This past Thursday, the Computer Science and Mathematics departments hosted a free Thursday night midnight screening of the film Hidden Figures for students.
“It was buckets of fun,” said Cassie Cejan ‘19. “Me and my suitor went together. We’d just gotten back from break and it was like we didn’t have to go back to class right away.”
Many professors even canceled class the day following the film. Students all reported feeling well-rested after the movie, as if break had not ended. Several are still exhausted, if not hungover, from winter break.
Cinematic inspiration has struck other professors as well. Many have decided to screen movies during or in lieu of class.
“I hate Monday morning classes. Surprisingly, most of my students do too!” Professor Parker, of the History department, stated. “So I’ve changed 8 AM classes to an 8 PM movie nights about “history.” This past weekend we watched an eight-part series about the history of chocolate milk. One lactose-intolerant student threw up. Whatever. Maybe if I beg the administration enough, we’ll be able to go see Hamilton!”
Some find that there aren’t enough movies written about their topics. Rather than abolishing the movies-instead-of-teaching idea, however, they have decided to make do.
“There are lots of computer science movies if you think about it” Comp-Sci Professor DePaulo, explained. “There’s Hackers, War Games, The Matrix, The Matrix 2…And they really show that in the real world, computer science majors get laid the most.”
While most students enjoy the new film-oriented curriculum, some are a bit confused.
“I took intro psych because I thought we’d be studying people,” Amanda Valentyn ‘20, complained. “But instead, we watched The Sixth Sense. It was weird, and now the professor thinks they’re a ghost.”
But most students are very excited about the new film-oriented classes.
“We’ve spent the past week watching Gossip Girl episodes and trying to guess who Gossip Girl is,” Shannen Pyre ‘18 said of her English seminar. “I’m pretty sure it’s Dorota, but it could really be anyone!”
Other professors are taking more liberty with their film choices. Several departments have decided to require their students to make short films about different issues.
“This entire semester is devoted to studies in film,” Professor Dark-Rain, of GWSS, explained to her students. “Once a week, we’ll make a short movie about sexism in the workplace.”
The new integration of film into the curriculum has created two new tutorials: Film Is Everything: A Study of Bias and History of the Strand. Students are now required to watch at least six movies at the Strand before graduation. All this talk of film has once again caused students to question why Grinnell has no film program. But once again, this student initiative has not garnered enough votes to pass.