hendrix.
  2. Italian Cookery Class. The descriptions of these classes are so tantalizing, I almost forget that I can barely make toast.
  3. The Horror Film in Context. At Bowdoin College, you can take a class on this film genre and how it relates to contemporary society. AHHHH!
  4. World Class Wire Sculpture. This class, offered by award-winning wire sculptress, Elizabeth Berrien, looks incredible!
  5. “Hot” Yoga. Unfortunately, I haven’t found somewhere in Pittsburgh that offers Bikram Yoga, but there must be a studio somewhere. If you have any recommendations, please let me know!

    Keep reading to see more of the classes we love!

  6. Feminism 101. It’s sad that feminist theory is often misunderstood, especially since it’s highly applicable to everyday life.
  7. World Religions. Gaining a better understanding of different faiths leads to a better understanding of their perspectives. Plus, it’s downright fascinating!
  8. Post-Colonialist Literature. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salmon Rushdie, Margaret Atwood – the list of amazing post-colonialist authors goes on and on. This is a great course for refreshing your worldview. For more info, check out this great description of a typical Post-Colonialist class on Emory’s website.
  9. Massage Therapy. There’s much more to massage therapy than having strong hands. These classes emphasize an understanding of human anatomy and the healing power of touch.
  10. Post-modern Music. I took this class in college and absolutely loved it – the ways in which post-modern musicians use alternative techniques to create music is incredible to witness. In fact, one of the visiting musicians took out a cap gun and shot the piano during a performance. It was awesome.

Ever take a class that you absolutely loved (or know of one that you think would be awesome)? Leave a comment!


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  1. Avatar
    Emily 03/02/2009 at 5:50 pm #

    In college, I took a class called Death, Dying, and Immortality which was extremely interesting. The class covered burial/death rituals of various cultures and religions and featured a field trip to a local hospice. Although it was a bit depressing, it was still quite enlightening.

  2. Avatar
    Molly 03/02/2009 at 6:06 pm #

    Bowling. I took bowling for credit. It was amazing, but it was at 8am!

  3. Avatar
    Lily 03/02/2009 at 6:18 pm #

    someone in my effective speaking class just did a presentation on bikram yoga, i really want to try it, but i’ve never done yoga before so it’s not recommended 🙁

  4. Avatar
    berbiqui 03/02/2009 at 6:36 pm #

    i woud be VERY careful about the bikram yoga thing. read for yourself:

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    Jennifer 03/02/2009 at 7:14 pm #

    Some classes I’ve taken that were really cool: archery, badminton, graphic novel, Gothic lit, creative writing, and Tolkien. All awesome!!!

  6. Avatar
    Sara C. 03/02/2009 at 7:48 pm #

    There are about four studios or more in Pgh that do Bikram yoga, including your neighbors in the Strip District! (21st street, I think).

  7. Avatar
    Susan 03/02/2009 at 9:01 pm #

    Jennifer – a Tolkien class? That sounds incredible!

    My favorite class during my time at CMU was called Digital Imaging – lots of photography and photoshop. I learned so much!

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    sari 03/02/2009 at 9:04 pm #

    I took a class called Bad Culture, Low Culture. It was great we watched Douglas Sirk, John Waters, Melodrama etc !

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    Audrey 03/02/2009 at 9:14 pm #

    I haven’t taken any crazy interesting classes yet, but Sarah Lawerence has a lot of great classes. For instance, I have a friend taking The Invention of Homosexuality. Which sound pretty awesome

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    Jennifer 03/02/2009 at 9:24 pm #

    Tolkien really was great! We got to read The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion all in one semester, so it was pretty dense, but so worth it! One of my classmates made lembas bread for the whole class too! It was wonderful!

  11. Avatar
    Maggie 03/02/2009 at 10:30 pm #

    Wow all of these classes sound amazing. I think I would really enjoy the Death and Dying class (I’m so dramatic) and High Cultures, Low Cultures, in particular.

    Thanks for the hot tips (no pun intended) on Bikram yoga, too!

  12. Avatar
    Dinessa 03/02/2009 at 11:33 pm #

    I think that Your Inner Vagabond on 43rd and Butler has some flyers for a Bikram yoga class. Unless I’m mistaken, one of the studios that offers them is also on Butler, just north of the 40th St. Bridge. I’ve been wanting to go try it out too!

  13. Avatar
    Eva 03/03/2009 at 10:23 am #

    Amazing Yoga in shadyside, south side, and wexford… they specialize in bikram yoga. Also, there is a place in the strip, as sara c. said, 2301 penn ave, 2nd fl.

  14. Avatar
    chloe 03/03/2009 at 10:28 am #

    I did a class in History of Rock at UC Davis! The compulsory assignment was songwriting (blues and one other), and you could be in a band and do a show with a setlist comprising songs from the class and a couple of covers as one of your other assignments. It was clearly fabulous – I mean, they FORCED you to listen to “Stairway to Heaven”!

    I also remember effectively taking over the lecture on “Other British Invasion Bands of the 1960s” when the TA got Kenny Jones and Keith Moon mixed up…

  15. Avatar
    Maggie 03/03/2009 at 2:25 pm #

    Dinessa! Alicia and I are totally going to Inner Vagabond’s yoga class on Thursday! We tried to go last Thursday but it was canceled. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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    Genalle Passanante 03/03/2009 at 7:07 pm #

    Hi all! I am the owner of the only Certified Bikram Yoga studio in Pittsburgh. We just opened 3 months ago and I really look forward to meeting all of you that are interested! Bikram Yoga is a very specific form of yoga that is done in a room heated to 105 degrees with 26 postures and two breathing exercises. It is a series that is designed for students all of ages, sizes, shapes, and yoga levels (Even if you have never done yoga before!).

    After only 3 months we already have students ranging in age from 8 years old to 69 years old. Please check out my website at: and the world wide Bikram site at: for more information on Bikram Yoga.

    We are located in The Strip on Penn and 21st st. And we have an Intro special for new students! You can come in for 10 consecutive days of yoga for only $20.00 for the whole 10 days (mat and towel rental included!). We have showers too.

  17. Avatar
    Sky 03/03/2009 at 11:01 pm #

    Awesome. I went to Colby College up in Maine (near the aforementioned Bowdoin) and took some amazing classes, including Popular Indian Film, Gender & Pop Culture, and the History of Biology (it’s awesome, you have no idea). We also had an amazingly poplar class called Luddite Rantings where a professor ranted about technology. Amazing. Education is awesome.

  18. Avatar
    Lex 03/05/2009 at 7:01 pm #

    Mags, I’m a little hurt that none of my intro art history, ukiyo-e Japan, or Dutch Baroque classes made it onto the list!

  19. Avatar
    Lex 03/05/2009 at 7:04 pm #

    Additionally, I adore bikram and highly recommend it. Here’s a letter from my instructor regarding it:

  20. Avatar
    Adrienne 07/03/2009 at 10:59 pm #

    So far at Pitt I’ve taken Vampire: Blood and Empire, Russian Fairytales, Madness and Madmen in Russian Culture, Experimental Cinema, and The Archaeologist Looks at Death. All were wonderful classes but my favorites were Vampire and also Experimental Cinema. In the Vampire class we read real-life accounts of “vampires” and watched a bunch of vampire movies! And Experimental Cinema was just a feast for my eyes and the professor was really knowledgeable. I’m still waiting for Pitt to acquire a Tolkien class though! I heard of a Tolkien class somewhere in Texas where students learn to speak and write in elvish!

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