Common Intellectual Experience

All Majors & Minors

Kara Travis

Class Year



Lansdale, Pa


English with Secondary Education Certification


French and Creative Writing

Most Memorable Moment in Class

The texts I read in CIE 100 were centuries old, but my professor emphasized that we I needed to give our readings the same emotional importance as people from those eras and places, otherwise, we would not be able to understand the meaning of the work. So, when my classmates and I spoke Krishna’s lines from the Bhagavad-Gita in meek monotones, my professor took an empty can of Red Bull out of the recycle bin and put it in the front of the room. He told us that we had to deliver each of our lines again, with more feeling, and kick the can at the wall for punctuation. 

How did CIE change or challenge your view on something?

I had heard of The Communist Manifesto before CIE, but nothing positive that would have made me want to read it. Fortunately, I had to for CIE 200. I actually found its argument against the disparity of wealth and social classes interesting and still relevant. I found myself agreeing with some of Marx’s points when I originally thought I would not. 

What CIE will do for you?

When have you been asked to think about your beliefs and how they relate to others’? Before CIE, I would have said never. The point of CIE is not to change your beliefs – though it could – mostly, CIE provides the opportunity to recognize that there is another side to every story. My truth might not be yours. CIE offers a safe space for students to become aware of diverse viewpoints by reading and discussing challenging texts, which will allow them to therefore learn more about the world and themselves.