Mark Ortiz is a senior double-majoring in Religious Studies and New College with a depth study in Political Ecology. He is especially interested in climate politics and that bundle of things and stuff we call “nature.”
As part of an independent study this semester, I’ve been very busy chatting to professors in the department about their approaches to teaching the introductory course in our discipline. I found this assignment especially timely, as I am slated to begin a graduate program in geography come autumn. I will almost assuredly be required to, at the very least, assist with the instruction of introductory courses as a graduate student. So, better, I should think, to begin mulling over the difficult questions of how to introduce and interest students in a field now rather than doing so at some later point, like in front of a classroom of expectant, disciplinary first-timers (and probably last-timers in this scenario). With lofty aspirations of discovering the proper role and function of the introductory course, I set out on my task.