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As freshman, all IC students are required to enroll in a seminar their first semester of college. These writing intensive classes can range from storytelling to mass extinction, or most interestingly, Native American Tribes.

Pro: You learn about Native Americans through their eyes, not through the white-washed-history-book version.

You will be exposed to many truths about Native Americans and the discrimination they really endured from countless Native American authors. It is enough to make you question why books written by Natives were not studied in high school, and it will be refreshing to discover.

Pro: Class discussions become very interesting and often turn into debates.

The discussion of race and discrimination often spark the debate, which is exactly what happens during this class. It starts out as a thoughtful discussion of the Native American lifestyle. However, the second someone disagrees all hell breaks loose. It certainly makes for an interesting hour and a half and you get to practice your debate skills.

Pro: Professor Ron Denson actually values what you have to say.

First of all, he lets you call him Ron, so you know he is going to be chill from the start. That aside, he will never put down what you have to say, he will merely listen and challenge your contribution to the discussion. It makes you comfortable speaking in class and you are forced to think through different perspectives when he challenges you.

Con: Classes can feel extremely repetitive.

That being said, always having class discussions can become a bit repetitive, especially if you keep reading works from the same Native American authors. You can always expect to get into a class discussion right off the bat and for the duration of the class, which may make you lose focus quickly.

Con: There is a LOT of reading and writing.

This is not an exaggeration. The amount of assigned readings and questions for homework piles up, and it is enough to make you feel drowned with work if you procrastinate. You also get assigned four essays which sometimes can feel repetitive as well, so it is hard to remain focused on these readings and essays. The tiny pro that comes out of this is that you get more practice at writing college essays which will most certainly help you in the long run.

Despite these cons, clearly the pros outweigh them. That being said, Tribes and Scribes is definitely a seminar worth taking your freshman year and you will definitely learn new skills that will benefit your college experience.


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Natalia Senanayake


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