By BECCA TURNER
Whether or not you actually completed a four-year academic plan like your freshman advisor asked, it’s almost time to choose your fall classes – selection starts March 31 – and you should probably start looking on SpartanWeb. While some classes you choose will be dictated by your major or baccalaureate experience program, the eight courses below are some of this fall’s most engaging that any student may take:
Open Water (MAR 100), Professor Scott Lucci:
Those who have dreamt of exploring under the sea can learn how to scuba dive and get certified in this 7-week, 2 credit course. “I took scuba diving because it seemed like a fun elective,” said senior criminology and sociology double major Alexandra Clayton. “I’ve gone to school in Florida now for 3.5 years and decided it was time to get my scuba certification. I liked the class so much that I’m taking Advanced.” Students who take Open Water will learn with equipment provided by UT, except for snorkeling gear, both in the classroom and in the pool. Two days during the semester will be reserved for certification dives for which students should plan to provide their own transportation. The lab section (MAR 100L) must be taken too, but don’t worry if Open Water puts you at 18 credits because there is no credit add-on for the lab. Students should also be aware that this course requires a $150 lab fee and is offered during each seven-week session.
Beginning Jazz Dance I (DAN 141), Professor Corinne Colon:
If Footloose is your all-time favorite movie or you are just looking for a good workout, then Beginning Jazz Dance might be the perfect 2-credit class for you. While required for performing arts majors, there is no prerequisite for this course and students who have already taken it once are welcome to return for a second semester. It is a studio-and-performance-oriented course that works on the basics of jazz techniques. Students will work on barre, their strength, flexibility, posture and overall movement. As a bonus, it fulfills the arts/aesthetics and studio/performance baccalaureate experience sections.
Death Penalty (CRM 427), Dr. Cedric Michel:
The death penalty: there’s more to it than if you’re for it or against it. “This course is not designed to change anyone’s mind on the death penalty; merely to make students more informed on the practice — a punishment that is administered in our names,” Michel said. This 4-credit course teaches students about the penalty, its history and context, the crimes associated with it, the cultural differences involved and its ramifications. Students will learn about many of the death penalty both on a national and international level. “It also has current relevance since the Supreme Court recently ruled that Florida’s death penalty statutes violate the Sixth Amendment guaranteeing a jury trial,” Michel said. Students in this course also have the opportunity to visit a Florida prison and see death row inmates.
Basic American Sign Language I (ASL 101), Professor Michelle Henry:
Maybe Daphne Paloma Vasquez became one of your favorite television characters when Switched at Birth first aired in 2011 or maybe you’re just interested in learning a new language. Whatever the case, this 4-credit course will offer students the opportunity to learn basic sign language structure and vocabulary. Students will also learn about signing in context of psychology, socioeconomics and education within the U.S., as well as its worldwide history, interpreting it and manual communication systems as a whole. It also fulfills the humanities/fine arts baccalaureate experience section.
American Cinema (COM 260), Professors Lowell Harris, Don Guy and Dr. Gregg Bachman:
If you are always making film references, or you just want to learn more about film, then this 4-credit course might be right for you. There are five sections being offered this fall, but only twenty of 115 total seats are available if you are not either a film and media arts or communication major. So, don’t sleep in past your registration time if you hope to get one of these spots. The course will introduce students to the study of film in relation to American history and its cultural impact. Students will also learn through analysis of cinema. The course satisfies the humanities/fine arts and arts/aesthetics sections of the baccalaureate experience.
Acting I for Non-Majors (THR 204), professor TBA
In this 3-credit course students will experience the benefits of what is essentially a more eccentric public speaking class while getting a feel for life on the Falk Theatre stage. Students will work on traditional stage techniques, relaxation, observation and concentration skills through improvisation, monologues and scene work. Theatre majors should enroll in Acting I for Majors (THR 201) with Professor Finocchiaro instead. Both sections fulfill the art/aesthetics and studio/performance sections of the baccalaureate experience.
The Philosophy of Sex (PHL 399), Dr. Steven Geisz:
This 4-credit course does require students to have taken a philosophy course or have permission of the instructor, but it is certainly unique in the UT curriculum. The course will center on the philosophical issues of gender, sexual orientation, desire, perversion, consent and other related topics. It will also allow for comparison and contrast of perceptions of sex and sexuality in different cultures. Additionally, it covers the humanities/fine arts and international/global sections of the baccalaureate experience.
Hitler and Stalin Honors (HISH 270), Professor Terry Parssinen:
For honors students looking to further their knowledge of two of the most powerful revolutionaries in the world (or to fulfill a requirement), consider taking Hitler and Stalin. The 4-credit course will delve into the motivations behind these leaders and what allowed for them to take power and keep it. This course will fulfill both an honors course requirement and a social science requirement of the baccalaureate experience.
“First, it focuses on the two evil men who were largely responsible for the misery visited on the world from the 1920s through the 1950s. Never in European history have so many persons, perhaps as many as 20 million, been killed as a result of the ambitions and unscrupulous actions of two men,” said Terry Parssinen, professor of history. “Second, it is an attempt to look at history through the lens of biography, lately a much-neglected methodology in history.”
Before signing up for any of these classes, check your registration time on Spartanweb and talk to your academic advisor.