Great Works Symposium courses are the classes I take when I want to think. In these classes there isn't any memorization or chalkboard lectures – there's real conversation. It’s the kind of conversation where you realize that there's only 10 minutes left and you wish you had longer.
As a premedical major, I did not have a lot of non-science courses in my schedule. I took the Great Works Symposium courses initially because I wanted a break from my science-heavy curriculum, but I continued to take them because of how much I loved the courses. The insight I gained through the interdisciplinary approach of the Great Works Symposium – such as learning to think critically about objects and information in “Life and Death in the Museum,” broadening my perspective on scientific achievement in “Celebrity Science”, or learning about a different culture in the “Galileo in Florence” travel course – was the best education I received in my time at Drexel.
I love the GWS courses (I've taken two now!) because they are the best opportunity you'll have at Drexel to study something fun and out of the realm of the courses for your major. The best feature about the Great Works Symposium courses is the fact that they are essentially one big opportunity for collaboration. It allows you to ditch the traditional 'paper-lecture' model and present your research in various formats that combine your creative abilities (and, yes, you do have them) with your academic ones.
I took the GWS courses because I wanted to see topics that are sometimes covered in my Biology courses from a different perspective. Sometimes I feel as though one's major at Drexel can cause one to develop "tunnel vision" and forget that there are other ideas and courses outside of one's direct plan of study. I have always enjoyed the GWS courses for their ability to integrate various viewpoints and majors into a course as this always leads to interesting debates and discussions. From the “Science Wars” GWS course, I have learned that scientists have failed miserably in trying to better inform the population of scientific knowledge and facts. There is a huge disconnect between the information gathered from scientific inquiry and what the public learns from these scientific inquiries, and a large part of this is due to scientists' inability to effectively communicate with the general public. One common theme that I have gathered from all the GWS courses I have taken at Drexel is that if I want to really stand out as a scientist, then I need to not only have a firm grasp on my scientific knowledge, but also be fairly well-versed in communicating this knowledge to non-scientifically minded people. By taking the GWS courses at Drexel I have started to understand this need and learned how I might be able to improve the communication between scientists and non-scientists in a way that doesn't mutate or misrepresent the scientific information as the media so often does.