After completing six semesters at Duquesne I’ve been exposed to classes ranging from Astronomy and Public Speaking to French and Philosophy of Technology.
But the one class that sticks out in my mind as my favorite class so far was Dr. Groom’s History of Communication. I won’t lie – initially I thought the class wasn’t going to be very interesting. I mean for most people, learning the history of something as immense as communication didn’t seem like it was going to be a walk in the park. The class was based on engaging ideas through discussion and writing about historical events and figures that taught the foundation of the forms of communication that we use today.
Throughout the course we obtained a better understanding of rhetorical questions, problems with technology and the philosophical and practical issues and implications that continue to present themselves from the past and in our present day to day lives. Queue the groans. But it isn’t what you would think. We used and adapted teachings of Aristotle and the other Stoics and applied their teachings to our present day forms of communication. It was honestly really interesting to see how an idea dating back to ancient Greece could stand the test of time and in some way, shape or form translate into our present day society.
The class, I will have to admit, was very writing intensive. After the in-class essays, it took a solid five minutes to regain the feeling in my hand. These essays were unlike any other essays that I had written in the past. My usual essays are predominately fluff with some facts sprinkled in to make it appear like I have somewhat of a grasp of the information. The History of Communication essays were easy only because Dr. Groom actually taught us the information in ways which made sense and were easy to understand. Having a professor with so much passion for the knowledge she was imparting was very refreshing. I have had many great professors at Duquesne but she taught in such a way that she held the attention of the class for the entire one hour and fifteen minutes.
This class was conducted in such a way that you could actually relate because the lessons were paired with real life examples that made learning about historic events in rhetoric not as arduous of a task.
I highly advise any Liberal Arts students to consider taking History of Communication with Dr. Groom, because for one, you will fulfill three credits but most of all because you will learn valuable information that you can take with you on your future endeavors.