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Pepperdine | Seaver College

First-Year Seminar Courses

Course Descriptions: Spring 2019

Spiritual Autobiography: Sharing Our Experiences with God

Spiritual Autobiography: Sharing Our Experiences with God | Lisa Smith

As humans, we enjoy sharing our experiences with others—whether they relate to sports, family, media, or God. This class will examine some of the ways individuals process and share their experiences with God by studying spiritual autobiographies that span time, gender, and class. We will also discuss our own spiritual experiences and explore how to process and communicate them. Emphasis will be on Christianity, but all faiths will be represented in the readings and are welcome in the class.

Loneliness: What it is and What to do About it

Loneliness: What it is and What to do About it | Khanh Bui

Loneliness is a painful awareness that one's social relationships are less numerous or meaningful than one desires. Loneliness does not necessarily coincide with aloneness. To feel lonely is to feel excluded from a group, unloved by those surrounding oneself, unable to share one's private concerns, or alienated from those in one's surroundings. This seminar will examine the latest research on loneliness and ways to cope with loneliness. Furthermore, as a course that introduces the student to the college experience, it strives to sharpen critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, enhance effective communication through writing assignments and oral presentations, improve information literacy, apply the University's Christian mission, and instill a proactive approach to lifelong learning.

Inspirational Teaching

Inspirational Teaching | Stella Erbes

Why does a particular teacher or learning experience stand out above others from your academic career? What factors contribute to the making of an effective teacher? Which innovative methods can teachers implement to connect with students in today's classrooms? These are just a few of the questions that can be explored in this research seminar. This semester-long course introduces the first-year student to both the college experience and to academic inquiry that is related to the current field of educational research.

Gothic Lit: Frankenstein to Lestat

Gothic Lit: Frankenstein to Lestat | Bryan Reeder

Tales of terror are as old as literature itself. The penchant for tales of the macabre reached its height in the eighteenth century and remains popular to the present with the works of Stephen King, Clive Barker, Anne Rice, and Poppy Z. Brite, among others. This course will examine the works of four novels emblematic of the height of the gothic novel and one contemporary novel that borrows from the gothic while examining its subject in a unique manner. We will discuss them thematically, exploring what the author was saying symbolically.

The Cult of Modern Childhood

The Cult of Modern Childhood | Katherine Frye

What is childhood? Has the idea of childhood, the perception of childhood as a protected season of innocence and dependence, always existed, spanning all centuries and crossing all borders? We will take this inquiry as the point of departure for our class, starting in the seventeenth century and continuing through the twenty-first century. In so doing, we will examine historical sources, medical and childrearing discourse, and representations of childhood in poetry, prose, and film. Along the way, we will discuss children as consumers, read Where the Wild Things Are, consider what technology is doing to/for kids today, learn about the role the outdoors plays in our development, and ruminate on such powerhouses of modern film as Pixar. More generally, our course will strive to build learning communities, to sharpen critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, to enhance effective communication, to improve information literacy, to apply the University's Christian mission, and to hone life-management skills.