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Ciara Knisely

Course Reviews

by Ciara Knisely | Oct 02, 2017

As I finish my fifth week of class this semester, I’m realizing that I am really enjoying my courses, so I wanted to give my fellow students some insight about courses I’d recommend. We have a lot of CORE courses as options, and I’ve been personally conflicted over which ones to take, so take a look at a list of some of my favorite courses I’ve taken at Manchester!

Creative Writing:
I’m currently in this course this semester. It’s not a CORE class, but if you need a class to fulfill credits or fill space in your schedule, I’d recommend this class. The coursework isn’t demanding, and I personally find it really interesting to be able to read awesome pieces of writing and attempt to write my own. As an English major, I’m really into that kind of thing, so if you want to explore your creative side, give it a chance! Also, Beate Gilliar (typically) teaches the course, so you can’t go wrong there!

Women in the Visual Arts:
Another course I’m currently enrolled in, but it’s been great from the beginning. The content (and art) is fascinating, but the values taught in the course also really reflect what Manchester’s values mean to me. A large aspect of the course involves understanding the social and economic biases found in art history, but those concepts can apply to almost anything, which is what I really enjoy about it. As a woman, it’s very interesting to learn about the reasons why art has been a male-dominated practice. I don’t know if Professor Oke teaches it every time, but she’s also amazing and I love her teaching style.

Language and Thought:
This Communication Studies course has really helped with my understanding and evaluation of situations and people. I took it online during January, so I didn’t get the full classroom experience, but the content was great in that it requires you to really think about how and why others act or react the way they do. I think that I’ve become a more thoughtful person, because sometimes it’s hard to remember that others have outside forces affecting them which may affect you secondhand. This course is really great for learning these approaches to communicating well with others, and the content is easy to understand.

Nature Hiking:
It was really hard to decide what final course to include here, but I know for other non-athletes like me, it can be hard finding an enjoyable PE class. I thought that Nature Hiking was a great choice for PE because you get to travel off campus, see pretty, local landscapes, and get some fresh air. The exercise is bearable (if you’re like me and hate sweating) and the locations are fun, especially for how short of drives we took. I’d definitely recommend signing up with a friend or several, because it was a million times more fun taking the class and getting to go on mini adventures with my friends.

I’ve enjoyed almost every class I’ve taken, so this list is just a short review. Not everyone may enjoy these courses like I do/did, but I had great experiences in them and they have really made me appreciate Manchester’s version of a liberal arts degree, because my education includes many diverse topics. I hope you find positive experiences in these classes as well! 


Ciara Knisely ’18 is an English-Creative Writing major and Journalism minor, and hopes to continue her writing career in the future. She spends her time working at the Writing Center on campus and is a Co-Editor of the Oak Leaves newspaper.  

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