Eastern Magazine
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Eastern Michigan University

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10 Unique Classes at EMU

by Leah Shutes

Most students don’t approach general education requirements with much enthusiasm, waiting on tenterhooks to get into the good stuff. But at EMU, it’s a little different. Eastern offers some really cool gen ed courses for students to fulfill credits, explore subjects, have some fun and maybe even discover a new major. Who says a camping course isn’t as educational as economics? Save the no-nonsense courses for Harvard.

PHIL 375 W: Metaphysics is the study of questions concerning the basic structure and ultimate nature of reality. If you ask me, every university should have a class like this. “What kinds of things exist? What accounts for change over time? How can something be the same thing after it has undergone change? What is the nature of the mind? Do we have free will?” The class challenges ideas of space and time, determinism and freedom, and questions the self, materialism, idealism, and substance and process. Far out, dude.

PSY 240: The Psychology of Sex part 1— School or not, this is the 21st century and sex is probably the hottest, and most controversial, topic in the book. Why not have a class on it? The course addresses human sexuality from a psychological standpoint. The scientific study of human sexuality, interpersonal relationships, and sexual anatomy and physiology are discussed. Sexually transmitted infections, contraception, sexual problems and solutions, conception, and birth are some other topics. That’s what she said.

PEGN 177: Bicycle Touring—This class sounds just like what one needs for some easy, and fun, credit. There is some discussion about safety while biking, bike maintenance, group riding and places to ride, such as gravel and trail options. Students bring their own bikes and helmets or rent them for the class and cycle through Hines Park in Livonia.

PLSC 314/316: Civil/Criminal Mock Trial and Legal Process covers the basics of trial process, specifics of mock trial competition and introduces the fundamental elements of the legal process. Legal methodology is developed throughout the semester. This course is used to train and practice for the University’s Mock Trial Team competitions, but students may take the course without participating on the team.

ATM 279: Fashion Forecasting predicts trends in the fashion industry. Knowledge of fashion design and history, and business information help in the prediction process. Students learn how fashion changes within cycles, to understand forecasting tools and to present a fashion forecast. Then, many can be employed with design firms and retail markets.

CRM 338: Women, Crime and Justice takes a look at gender and criminal justice as it relates to women as victims, offenders and agents of the criminal justice system. Additionally, the social conditions of criminality and intervention strategies, as well as social action and criminal justice policy reform are examined.

RECR 280L: Camping— Sign me up! Students take a weekend camping trip and learn through lecture and demonstration: map and compass reading; ropes and knot tying; campfire construction; camping tool use and maintenance; and tents (who couldn’t use a course in how to set up that pesky tent?). Meal preparation, use of tools, and toxic plants and animals are also discussed.

Basic River Kayaking: PEGN 256—The White Water Kayak course emphasizes safety, enjoyment and skill acquisition for entry through intermediate levels of kayaking, and for individuals in public, private and commercial settings.

ASTR 315/591: Observational Astronomy— Though this course isn’t uncommon at universities, it is an inspiring one; a lot of students find a new interest in the stars and some even take up astronomy or physics as majors. Students learn the history of astronomy, its famous pioneers, and most importantly, our neighboring planets and stars. Eastern’s new planetarium classroom even allows the instructor to rewind and fast-forward the positions of the stars.

COSC 105: Computing and Social Responsibility— Most Internet users probably don’t realize they still have some social responsibility. This class combines lecture and lab to explore something that isn’t often heard about. Computing and Social Responsibility explores ethical issues faced by everyday computer users and uses hands-on practice with a broad variety of online and computer productivity tools to support socially responsible computer use.