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Examining Some Of Penn State’s Most Intriguing Classes

As we crawl toward the final few weeks of this spring semester, it’s almost time to put together your schedule for next fall.

LionPATH and its Schedule Builder can strike fear and panic in just about any Penn State student, but we decided to take a different, more positive approach to the struggle of picking out classes. After scanning Schedule Builder for a few minutes putting in countless hours of research, we’ve created a comprehensive analysis of the most interesting classes you can take at Penn State — one solely based on their names and descriptions.

These courses might not count for anything on your schedule, but they’d surely spice things up if you’re searching for some eye-opening gen eds.

IT 470: Ghost Storytelling

This is so awesome.

According to the description of Italian 470 on Schedule Builder, this course examines “ghost storytelling and visions of the afterlife in early Italian literature and culture.” Works by the likes of Dante and Machiavelli are examined throughout the class, and topics such as mortality, grief, spirituality, and even ethics are discussed.

The best part about this class? It is taught fully in English, and no knowledge of Italian is expected. There’s currently one section of this class being offered next fall, and the only prerequisite is that you must be a student with fifth semester standing.

If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, you’d be crazy not to join this class and discuss the ghost of Italy’s past.

NAVSC 201: Sea Power & Maritime Affairs

Naval Science as a subject sounds awesome, but we focused on this course because it sounds the coolest. NAVSC 201 discusses the evolution of naval power and its effects on world history, along with global stability.

Have you ever watched a YouTube video of a fighter jet landing on an aircraft carrier? Me too. It’s freaking awesome. I’d love to learn about the powers of sea warfare and how it’s developed over the years to get to that point. I also would consider myself a fairly talented Battleship player, so I’d probably be a bit ahead of the curve if I took this class.

Other classes offered within this Naval Science window include Nav Op/Seamanship and Evolution of Warfare. In all seriousness, these classes sound extremely interesting, but something tells me you need to have a pretty focused major to take them. If you do fit the bill, then enjoy these classes, and please feel free to let me know how they are.

HIST 492: Witchcraft

This class’s description is pretty simple. Here’s what Schedule Builder says:

The Salem Witch trials were pretty crazy, but we’d love to get a more in-depth look at how and why all of that actually happened. Why was everyone calling each other witches? Could people not just chill out for a second?

The only knock on this class is that a prerequisite for it is History 002 (Western Civilization). That class was so boring in high school, and we don’t know if we’d be able to take it again just to have some of our witchy questions answered.

METEO 5: Severe & Unusual Weather

Let’s talk about severe and unusual weather phenomena.

This class, which is described as accessible to students with a variety of backgrounds, discusses weather events that have had unusual effects on the world’s cultures and economies. Everything from American westward migration in the 1930s during the Dust Bowl to the Blizzard of 1888 are examined.

Along with that, the science of hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, flash floods, and everything else in between are made part of lectures.

This course covers a GN credit, so we highly recommend it for anyone in need of that. I myself have not taken the class, but learning about crazy weather patterns at Penn State’s top-notch meteorology program seems like a no-brainer to me.

Honestly, the weather is such an underappreciated and interesting part of our planet, and I seriously regret not taking this class during my time as a Penn State student.

HIST 157: Railroads & American Society

Another underappreciated topic I’d like to learn more about? The American rail system.

This class provides a “panoramic view” of the 200-year history of railroads in the United States and discusses the effects it had on daily life and the economy. The course works all the way up to the modern day, including discussions on Amtrak and inter-city passenger services.

That all might sound boring to some Penn State students, but trains are such an important part of American history, it’d be fun and interesting to get the full story on that — while knocking out a GH!

(By the way, I hope the class discusses the possibility of this. So cool.)

JAZZ 100: Jazz Performance

Do ya like jazz? Are you a big jazz boy or a little jazz boy? Find out by taking this course.

As it turns out, there’s no way to create a fall 2022 schedule with all of these classes in it. Either way, here’s to adding a few of these fun courses to your slate next semester.

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About the Author

Will Pegler

Will is a senior majoring in digital and print journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. He is from Darien, Connecticut and is a lifelong Penn State football fan. He loves a good 80's comedy movie, Peaky Blinders, The Office, and the New York Yankees and Giants. You can catch some of his ridiculous sports takes on his Twitter @gritdude and yell at him on his email [email protected]

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