Sebastian A Roe

EE 494
General Education Reflection
During my time at ISU, my general education courses varied greatly in scope and
subject matter. I have always had an interest in history, so the majority of the classes that I took
as general education requirements are based in history. From Philosophy 201 in my first
semester to History 408 during my Junior year, these classes helped me shape my
understanding of the world outside of ISU.
During my freshman year at ISU I took Philosophy 201 and Anthropology 201. These
classes helped me to understand how other people viewed the world. In Philosophy 201, we
studied some of the famous Philosophers of ancient and modern history. We learned how the
worldviews of entire cultures changed as the age of rationalism dawned. Above all else, we
learned how to properly and effectively make an argument. This involves careful choice of
wording and evidence, and helps me in my writing to this day. In Anthropology 201, we learned
about how different societies live on a day to day basis. Our professor, Maximilian Viatori,
explained his experiences during his research in Central/South America. One of the main focal
points of the class was the struggle between indigenous peoples of South America and the
Governments who sought to oppress or even exterminate them. This class brought to light
many dark areas of not-so-distant history that are often ignored by today’s society, and
highlighted the importance of understanding and helping those in need.
In my sophomore year I took American Indian Studies 310. This class has many forms,
varying from art to government relations, depending on which professor teaches the class. The
class that I took was government relations with American Indians. During the class we learned
how American Indians have interacted (positively or negatively) with the American Indian tribes
in North America. Starting with how American Indians were pushed out of their lands in the east
of the US, and finishing with the American Indian civil rights movement, I learned the struggles
that American Indians fought through continuously in order to maintain their freedom. The class
lent an interesting perspective into how the US government fought to take away the rights of
American Indians in order to give their citizens their own rights.
In my junior year I took what I would consider my favorite general education course:
History 408. While browsing the course catalog for another general education course, the title of
History 408 caught my eye. Listed as “History 408: Europe” the lack of specificity in the title
piqued my interest. I read into the course description, and immediately decided to take the
course. During the semester, we met once per week for a three hour lecture, and discussed the
history of Europe from the year 1200 to 1450. We focused primarily on the rise and spread of
Christianity throughout Europe, and how the Catholic Church persecuted anyone who wasn’t
Catholic. The Catholic Church combatted what they deemed heretics almost continuously
during this time period, instituting the now well known Inquisition. This course gave me a peek
into history that is often looked over, known as the “Dark Ages,” while Dr. Jana Byars stressed
the fact that this time period was anything but dark.
Looking back on all of the electives that I have taken, there is very little I would have
changed. I learned a great deal about the world in courses like Anthropology 201 and History

408. I also learned about some of the US’s dark history in American Indian Studies 310. These
classes gave me a unique perspective of the world, and without them, I would feel much more
ignorant of other cultures’ issues. Taking these courses has given me a great insight into how
other societies might view the world and how to respectfully interact with people from other
cultural backgrounds.