Professor Yago Colas's CompLit374: Writing the Sporting Body was strongly recommended by sophomore Allie Breitfeller in a recent article.

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Registration: Professor in the Hot Seat
by Allie Breitfeller
Women's Lacrosse

With registration approaching for the fall semester, it is important to get the inside scoop on the best classes and teachers at Michigan. I am a sophomore and have experienced a handful of classes, but this winter semester I had the opportunity to take CompLit374: Writing the Sporting Body.

This winter semester was the first time the class was offered, and I strongly recommend it, especially to student-athletes.

CompLit374 explores sports writing from a different perspective. The course takes an analytical approach that focuses on descriptions of the human body that engages in athletic performance, rather than an athlete's statistics.

The class is split into two parts: The first half focuses on developing a knowledge and vocabulary that allows you to write about the sporting body. The second half is a study of seven different cases that allow you to utilize the tools you've learned and actually write about these seven different sporting events.

This is the kind of class that looks overwhelming on a syllabus, but it is actually extremely doable and quite enjoyable. Although this particular class will not be offered again until winter 2016, Professor Colas will be teaching a different class in the fall, CompLit 100: Global X. This will be a lecture-based course focused on literature and sports.

After taking CompLit 374 with Professor Colas, I strongly recommend you experience having him as a teacher.

Professor Colas teaches his students skills that can be taken outside of the classroom.

"A bit part of education is to understand the ways in which our lives are like stories and to focus on the kinds of stories that occupy the majority of our time," Colas said.

The most important skill he teaches his students is how to narrate these stories so that they have the ability to shape what happens next.

As student-athletes, we dedicate more than 20 hours a week to our sport. Professor Colas seeks to give students the ability to transition the skills we learn from our sport into our writing in order to narrate our own story as an athlete to expand our opportunities in life rather than limit ourselves. 

Colas wants his students to have the skillset to become the best version of themselves. He uses the study of sports culture through his composition classes to teach his students these important skills.

Through my experience as a student-athlete, I believe that Professor Colas is one of the best professors on campus. He gives students the ability and confidence to grow as individuals and writers.