What Was The Coolest Class You Took At ISU?

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What is your favorite place on campus and why?

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My Two Coolest Classes

Library Instruction

Unlike most students, I loved the required library instruction class. I liked searching for, organizing, and using information. The class was the impetus for my obtaining an MSLS degree and enjoying a career in the ever-changing field of librarianship.

Creative Writing

As a neophyte writer, I enjoyed Hazel Lipa’s creative writing class. She encouraged and cared for all students, even those who weren’t as imaginative and uninhibited as the excellent writers whose pieces were selected for Sketch, the campus literary magazine. On Wednesday mornings, Hazel welcomed us to her home, where she provided coffee and donuts while we read aloud our latest writings.

It would have to be Clinical Medicine (I think that is the correct title), taught by Dr. Roger Hogle. As a former practicing veterinarian, he brought real-world practice experience to the class. Dr. Hogle was an excellent instructor.

My coolest class at ISU was weaving. It was fun to see what I could weave from yarn on a loom to make pillows and wall hangings. I still have one of the pillows and some of the practice samplers from 45 years ago.


I took an English elective called "Propaganda". It was taught by an excellent professor who really opened my eyes regarding what propaganda was. It probably should be a required course! This knowledge has served me well over the years.

While a metallurgical engineering class in which we learned blacksmithing was cool, the coolest class was being a student carillonneur. Climbing the tower to play the bells of Iowa State was fantastic. Eric Wittrock, another student carillonneur at the time, and I both continued playing at the Washington Memorial Chapel carillon at Valley Forge National Historical Park after graduating.


What was the coolest class you took at ISU?

BOTANY 155!! Local Flora, taught by the world-renowned Dr. Lois Tiffany! How did I know about it? I studied the catalog from cover to cover, to find exciting classes to fulfill the general requirements. It was the Spring quarter of 1969, my freshman year.

What was the most useful class that I took (outside of my majors)?

English 404! Letter Writing. It was the Spring quarter of 1972, my senior year. I needed nine credits to graduate, but I wanted to fill my schedule. It was only two credits, but I have used the knowledge for the last fifty years.

It is going to sound odd, but my ‘coolest’ class was Comp E 280, the introductory computer engineering course. As a EE, I only took this class because it was required, and there were many horror stories about the complexity of this course. But I was blessed to pull the section that was taught by Joe (Papa Joe) Taschetta.

I was taken aback when he took polaroid pictures of the class in our seats during our first session and asked us to write our names or nicknames next to our picture. He honestly wanted to know us by name. He boiled this complex material (and a virtually unreadable textbook) down to a very simple set of rules. Our classes were engaging and enjoyable and we looked forward to attending them. He played his banjo for us one day.

Another day he brought in freshly baked bread. And one fine day, we had class outside. Our homework assignments were pertinent and time-effective. When we got to the departmental final, many of us feared that we would pay for the ease of Papa Joe’s sessions, but our class broke the curve for the entire department. Joe was a fantastic teacher and he made this class hugely enjoyable while thoroughly teaching us the material. I just learned that Joe passed away in 2018, but he left me, and I’m certain many others, with some fantastic memories.