The True Crime class Jim Groom and I have been working on starts tomorrow, and I’m pretty excited about it. The topic is so compelling – who doesn’t love a good story of violence and corruption and crime and justice? But it also brings in many other strands – something about our American culture, something about the human condition, history, media, the ways things change over time and the ways in which they stay the same.
Even better than the material we have to work with is what we plan to have the students do. Or should I say “what the students get to do?” They get to make TV shows rather than write papers. It will be a lot of work, but it should also be a lot of fun. We’re also putting the students front and center and having them lead class sessions. It’s always the students that make a class what it is, but we’re really putting them in the driver’s seat. Again, that’s asking a lot of them, but I think they should get a lot out of it.
The class might not run like a well-oiled machine, but nothing innovative does. I think it’s awesome that UMW provides opportunities like this for students and faculty to experiment, and I’m just glad to be part of it.