- Mithila Iyer ’19 thought she might get to watch a lot of movies in her First-Year Tutorial on French new wave cinema, but quickly learned it was much more than that.
- First-Year Tutorial is the one required course at Grinnell and each one is taught by a different professor based on their personal and academic interests. So topics are vastly different from one year to the next.
- Mithila’s interest in French cinema persisted. She took a French seminar her senior year that explored masculine and feminine identities in French film, coming full circle.
Discover Your Interests
So my tutorial, which is the first and only required class that you're supposed to take at Grinnell, it, it's only first year students. It's taught by a professor in a particular department. But it doesn't necessarily have to relate to the department itself. Like, for example, a professor in the chemistry department could teach a tutorial about food, it has to do more with the academic and personal interests of the professor themselves. So my tutorial was called from text image, the French New Wave cinema movement, and it studied, how literature was transformed into one of the greatest, most pioneering cinematic movements of its time in 20th century France. And this had a lot to do with the political sociological upheavals at the time as well. So that was the topic of my tutorial. And I remember taking it and thinking, wow, I'm just maybe going to watch movies all the time in class, but it was so much more than that. We conducted so much research into the events that went behind kind of the impetus to this shift from text to image, literally, and I think I'm really fortunate in that I will be able to cap off my experience at dinner because I'll be taking a French seminar in the spring of my senior year, and that will be on masculine and feminine representations of identity in French film. So it is revisiting the past in a way but now with all the skills and kind of the nuances that I've acquired.
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