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Eclectic courses among popular ones

Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013

Updated: Thursday, January 10, 2013 18:01


Students rearranged their schedules through the first week of classes as they worked to find courses that will not only assist them with their degree objectives, but that will also hold their interest throughout the semester. Course registration, without penalty fees, closes Friday.

Some of the elective courses have more interesting titles than others.  


Boot Camp Fitness: PEM 2930 sections 010, 020, 028

Students in this course participate in exercises, such as sprints and push-ups, that require them to “gain a lot of power in a short amount of time,” Lisa Vaccaro, a junior majoring in biomedical sciences, who is currently enrolled in the course, said. 

“So far while taking boot camp, my muscles already ache, but by the time Spring Break rolls around, I know it’ll be worth it,” Vaccaro said.


Culture Studies and Popular Arts “Harry Potter”: LIT 3301, section 008

The course, which is open to juniors and seniors, will count toward credit as a Gordon rule communications course, as well as a writing intensive credit. 

There is more than 4,100 pages of required reading for the class — all seven books that complete the Harry Potter series.

Ann Basso, professor for the course, said this is the first time the course is being offered. 

Within 17 minutes of registration opening, the course was filled. It will likely be offered again.

Basso said she gave students a survey on the first day of class to “gauge the level of fanaticism.” At least half the class read each book at least twice — many reading them three times or more.

Leslie Haire, a junior majoring in sociology, said she loved the Harry Potter series for years, and always enjoyed reading the books and watching the movies.

“I took the class because I can’t get enough of Harry Potter,” said Haire. “I wanted to look at the books from a literary and educational standpoint, rather than an entertainment standpoint as I have in the past.”

Basso said there is much to gain from a literary standpoint.

“Harry Potter is not just a straight fictional children’s story,” Basso said. “There are layers of meaning, which in my mind is the definition of literature. It changes, and you get more out of it, on subsequent reading.” 


Ancient Egypt: HIS 3930, section 002

A special topics course offered by the history department, Ancient Egypt will inform students about the history the Nile Valley before the formation of the Egyptian state. 

Kristina Meyer, a junior majoring in secondary social studies education, took the course to fulfill a requirement towards her major. 

“I loved the mummies,” said Meyer. “At one point we were talking about how (the mummies) were ground up and turned into dust and used as medicine in the medieval ages.”


Heresy, Magic, Witchcraft 1400 – 1700: HIS 3930, section 017

Susan Boettcher, a history professor, teaches this course on the “flipside” of Europe’s religious era, one in which

heretics, witches and magicians were studied.  

“It’s fascinating,” she said. “The process of creating others, or demonizing people — that’s something that still goes on today. There are many parallels. We look at witch hunters and we say they’re prosecuting these things that are not actually occurring, yet time after time people confessed to these things that we now say couldn’t possibly be occurring. There are interesting parallels to things like terrorism, where people are suspected of doing things and at first they say they didn’t do it and then they confess, so there’s the whole question if whether terrorism exists the way those who prosecute it say it does.”


Italian Food in Films: FOL 4101

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