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Students in a Laboratory Classroom. // Photo from UM Digital Collections - Archives & Special Collections.

Students in a Laboratory Classroom. // Photo from UM Digital Collections - Archives & Special Collections

Alumni Answers: What was your most memorable class at the U of M?

August 14, 2018 — 

In a few short weeks, classrooms will be full and librarians busy as our students hit the books for their fall term. We can’t wait to hear what they’ll accomplish in the months ahead; but, in the meantime, we want to hear from you – our alumni – about your own student days.

Tell us: what was your most memorable class at the U of M?

Was it an elective that completely changed your career path? Was it taught by a prof who was really inspiring? Maybe you got to take a break from the classroom and learn “in the field”.

Let us know about your experience in the comments below or email alumni_answers [at] umanitoba [dot] ca by Sept. 3, 2018.   

We’ll post our favourite answers on Sept. 5, so visit the alumni network page to see if your story was included!


Alumni Answers is our way of building community with our alumni by sharing memories, ideas, and opinions with one another. Every month, we’ll pose a new question to make us ponder, laugh, or learn together.  Want to get next month’s question sent straight to your inbox? Email alumni_answers [at] umanitoba [dot] ca with “Sign me up!” in the subject line.


3 comments on “Alumni Answers: What was your most memorable class at the U of M?

  1. AnnaLee Parnetta BHEc BEd MEd

    My most memorable class was called Meeting the Needs in the Near Environment. This was a mandatory first year general human ecology class. Our textbook was written by prominent home economist Eleanor Vaines. This class was also where I meet my best friend. I moved to Winnipeg to take human ecology. It knew no one. It was this class the allowed me to gain a best friend Jillian Galay. This class provided me with an explanation to my purpose as to why I wanted to become a home economist. I also did a paper that I received a mark of 100%. It was the only time I ever received that mark and I still have that paper and the textbook. After completing my human ecology degree I worked for ten years and then completed an education degree and became a home ec teacher. Ten years after that I enrolled in the UBC home economics and everyday living cohort. It was then I had to write a reflective paper on me and my chosen professional path. The first thing I thought of was the book by Vaines. Through out my three years masters program I reflected many times on the book, what Professor Shannon taught in that class and the short paper that I wrote that I aced. That class gave me a purpose and direction in 1987 and gave me a purpose and direction again in 2011. And to the student counselled in human ecology who told me I would be lucky to complete one degree… three degrees later I may make my own path to achieve. I was never the so called perfect academic student but I knew what I wanted to do with my life and I have been thankful for the home economics professors who believed in my abilities and my path.

  2. Hugh Chatfield

    Definitely a chemistry class. The prof was trying to demonstrate the process of Thermite reaction. he had a funnel set up with the aluminum powder and iron oxide powder, with a metal dish filled with sand underneath to catch the molten metal. He tried to start the reaction – nothing – so he gave up, but moved the metal dish just a bit. He started into the lecture when – poof- the reaction happened, the molten metal shot out, hit the side of the metal pan, melted its way through, then rolled down the length of the desk, setting all his lecture notes on fire. The class gave him a standing ovation. The fire was put out with no other harm.

    On a more serious note, i have to describe my honours physics lab. One of the classic experiments was to determine the ratio of e/m for the electron. A first team that tried it got the “wrong answer”. A second team repeated the experiment and got the same “wrong answer”. The prof then assigned both teams the problem of why a “wrong answer”. The first team couldn’t explain it so created amusing “new physics”. The second team noticed the the filament was held tight by two small springs. Springs are coils that produce a magnetic field when current passes through it. The team calculated this magnetic field and factored it in and got the “right answer”. Now observe that decades of students used this apparatus and always got the “right answer” +/- some error factor – even though it is impossible to do so. In other words, they learned to fudge the experimental results to get the expected answer. Critical lesson learned.

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