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First Class Courses

A History of New Orleans

A History of New Orleans

Living in New Orleans, we cannot help but be aware that they are surrounded by history. By American standards, New Orleans is old and that fact is central to our identity. Indeed, to walk through the city is to immerse yourself in a tangibly historic landscape, something we market endlessly to tourists. But ask around about the history of New Orleans and you will receive wildly different interpretations of what it is, usually in the form of stories that use creative fictions to distort historical realities. This course will invite you to challenge such mythologies by unpacking the motivations that have kept such narratives alive. Our material will encourage you to think critically about tangible matters affecting Loyola’s home from roughly 1650, when it was only a concept, until the late 20th century, including the social, political, economic, cultural, and geographical factors that have shaped who we are. Along the way we will hear from voices that have for too long gone unrepresented. Lastly, we will explore the factors that drive a common tendency to think of New Orleans as “unique” and therefore exceptional by considering the many ways it is representative, and thus, universal.

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A History of New Orleans - Course Syllabus

Friends on the Mississippi

Nola's Sonic Landscape - Chasing the Musical Experiences and Evolution of Public Performance in New Orleans

Students in this course will explore New Orleans' street music in all of its forms. From musical buskers to Mardi Gras Indian culture, vegetable men, and second line brass bands, students will gain a new perspective on the evolution of both the city and its sonic landscape, within which we are so deeply immersed. Lastly, in addition to learning about New Orleans' rich tradition of cultural torch bearers, students will study the practice of performance and what makes these iconic sounds so lasting and revered.

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Nola’s Sonic Landscape - Course Syllabus

Figuring things out

Design Thinking

We are often asked in life to solve problems that don’t have a simple solution, and sometimes we have to do this in a certain amount of time. In order to harness our thinking and maximize creativity on a deadline, we can employ the same methods used every day by designers to solve problems for their clients. These methods, called Design Thinking, involve planning, strategy, and the use of a set of systems to develop creative solutions whenever necessary.

Design Thinking is the practice of strategic problem solving and decision making, a technique that has been used by designers for generations, but is now being used in hospitals, businesses, and in education to enhance team planning creative outcomes. Design thinking was originally developed from user interface design, a field in which designers must consider the user first while thinking creatively on a deadline. Students taking the Design Thinking course will use empathy, prototyping, and design systems to increase their creativity, efficiency, and organization in any area of life.

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Design Thinking - Course Syllabus

students in business class

How to Make Money

This class is for people who want to change the world for the better… and get rich in the process. Being in business is about anticipating needs, solving problems, and creating value through storytelling. This class explores the philosophies and practices that help today’s business people understand what creates and drives value in the marketplace. We will focus on both the big picture (how markets and competition work) and the small picture (the psychology of the individual consumer). Over the course of 10 weeks, this class will train you to out-think and out-maneuver your competition and how to systematically monetize being exceptional. We will explore concepts like branding, competitive advantage, differentiation, creativity, innovation, and the customer experience, and how they apply to you in a business and you as a business.

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How to Make Money - Course Syllabus