Take advantage of interesting Gen-Eds: advice from a rising senior

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By Jacob Schaperow, editor-in-chief, @jschap1


With course registration coming up, it is time to set up advising meetings and print those four-year plans. However, there is another crucial component of course registration — talking to your friends about which electives to take. Of course, if you do not have any friends, or if you just want more info, then you could always read this column for recommendations.

I believe ENSP 101: Introduction to Environmental Science should be a universal requirement. Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field. Anybody who is interested in current events or politics or who just wants to know how the world works will learn a lot from the class. It covers the four Earth systems — the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere. The class fulfills a natural science requirement (DSNS).

If you take MUSC 205: History of Popular Music, a humanities class taught by musicologist Richard King, you will need to make time to listen to more than 100 popular songs, ranging from Elvis to Pearl Jam,  that are required “reading” for the class. I truly look forward to studying for this class.

Though it does not meet any Gen-Ed requirements and you will likely need special permission to enroll, KNES 152N: Coed Soccer (Beginning) makes a great way to get exercise during the week, with scrimmages during class.

Is soccer too much running for you? Consider taking KNES 134O: Coed Bowling (Intermediate). The only downside to this one-credit, seven-week-long class is that it meets both Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8 a.m. Oh, and you have to beat your average score for the final exam.

Do not worry, if you are not a KNES major, there is still hope! I hear CHEM 231 is fun. Just kidding — taking organic chemistry as an elective should be avoided, but a class that does not, in my experience, live up to its tough reputation is ECON 200 (DSHS). Surprisingly, microeconomics has a lot to do with government. The class definitely helped to shape my views on taxes and the role of government in the economy. Also, the textbook is hilarious.

Looking for an I-Series class?

For the past several years, Professor Madlen Simon has had her students work together to build cardboard chairs in ARCH 270: Design in Practice. With lots of group time in the Great Space, students in the  class got familiar with each other and with the architecture building. The class was also a crash course in the computer-aided design software Sketchup. Let’s just say my roommate was confused when I told him I had to measure the walls of our dorm room for homework. The class double counts as Scholarship in Practice, or DSSP.

Finally, for the math requirement, I want to push MATH 140: Calculus I. Taking calculus opens up doors. Multiple physics, chemistry, and biology classes list MATH 140 as a prerequisite. It will take a lot of work, but the self-confidence that comes with a basic understanding of calculus is worth it. Denny Gulick and Kasso Okoudjou are both good professors. They will motivate you to work hard.

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