I’m teaching a First Year Seminar course this fall on the hit Broadway musical, Hamilton.
The first question I have gotten when I drop this news on friends and acquaintances has been, “But wait. Where’s the chemistry? Aren’t you a chemistry professor?” I promptly reply that I have the benefit of a liberal arts education and thus I can teach anything I put my mind to. The responses have ranged from skeptically respectful to admiration to my former Dean who announced, “Well, Laura, you certainly don’t shy away from big challenges.”
Maybe I should mention that my father, now a retired chemistry professor, has been teaching a series of continuing education courses on Europe between WWI and WWII. This apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
This morning, I met my class for the first time, and a full half of the students responded to the question, “Rate your knowledge of Hamilton on the scale of none to obsessed” by answering, “Obsessed.” The key will be to satisfy the obsessed students while not losing the students who are new to the musical, but there’s already a huge amount of energy in the Room where it Happens.
Here’s the video where we started today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNFf7nMIGnE