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Gen Eds That Don’t Suck

Taking Gen Eds is often the worst part of college. They are basically the flaming hoops you have to jump through before you get to the stuff you’re actually looking forward to studying. And now that it’s registration time, we’re all scrambling to make sure we fulfill our respective requirements. However, Gen Eds don’t have to suck, and for your personal edification we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ones out there.

ENGL/CHEM 233; Chemistry and Literature : This class counts as a science, but is taught by both an English professor AND a Chem professor. For those of you who aren’t science majors and have to get those credits, this is a great option to explore the cultural aspect of modern chemistry. You also get to see two professors go head to head and everyone loves a good 8 a.m. morning brawl.

SC 200; Science In Our World: This self explained “science appreciation course” is another one to take if you aren’t that into test tubes and goggle marks on your forehead. According to a fellow Onward State staffer, you basically keep a blog about whatever you want, you just have to relate it somehow back to science. This is more of a thinking-based class rather than a formula plugging class. If you still aren’t sold, I’m told the professor has an awesome accent.

COMM 150; Intro to Film Studies: You go to class and watch movies. Enough said.

ENT 202; The Insect Connection: I took this class, another science Gen Ed, last semester. I’m not overly fond of bugs, but the class was interesting and made me appreciate how much bugs actually help us out. Our notes were basically of the fill in the blank variety, and the quizzes (which are open book) are opened back up before the exams so you can practice over and over again. Definitely an easy and fun class. Make sure you get Professor Hoover though.

English 050; Creative Writing: If you’ve ever wanted to write your own novel or poetry for that next slam session, creative writing is for you. We’ve heard it’s a pretty fun class — even football players like it.

CMLIT106; The Arthurian Legend: I loved this class, and it can either count as a humanities or an international cultures GE. We basically learned about the origins of the King Arthur story, and also explored how the story has evolved in different cultures and time periods (including modern day). We also watched a lot of Monty Python.

THEA 100; The Art of the Theater: This is supposed to be one of the best and well known classes on campus, so I don’t think I need to sell it to you.

KINES 028; Fencing: If you ever wanted to learn how to fight like an 18th century pirate, make sure you sign up for this class.

CMLIT 120; The Literature of the Occult: Apparently Harry Potter is considered an occult novel, as it is one of the readings you will do in this class. The major focus is on “important literary works dealing with witchcraft, demonology, vampirism, ghosts, and related concepts, from biblical times to present.” Just watch out for a Twilight appearance.

GEO SC 040; The Sea Around Us: This is another staff pick, and supposedly a pretty easy class. If you’ve ever wanted to know why there is salt in the ocean or learn more about beaches, this is the science class for you.

KINES 90; Basketball: You get to play basketball and get extra credit for going to games. Sign me up.

 ENGL 136; The Graphic Novel: AKA COMIC BOOKS. This is a class about comic books, folks.

Any INART class (and a lot of them are online): INART 116 The History of Rock and Roll, INART 125 The History of Punk Rock, INART 200 Elvis Presley-The King of Rock and Roll, INART 205 Introducing the Beatles, INART 220 Stand Up Comedy-A Cultural History

MUSIC 004; Film Music: In this GE there are lessons on the music of Indiana Jones/Star Wars, and you get to watch a few movies like Casablanca, Atonement, and Psycho, among others. The class is offered online and the quizzes and tests are pretty easy.

KINES 77; Yoga: Yoga only meets twice a week and is very chill. There are some weird out-of-class assignments, though, like calling three people that you have hurt in the past to apologize to them. From a girl in the  class, “The assignments aren’t that bad, and the teacher I had graded really easy! I also got really toned and would definitely get a workout on some of the days, if you want that as a part of a kines class.”

KINES 072; Fitness Walking: You just walk around campus…..literally, that’s it. Occasionally the instructor has people race, which is harder than one might expect. Otherwise, it’s a joke.

KINES 076; Introduction to Tai Chi: Another chill kines class, but it’s hard to keep a straight face when the instructor is telling you to “wipe the chi off your face.”

KINES 017; Ballroom Dancing: Ballroom dancing with Jolene Nickel is a lot of fun. The skills you learn are totally useful at parties, weddings, and formals, not to mention very impressive. It can get a little stressful around exams, but it’s worth it for the experience.

Even if some of these are already filled up, make sure you remember your favorites. There’s always next semester! Also help your fellow students out — post your favorite Gen Eds in the comments!

Olivia Kerrigan and Catie Simpson collaborated on this post.

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About the Author

Catie Simpson

Catie is a junior majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. She's also the resident townie and culinary enthusiast due to a brief stint at the CIA (the culinary school not the secret government agency). She currently works at a Baby Temperament Lab on campus where she tries to get babies to do dangerous things. She's also on the twitter.

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