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Springing into quirky courses

Looking for a quirky spring semester course? ASU has you covered.
January 8, 2016

ASU offers classes for a wide range of interests as new semester gets under way

A new semester means a new crop of interesting courses at Arizona State University.

Perhaps that (bad) romance novel you received as a white elephant gift leads you to Arthurian Knights and Ladies (ENG 320) or Bad Romance Edges Glory Lady Gaga: Ideology of Otherness (ENG 394). Or maybe those many family holiday get-togethers have you contemplating God and the Problem of Suffering (MAS 598) or — if your holiday meals are of the less dramatic type — Philosophy of Happiness (PHI 326).

Spring is full of commemorative months. In time for Women’s History Month in March, students can learn about the Gender, Science and Technology (WST 340) or attend a women’s studies course like Desperate Housewives (WSTWST stands for Women’s Studies, by the way, not Wisteria Lane. 374) and learn about the visualization of housewives in popular culture — not just on Wisteria Lane. Students can also double-down on American culture, history and society with American Style (AMS 201).

More of a mad-scientist type? Other ASU courses cater to STEMSTEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math students, such as Design of Aerospace Structures (AEE 426) and Space Vehicle Dynamics/Control (AEE 462) or the Essentials of Astrobiology: Exploration for Life in the Universe (SES 311). While Ecology and Natural History of the Sonoran Desert (SCN 301) will prepare students ahead of the springtime blooming season, maybe their interest lies less in flora and more in fauna, with such courses as the HoneyBee Biology and Apiculture (BIO 494) and Equine Therapy (PRM 494). 

Many students are unaware that language tracks at ASU focus on culture as much as language. Fans of the movie “300” can get a more in-depth understanding of Greece and Rome at War (GRK 360). Students can learn more about Rumpelstiltskin and the Frog Prince in the German course Fairy Tales (GER 441). They can learn about such cultural topics as gosa, an offering to spirits, in Korean Culture and Society (KOR 250), or explore the Arabic course Quran Text and Women (ARB 341).

And while a bit dark, students can prepare themselves for the far future with Death and Dying – Cross Cultural Perspective (ASB 353) as they prepare themselves for life after graduation.

These classes fit into the more than 300 academic programs and majors offered within the ASU knowledge enterprise. They are intellectually rigorous takes on a diverse array of topics that can help to develop the thinking skills that create adaptable master learners — and make learning a lot of fun.

Deanna Dent

Photographer , ASU Now


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ASU chalk scribe spreads encouragement

Ever wondered who creates those chalk signs at Coor Hall? Wonder no more.
January 8, 2016

Those who enter Arizona State University's Tempe campus via the Lattie Coor Hall breezeway are often treated to messages drawn on the outdoor chalkboard, signs that are sometimes political, sometimes humorous, and often encouraging.

Those encouraging ones, the sweetly scrolled signs of uplifting sayings? Those come courtesy of ASU student Lisa Johnson.

Johnson — a natural doodler — has long walked that breezeway each day on her way to class, and eventually the black slate panels called to her. She started drawing encouraging sayings in the fall 2014 semester. She began signing them with her Instagram handle, lisalove137, about a year later.

“Chalk is my favorite medium of art, because it’s so ephemeral,” said Johnson, a speech and hearing senior from the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area.

She continues drawing because she feels it adds a sense of community. In time, the messages get smeared, then erased.

"I got what I wanted out of it," she said.

Charlie Leight

Senior photojournalist , ASU Now