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Coolest Classes at Vandy: English 200

Posted by on Friday, December 6, 2013 in Academics, College Life, Communications, Creative Writing, Exams, Music, Professors, Teachers.

This semester I took Professor Amanda Little’s English 200 Seminar called the ‘Art of Blogging,’ and while my entire schedule was made up of amazing classes with phenomenal professors (stay tuned for more details in my next post), this one was my favorite.

Let me start by saying how incredible Professor Little is. She’s written for Rolling Stone, WIRED, New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair—basically everywhere that’s anywhere in the magazine world, and then some. She’s also written books, worked in media and had SO much experience in the worlds of journalism and blogging that I got anxious just reading her course description last spring when I was signing up for classes. But I was intrigued—I mean, I blog here, right? How bad could it be? And as someone who wants to go into media, she seemed like the best person I could be learning from, and boy was I right about that.

Through the course I made and maintained a blog called Straight Pop, in which I discussed some of the most popular songs of today and the artists behind them, as well as what their fame means for and about our society.

Professor Little was so insightful in helping me build and refine my ideas and improve as a writer. Aside from that, I learned so much about blogging, writing, and digital media as a career from the incredible lineup of guest speakers Professor Little brought in via Skype to talk to us. From Howard Fineman, the director of the Huffington Post, to Professor Little’s brother Rufus Griscom, a consultant on digital media strategy for Condé Nast, the topics they covered ranged far and wide, but all were so informative and interesting.

One of my favorite parts of this semester with Professor Little took place outside of the classroom, though. In the spirit of the holidays, she invited her students of the past and present to come to her home on Monday night to kick back, have some treats, and chat about the writing we did and do. I had no idea I’d run into fellow blogger Nathan there, but it just goes to show that Professor Little is Inside ‘Dores-approved.

Having professors who genuinely care about you and go above and beyond to be a resource is what I’ve loved most about my academic experience at Vanderbilt, and it’s given me so much more than I ever could’ve asked for. For anyone interested in joining in on the fun with Professor Little, she teaches her English 200 seminar in the fall.

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