By Maggie Dunning
Selecting courses is like shopping for shoes. Do you go practical or fun? Which brand do you buy?
There are reasons for getting tennis shoes, work boots, cowboy boots, pumps, and stilettos from brands you know you like. There are also reasons why people branch out and buy shoes from brands they don’t know as well. Either way you still end up with a pair of shoes that you now have to coordinate into your life.
Three new classes and a class that has been taught this semester will be offered in the fall semester are “The World of Winnie the Pooh,” “Doctrine of the Trinity,” “Communicating in Team Work, Leadership and Groups,” and “50 Shades of Green.”
Each class is worth three credit hours. They are listed in the catalog as ENG 255, REL455, COMM340 and NSCI255.
Vital Voranau, professor of Belarusian history, said his interest in Winnie the Pooh started as a child.
“As a kid who was raised in Belarus and then later in Poland I knew the story by its Russian adaptation. It was great,” said Voranau.
Voranau is using a cross-disciplinary approach to teaching the class which can be taken as a credit for English or philosophy.
“Four different teachers will be contributing to the course,” said Voranau.
Each of the four professors will give an introductory lecture.
The professors are John Scaggs, professor of English, Carrie Lane, associate professor of psychology, James Mastrangelo, assistant professor of political science, and Jackson Lashier, assistant professor of religion.
Each introductory lecture will take one class period. After they are done, Voranau will step in.
Voranau said he wants to show that a book that seems simple on the surface can actually have deep implications.
“This is actually what I define as a genius book, a book that can be read on different levels by children and adults. Children still perceive it as extremely funny, hilarious, interesting and exciting; whereas adults can approach it in a completely different way, perceiving the complexity of the book,” said Voranau.
Jackson Lashier, assistant professor of religion, said he choose to teach about the trinity because it is the fundamental and most important Christian doctrine.
Lashier said his class is one where he expects students to read the text and come to class ready to interact.
“The beginning part of the class is going to be ‘this is what the trinity is’. We are going to explore the Biblical foundations of the trinity in the New Testament. We are going to look at how it developed historically and why it did,” said Lashier.
“Then, this is the most exciting part, I think. We are going to look at how we can repurpose it today,” said Lashier.
Lashier said that it is an upper level class.
He said, “I don’t think it’d be good for an incoming freshman. I don’t want them to get over-whelmed.”
“I like to push students and demand a lot of them because I think they can rise to that occasion if they try,” said Lashier.
“There will be some writing. There will be some thinking. There will probably be a lot of reading. I don’t want that to dissuade anybody but that will be the reality of it,” said Lashier
“I want other voices in there. It would even be good if they weren’t all Christians, just to hear somebody else.”
Tracy Frederick, professor of communication, said that COMM340 is a combination of other courses she has taught in the past.
She said that in the course students will learn theories, but that it will be an activity type course.
“When I say that what I mean is students will be working in teams and will be put in different team situations. For example, there’s a time we study how to higher people. I give them resumes and they work in teams in order to determine who they will hire for certain jobs,” said Frederick.
Frederick said her course is really about understanding how to communicate with others.
“That will include interpersonal situations, discussing intercultural communication in organizations and becoming other oriented,” said Frederick.
Frederick hopes that students become other oriented from her course.
Tamara McEwen, assistant professor of biology will be teaching 50 shades of Green next semester.
“We decided to recycle it and do it in the fall, to increase our gen-ed offerings in natural sciences,” said McEwen.
McEwen said that next semester the course will be taught a little different.
“I would really like to do more of the hands on stuff. More time to have group discussion, group activities. Less lecture, more hands on,” said McEwen.
McEwen said one of the main challenges facing the class was that in general education classes there’s a wide breathe of students.
“We’ve got communication majors, we’ve got business majors, we’ve got music majors, and then we do have a few biology majors. Part of the challenge in it is seeing how you can make it relevant to everybody in the class,” said McEwen.
McEwen’s goal for this course is to increase the knowledge base so that consumers can make better informed decisions.
Registration for fall class selections begin on March 8 at 12:01 a.m.
Maggie Dunning is a communication freshman. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.