Last quarter, I chose 10 movies that could enhance college classes across the Globe University-La Crosse curriculum. This time I have stuck with general education courses, specifically those in the humanities, communications, and social sciences. This quarter at Globe University-La Crosse our schedule was heavy on general electives, which provide more opportunity to apply movies in the form of fiction.
For a bachelor’s degree, a student must successfully complete two of each of the following general electives: humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and communications. An associate degree requires one from each of the aforementioned categories. Each of the following common college classes are paired with two movie options:
Creative Writing is a course many students look forward to taking because it’s different than the typical writing students are expected to do at the college level. Two movies that relate to the idea of Creative Writing are “Big Fish” (2003) and “Midnight in Paris” (2011).
“Big Fish” is the story of a father, a known storyteller, telling about his life (again) during his last days. One comes to find that in this story, like many of its type, reality is what you see it to be. If seeing life in metaphors makes it more interesting and livable, then why not accept the fiction in the reality. Likewise, “Midnight in Paris” tells the story of a man whose reality is a bit skewed, but for him, he is stepping into the past to find that even the golden age wasn’t a golden age to those who were living it. To create a world beyond reality is at the heart of creative writing. Even in creative nonfiction, the writer needs to have a lightness of spirit to bring the words to life.
Ethics may sound like a terribly boring course to take, but with an instructor like Jodie Liedke at Globe University-La Crosse, it is anything but boring. Want a taste of what a course like Ethics might cover? I would suggest watching “GATTACA” (1998).
“GATTACA” is a movie that delves into genetic engineering of people, and the resulting prejudices that come from it. It depicts a man who commits identity fraud to achieve his dreams. Another movie that might give the flavor of an Ethics course would be “The Graduate” (1967). This movie is about a young college graduate who returns home and ends up in an affair with a much older woman. He eventually falls in love with the woman’s daughter, who is his contemporary. What occurs throughout gives the mind many things to think about in the area of ethics. Is their relationship right or wrong; does age matter in a relationship; is it okay to date a mother and a daughter; is Mrs. Robinson’s seduction of Benjamin ethical or unethical?
Introduction to Psychology may seem to be a class that is the old standby for general education credits. What is interesting about Introduction to Psychology is many students think that it is going to be about Freud and psychoanalysis. Psychology of the past may have been that, but in more recent years many of Freud’s theories have been debunked. Although his ideas about dreams and sexuality still have merit in the understanding of where psychology as a field has come from, there is so much more than the Oedipus-complex to modern psychology.
“Inception” (2010) is a thriller set in a world of dreams, which leaves the viewer wondering if Cobb ever makes it out of his dream world. Cobb is a skilled thief of ideas, but when his past gets in his way, he needs to find a way to escape loss and move forward to recover his life. Another movie that relates to Introduction to Psychology is “The Bourne Identity” (2002). This movie is a drama that continues on into a very action packed series of movies. The psyche of Jason Bourne and his female companion can be dissected throughout the movie, allowing students to analyze why he and she act and react in the ways that they do.
Interpersonal Relations is the study of how people relate to one another in the world in a variety of situations. “Life of Pi” (2012), the 2013 Oscar winner for best screenplay, tells the tale of a boy moving from India to Canada on a cargo ship. When the ship overturns he is forced to deal with outrageous dilemmas. Both in his creative telling and his devastating telling of the story, relationships among the shipwrecked are formed, examined, and scrutinized. In a very different way “The King’s Speech” (2010) relates to Interpersonal Relations. In the movie, the newly crowned King George—called Bertie—struggles with stammering and stuttering. To overcome this undesirable trait, he meets with an unorthodox speech therapist with whom an unlikely friendship is forged, and the king is able to orate his way through World War II and bring some peace of mind to a war-torn England.
Sociology is the study of how society motivates people to do something or think in a certain way. The first movie is “Pleasantville” (1998). It takes place in a homogenized 1950s society where everyone sees the world in the dichotomous way of black and white television until two displaced teenagers from the 1990s begin to inadvertently influence their surroundings and the whole world is turned upside down as society begins to unravel. The second movie that relates to Sociology is “Shawshank Redemption” (1994). A society is a group of people and the acts that constitute their idea of normal existence. Prison is a society all of its own. This is evident in “Shawshank” where two criminals atone for their crimes and form an unusual friendship among the corruption and hardships of prison in the late 1940s and 1950s.
Enjoy these movie and college class pairings! Do not forget to check out my original blog “10 Movies to Compliment College Classes” to find more fun movies and see the other general education courses a student could take.
This post was written by Ree Nae Roberge-Greene. Ree Nae is the Student Services and Online Learning Coordinator at Globe University-La Crosse. She has been employed in at Globe University since January 2011. She moved into the role of Student Services Coordinator in August of 2011 and loves it! Ree Nae Roberge-Greene blogs for Globe-La Crosse, and she is enjoying the challenge of finding a new and exciting topic to write about each week.