Putting an Engineer in an HDFS Class

As we all know by now, engineers like to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Sometimes, they like to think they’re better than everyone else. I, for one, choose to separate myself from that elitist mentality.

I’d like to think of myself as a real man of the people, someone who respects all majors. In other words, I’m better than the guys who are better than everyone else. Not sure what that makes me, but it sounds pretty great no matter what you electrical engineers say about us civil engineers.

Anyway, I’ve branched out a bit this semester when it comes to my coursework. I’m currently in a “Children and Families Across Culture” class through the human development and family science (HDFS) major, which for me is a pretty unique experience. It covers everything from the decline of the nuclear family to immigration from war zones to days of the chastity belt.

Another big-ticket item in the course load this semester has been soil classifications. So, life this semester is different.

Some of it is a bit stereotypical. My first assignment was a reaction paper to a movie we watched in class. This film involved four babies across the globe and watches them play, cry and do general baby stuff with no dialogue for an hour.

At least the Mongolian kid, riding on the back of a motorcycle or getting left to die by his brother, kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s meant to make childbirth and the first years of life a unifying experience across cultures while also pointing out key differences and, while it does a good job at that, it also almost sounds made up to make fun of an HDFS class.

Despite that, there’s definitely been some interesting stuff such as a woman forced from her home country due to the conflict between Hutus and Tutsis or a video on poor kids in America, constantly hungry and on the verge of losing their homes again. There was also this one dog that was really cute and kind of deaf, so it started wandering around the room when the guest speaker slapped his shoe on the table.

The class was in love, granted the subject of the lecture was killed by Saddam Hussein’s regime for slapping his shoe, which also killed the mood. Two birds, one shoe I guess. I maintain it was cute though.

So if you happen to have some room in your schedule and want to switch things up, this may just be the class for you. Unless you have an HDFS related major and this may be even a required course for you, in which case … keep up the good work? Follow your heart? Don’t go chasing waterfalls? You get the idea.

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