Megan Taylor

front-end dev, volunteacher, news & data junkie, bibliophile, Flyers fan, sci-fi geek and kitteh servant

Preview: Classes in Review Series

I decided not to take a class for this second half of the summer, so that I can concentrate on my three jobs and 465 personal projects (like redesigning this Web site).

While I am appreciating the extra free time, I miss class. So I thought this would be a good time to write about some of the classes I’ve taken and what I got out of them.

I’ll write about Editing, Advanced Online Media Production, Applied Fact Finding and more, including some non-journalism courses that I think contributed to where I am today.

In the meantime, students, journalists and teachers: What was your favorite class in college and why?

  • I took Applied Fact Finding at UF back in the 1990s when Jean Chance still taught the class. Far and away the most useful course in the J-school at the time. I think I might have been the only person in my class who found a credit card number for my research subject, a school board member. Still one of my proudest accomplishments.

    But my two favorite courses were Civil Liberties and American Constitutional Law. Both were taught by Samuel Stafford in the political science department, an insanely demanding professor who only did first period classes. (I believe first period started at 3:50 a.m. back in my day. Gainesville was much hillier then, too.) Both classes should have been required for journalism students.

    Best moment of Civil Liberties, Spring 1998: I had to miss a class to attend an execution at Florida State Prison as a media witness. Despite the fact that we were studying a major death penalty case at the time, Stafford never said a single word about the fact that I had just watched an actual execution in Florida’s electric chair. I suspect he was more annoyed about the absence.

    (Bonus trivia: Also in the witness room that day was now-Gov. Charlie Crist. That’s totally going to be my conversational “in” the first time we meet. “Remember that execution we watched together?”)

  • I took Applied Fact Finding at UF back in the 1990s when Jean Chance still taught the class. Far and away the most useful course in the J-school at the time. I think I might have been the only person in my class who found a credit card number for my research subject, a school board member. Still one of my proudest accomplishments.

    But my two favorite courses were Civil Liberties and American Constitutional Law. Both were taught by Samuel Stafford in the political science department, an insanely demanding professor who only did first period classes. (I believe first period started at 3:50 a.m. back in my day. Gainesville was much hillier then, too.) Both classes should have been required for journalism students.

    Best moment of Civil Liberties, Spring 1998: I had to miss a class to attend an execution at Florida State Prison as a media witness. Despite the fact that we were studying a major death penalty case at the time, Stafford never said a single word about the fact that I had just watched an actual execution in Florida’s electric chair. I suspect he was more annoyed about the absence.

    (Bonus trivia: Also in the witness room that day was now-Gov. Charlie Crist. That’s totally going to be my conversational “in” the first time we meet. “Remember that execution we watched together?”)

  • I took Applied Fact Finding at UF back in the 1990s when Jean Chance still taught the class. Far and away the most useful course in the J-school at the time. I think I might have been the only person in my class who found a credit card number for my research subject, a school board member. Still one of my proudest accomplishments.

    But my two favorite courses were Civil Liberties and American Constitutional Law. Both were taught by Samuel Stafford in the political science department, an insanely demanding professor who only did first period classes. (I believe first period started at 3:50 a.m. back in my day. Gainesville was much hillier then, too.) Both classes should have been required for journalism students.

    Best moment of Civil Liberties, Spring 1998: I had to miss a class to attend an execution at Florida State Prison as a media witness. Despite the fact that we were studying a major death penalty case at the time, Stafford never said a single word about the fact that I had just watched an actual execution in Florida’s electric chair. I suspect he was more annoyed about the absence.

    (Bonus trivia: Also in the witness room that day was now-Gov. Charlie Crist. That’s totally going to be my conversational “in” the first time we meet. “Remember that execution we watched together?”)

  • I filled an elective slot in natural (?) sciences with a course about paleo-geology. Or historical geology. Anyway, we went out and dug up fossils. We had amazing lectures from an older prof who really loved his field. We had labs in which — unlike in high school biology and chemistry — I learned how science is actually conducted. It was great. It’s really the only non-journalism and non-film-studies class that I remember liking in four years as an undergrad.

  • I filled an elective slot in natural (?) sciences with a course about paleo-geology. Or historical geology. Anyway, we went out and dug up fossils. We had amazing lectures from an older prof who really loved his field. We had labs in which — unlike in high school biology and chemistry — I learned how science is actually conducted. It was great. It’s really the only non-journalism and non-film-studies class that I remember liking in four years as an undergrad.

  • I filled an elective slot in natural (?) sciences with a course about paleo-geology. Or historical geology. Anyway, we went out and dug up fossils. We had amazing lectures from an older prof who really loved his field. We had labs in which — unlike in high school biology and chemistry — I learned how science is actually conducted. It was great. It’s really the only non-journalism and non-film-studies class that I remember liking in four years as an undergrad.

  • Will, I can’t believe you got a credit card number! That project is pretty much the bane of every j-student’s existence. I liked the class, but I was taking a really heavy load and long, frustrating nights did not endear it to me.

  • Will, I can’t believe you got a credit card number! That project is pretty much the bane of every j-student’s existence. I liked the class, but I was taking a really heavy load and long, frustrating nights did not endear it to me.

  • Mindy, the teacher has always made the class for me. One of the reasons I love being a journalism student is that all of my teachers have been passionate about their subjects. My psychology teachers seemed bored, and it felt like they made all the cool linguistics teachers teach lower-level classes. As soon as I hit the higher levels, the teachers were either too full of themselves or disdainful of the subject for me to remain engaged.

  • Mindy, the teacher has always made the class for me. One of the reasons I love being a journalism student is that all of my teachers have been passionate about their subjects. My psychology teachers seemed bored, and it felt like they made all the cool linguistics teachers teach lower-level classes. As soon as I hit the higher levels, the teachers were either too full of themselves or disdainful of the subject for me to remain engaged.

  • This was when some receipts still had full credit card numbers printed on them, which you don’t really see anymore. I found it, unredacted, in a travel expense report. One my of classmates, now at the St. Pete Times, hid in the woods behind a county commissioner’s house to snap a picture of her car. Ah, memories.

  • This was when some receipts still had full credit card numbers printed on them, which you don’t really see anymore. I found it, unredacted, in a travel expense report. One my of classmates, now at the St. Pete Times, hid in the woods behind a county commissioner’s house to snap a picture of her car. Ah, memories.

  • This was when some receipts still had full credit card numbers printed on them, which you don’t really see anymore. I found it, unredacted, in a travel expense report. One my of classmates, now at the St. Pete Times, hid in the woods behind a county commissioner’s house to snap a picture of her car. Ah, memories.

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  • DamionKutaeff

    Hello everybody, my name is Damion, and I’m glad to join your conmunity,
    and wish to assit as far as possible.

  • DamionKutaeff

    Hello everybody, my name is Damion, and I’m glad to join your conmunity,
    and wish to assit as far as possible.

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