Honors Seminars

A recent hobby that I’ve grown to enjoy is playing around with Garage Band on my Mac.  Music has always been something I’ve loved, whether it be playing instruments, mixing and recording songs, dancing to a great beat, or even just listening to it!  Though, while majoring in chemical engineering and biology, I don’t have a lot of free time to keep up with my musical interests.

Another lasting love (some would call it a mild obsession…) of mine is the Harry Potter series!  I was definitely one of “those people” who would dress up for the movie premiers sporting the costumes of my favorite characters and challenging anyone who looked at me sideways to a valiant duel.  This is definitely something I have in common with many other honors students J.

Last semester, I had a chance to merge these two areas into one of my most memorable experiences at Iowa State: I took a Harry Potter honors seminar.  That’s right, a Harry Potter class.  Each week in this 1-credit pass/fail seminar, my 16 peers, instructor, and I dove into the character development, themes, and modern impact of this 7-book saga (and of course worked in ways to talk about our favorite Harry Potter moments).  At the end of the course, each of us created a final project.  Projects of some of my classmates varied extensively and included the following: original poetry written in different styles (by an English major), an exploration of the whether or not the technology of an invisibility cloak is possible (by an engineering major), and the development of a unique Harry Potter font (by a graphic design major).  Itching to learn to use Garage Band on my computer, I jumped at the chance to create a Harry Potter rap titled “Dumbledore’s Army.”  I can honestly say that this is the most fun I have ever had working on something for a class!  A few months later, it has over 12,000 views on YouTube!  A music video is definitely in the making…


Honors seminars are one aspect of the Honors Program that I don’t think you could get anywhere else at Iowa State.  Each semester, the topics of the seminars range drastically from Christianity and Science (another one I took) to Ethical Eating to a study of Robin Hood films.  As I move further and further into my college career, my classes are becoming increasingly specialized towards my future goals.  Honors seminars are a fantastic outlet for my creativity and a breath of fresh air.  I don’t have to worry about solving an energy balance using Laplace transforms or memorizing the structures of the 20 essential amino acids.  Instead, I am able to explore different topics that absolutely enhance my education.  As a whole, the Honors Program has provided me with so many opportunities to be creative.  And, of course, rap J.

Posted by Jake



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