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Thinking outside the classroom

10/12/2012

With boredom befalling his students, one teacher decided to try something new by moving his class outside.

Dr. Llewellyn Cook held his Western Civilization class in the outdoor amphitheater. Over 25 students attended the lecture on Greek culture.

“Well, it’s nice being in a Greek theater talking about the Greeks,” says Dr. Cook.

The amphitheater played a part in the lecture, especially when Dr. Cook covered Greek theater. Dr. Cook explained that the amphitheater was a Greek idea, and was used to present both tragic and comedic Greek theater. Dr. Cook explained the plays of Aeschyles, Sophocles, Aristophanes and Euripides with great enthusiasm. His passion for theater is what led him to have class in the amphitheater.

“I love the drama department here at JSU and was thrilled to find out there was an outdoor amphitheater,” says Dr. Cook. He went on to discuss Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

When asked what inspired him to move his class outside, Dr. Cook says, “I was trying to think of interesting ways to teach freshmen and to make college life more interesting than just the same old lecture, same old thing, day after day.” He went on to say, “I like giving the freshmen something else to do than just sitting in class all the time.”

Dr. Cook lamented that there were not more opportunities to hold classes outside. “I would love it if we had more spaces at JSU for outdoor education,” says Dr. Cook.

The students seemed to enjoy the change of pace. Julie Anderson, a freshman, says, “He is very entertaining and keeps you focused and you can go and talk to him if you need help. I like the class.”

Chris Jones, a freshman, agreed that having class outside was fun. He went on to say, “It’s a really interesting
professor, so he makes it interesting no matter where it is.”

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