my pathway experience

Excellence, Rituals, and Challenges: A Study of the Ancient and Modern Olympic Games

Kayt Racz, a Communication Studies major from Worthington, Mass, discusses her Pathway course, Excellence, Rituals, and Challenges: A Study of the Ancient and Modern Olympic Games, with Exercise and Sport Sciences Professor Jean Eckrich.

What are some of the important things you've learned through the Pathway course?

I chose this pathway because it was related to sports and I enjoy sports. I also have always thought that the Olympics were an interesting time because all the countries of the world come together.

I learned many things while in the course. One of the most interesting things that I learned was how these countries work together and how the site is selected. I was surprised by how the Stepping Stone courses fit into the Pathway course itself. I never knew that courses like BUS115 would connect to the ancient Olympic Games.

Pathways are designed as theme-based and interdisciplinary. What were some major themes discussed in the course?

One major theme that we discussed in class was relationships between countries, athletes, etc. We went into depth about how countries work together to hold these games in a safe environment. Another theme that we discussed a lot was prejudice and what it does to people. We also went in depth about this topic and why the games are a good tool to break prejudice.

Please describe some of the resources used in the class.

The books used in class were helpful, but there was a lot of reading required which got hard at some times. The films used mostly focused on certain athletes and their achievements in the games.

Blackboard was a major resource we used—for the fact that every homework assignment was posted on it. There were also various outside articles and such. The outside articles were the most interesting because they gave you a perspective of a person rather than an overall perspective like the books.

What kinds of projects have you completed for the course?

There were many presentations and a few papers. There were also some debates. I enjoyed doing the debates because they were very interactive for the whole class and not just one student (like a presentation would be).

The name “Pathway” suggests a journey. How has the course and you and your classmates evolved from one year to the next?

There was definitely an increase in difficulty from year one to year two. But with the increase of difficulty came a more relaxed environment. The first year the class was much more structured. This year the class was very casual—which I enjoyed much more.

Each person in the class, you could tell, was much more comfortable talking and participating during the second year. The work load increased more for the second year which made the class more difficult than expected, but we all made it through.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I enjoyed my Pathway experience very much. The one thing that was great about it was that I was in a class with people that I would not normally be in class with. That was my favorite part!