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What’s been your most interesting assignment?

  • Asim Manizada '13
    In Social and Political Philosophy, we were asked to analyze some works of one of the leading contemporary libertarian philosophers (Robert Nozick) and write a paper that offered a sensible criticism of his views. This assignment felt very empowering -- after all, we were essentially arguing with someone who devoted their whole life to this topic! Our professor made sure to emphasize that the validity of our opinions rested on how logically sound they were -- not on our status within the academia.
  • Ben Bedore '13
    I designed and conducted an economics experiment this fall using real money and student test subjects to explore charity donation strategies, with the goal of maximizing donations.
  • Marlena Hartman-Filson '13
    Last winter, I was in a Community Organizing class with a visiting professor in the Political Science department. As a class, we did term-long, in-depth research and analysis of the political activism and community organizing involved in the proposal and ultimate construction of a megadairy in Ripley Township, about an hour and a half away from campus. We sifted through boxes upon boxes of state and legal documents, newspaper articles, and town meeting minutes. We researched the dairy industry in Minnesota, the Midwest and beyond, and the effects of the rise of the megadairies in America. I conducted interviews with local leaders, and ended up becoming deeply involved in the tensions and debates and factions within Ripley Township. In the end, it was no longer about the assigned project; it was about developing interpersonal connections with people with whom I had very little in common, understanding real reactions to issues by placing myself in another person's shoes, and finding humanity in polarizing situations.
  • Caffi Meyer '15
    The most interesting assignment I had was in ENTS 262 "Materials Science, Energy, and the Environment" (taught by Melissa Eblen-Zayas). We had an applied topics group project in which I got to work alongside the Northfield City Council and Environmental Quality Commission to learn about local organic composting initiatives.
  • Sara Hooker '13
    I did a seminar paper on how the growth of Islamic finance was affected by the stance of government towards the industry. It was really interesting to study how Islamic finance incorporates personal and cultural beliefs into capitalism, a framework we normally perceive to be clinical and unresponsive to identity. Very cool! :)