Are you looking for an intriguing and fun elective to fill up your schedule or fulfill a requirement? Though it sometimes takes a bit of searching to find, Ulster offers a number of unique and innovative courses to bring some excitement into your semester. Here’s just a few you can sign up for this spring!
Personally, I’ve seen enough students with band-related apparel to safely say that many of you love rock music. Why not learn more about it in this informative class that covers every aspect of the genre? You get to learn about the history of rock music from its pre-50s roots to today, including its social causes and effects, style trends, and the backgrounds of many performers and songwriters who worked within it. Every other aspect of the business is covered too, as the course description says other topics are “language geared towards the non-musician musical features of rock: instrumentation, melodic/harmonic/rhythmic details, performance styles, lyrics, visual aspects (personal appearances, album covers, etc.), and production/recording techniques.” Of course, you get to listen to a great deal of music, both in and out of the classroom. What could beat receiving college credit for listening to music you already love? Professor Gregory Dinger, who teaches the class, says “The students are assigned a lot of listening outside of class, and we do some playful things in class like “create” appropriate song titles or group names. Some of the written assignments include “Your Favorite and a Least Favorite Song,” reactions to a reading on the “Negative Reactions to early Rock & Roll,” and interviewing someone (of the right age) as to who they preferred in the 1960s: The Beatles or The Rolling Stones.”
If you like writing, this is the course for you. Although it’s a 200-level Communications course, this class can be taken by anyone who has taken ENG 102. Students get to learn about many aspects of the journalism industry, including the development and research, writing, and editing processes used to create feature stories for newspapers and magazines. Best of all, students in the class staff the campus newspaper and contribute articles for credit. Anyone interested in writing or journalism can benefit from this experience and exposure! Professor Robert Pucci, who teaches this class, offers, “The feature journalism class gives the student an opportunity to experience the working environment of a freelance article writer. Students research markets, target publications, write query letters and complete three magazine articles geared to their interests. In the past feature articles written for the class have appeared in local publications.”
Who doesn’t love looking at the stars? The astronomy course here at Ulster offers not only the opportunity to attend a night sky observation (with a telescope and professional input!), but also the chance to learn more about the fascinating world outside our planet of moons, asteroids, meteors, and comets. Professor Steven Schimmrich, who teaches the class, says, “Students learn to use a freeware program called Stellarium which allows you to view the night sky from any location on Earth at any date or time which allows them to predict when and where to observe planets and other celestial objects. Students are introduced to the latest data being returned from NASA missions to various planets, moons, asteroids, and comets in our solar system.” The history of the solar system up through the current search for extraterrestrial life and new planets is also covered. This course is designed for all majors, and actually fulfills a Natural Science elective you might need for graduation.
If you can fit one in, it’s always good to have a class to take purely for the joy of learning! Read more about the courses and find out what requirements they fulfill by clicking on the names above. Be sure to register for these and your other classes before they fill up!