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Students gain insight into Vietnamese history

Vietnam-riversideSince sorority recruitment occurs before the start of spring semester, everyone involved in Greek Life must return to campus one week early in order to push through hours of recruitment practice.

From morning until night, us sisters spent time together in order to be as prepared as possible, and I knew that I needed a distraction from the pre-recruitment stress. In order to receive a break, I decided to take Dr. Claire Strom’s Intersession, Movies and the Vietnam War.

I did not figure out until I was in the class that it was actually part one of a three-part excursion to Vietnam with Dr. Strom.

After the Intersession, students attending the post-course trip also take a history course called “Aspects of War: Vietnam”.

The third part is the trip to Vietnam itself, where students will hike through jungles and embrace Vietnamese culture.

Unfortunately, I only participated in the Intersession, although the trip certainly piqued my interest.

The homework load was wonderfully (and unexpectedly) light. We were assigned a 97-page reading assignment that went over the history of the Vietnam War; this was to be done prior to the Intersession over winter break.

As long as you do not start reading during the last few days of break—as I did—it is not overwhelming at all. Aside from the reading, there was no homework during the course.

Every day was divided into two halves; the first was spent watching films about the Vietnam War like Platoon, Good Morning Vietnam, Boys From Company C, and others. After the movie, we were given a ten-minute break, and then we were put into groups to discuss different aspects of what we watched.

For example, we discussed the roles of African-Americans, women, the Vietnamese, and the film techniques in each movie.

Overall, I found the experience to be incredibly insightful and interesting.

Dr. Strom encouraged us to participate in discussions that kept everyone’s attention.

I left the class not just understanding more about the Vietnam War, but also about the history and culture of the entire nation as well as the United States.

The course was a great way to catch a break from sorority recruitment and get back into the swing of having class.

If this Intersession is offered again in the future, I definitely suggest signing up for Dr. Strom’s course to anyone who has an interest in the era.

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