This post is part of a small series of posts written by current Honors students about their experiences with the Honors Program. They will be talking about their classes, capstones, anything that pertains to their journey through the program!
By Emilie Scardilla ’17 A&S, Policy Studies
My advisor told me, “You need to take more humanities for Honors.” As a social sciences major, I reluctantly looked through the Honors course list, finding only social science courses interesting, until I saw an intriguing title for a humanities course: “Arts without Borders,” which was taught by Professor John English from The Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University. I thought this course sounded like it would fit with one of my majors, International Relations, and I had played violin and sang all throughout my life, so an art-related course would help me stay in-touch with my artsy side. As it has now been a year since I took “Arts Without Borders,” I still often find myself thinking about the course and what I learned there.
One of the best aspects of the course in my opinion is that we were required to attend events outside of class and review them. These events consisted of the annual Setnor School’s opera production, an orchestral concert at the OnCenter, a visit to Everson Museum, and a music and dance event of our choice. Although it is hard to go to events as a college student, whether they are on or off-campus, I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to do so. My friend who I went to the opera with and I still to this day talk about the performance of Don Giovanni we saw. It was great to support other Syracuse University students in an intense and difficult show like that. The other amazing event that I clearly remember was Diavolo, at The Landmark Theatre. Diavolo is a troupe that specializes in “Architecture in Motion.” This event was absolutely incredible and I have never seen any dance performance like this. This is one event in particular that I knew I probably wouldn’t have gone to if it was not for this course, because it was during a very busy time for me. I am so happy that I got to experience these two events and they may not have happened without this course.
Professor English is key component to the success of the course. He challenged me and my classmates to think outside of the box and question what is considered art. He exposed us to different types of arts through videos, songs, pictures, acting out plays, and even from each other. We, the students, had to do our very own presentations numerous times. This was a great part of the course as well because we learned from each other and we gave constructive criticism to each other after our presentations. I learned how to make an engaging yet simple PowerPoint Presentation and also how present and what I could improve. This course helped me grow in ways beyond how I view art.
What can I say to my fellow Honors Community? Take HNR 240, Arts Without Borders, and go on a journey you will not expect to take.