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Sunday, December 03, 2023

Tired of Gen Eds? Try one of these offbeat courses

UF students taking core classes like biology, calculus or chemistry for their majors can liberate their creative impulses by registering for a course that deviates from the usual Gen Ed suspects.

A closer browse of the University Registrar Web site will reveal the unusual and the absurd, and we have created a list of courses that you should keep an eye on.

ANS2002: The Meat We Eat

Enjoy eating meat? Discover meat as a food by learning about meat grading, inspections for wholesomeness, selection, preparation and serving. Students will also learn how to prepare certain meaty meals.

Animal Sciences Department, 2 credits

ANT2301: Human Sexuality and Culture

This sizzling course focuses on cross-cultural viewpoints of sexual identity. Sexual anatomy, gender roles and sexual ethics also are discussed. Remember to bring some Barry White music and scented candles.

Anthropology Department, 3 credits

CRW1301: Beginning Poetry Writing

Creative students

Become poetry critics

And attend workshops.

English Department, 3 credits

DAA1000: Fundamentals of Dance Technique

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Students better practice their jazz hands before enrolling in this course. They will learn the fundamentals of modern dance, ballet and jazz.

Theatre and Dance Department, 3 credits

ENG4110: Films of Spielberg

The career and creative development of film director Steven Spielberg will be analyzed in this course, associate professor Andrew Gordon wrote in an e-mail. Students will get the chance to view a selection of Spielberg films from various genres and consider Spielberg's influences.

They will be required to write short weekly response papers to the readings and films. Gordon has been studying and writing about Spielberg's films for about 30 years, and his favorite movie is E.T.

English Department, 4 credits

ENY1001: Bugs and People

This class is the perfect fit for students looking to fill biology Gen Ed requirements or satisfy their bug curiosity.

Entomology professor Carl Barfield, who teaches the class, shows about 15 videos featuring different creepy crawlies.

"I try to teach this course at the 1000 level," Barfield said.

Near the end of the semester, Barfield teaches students about diseases transmitted by insects.

"Insects and their close relatives submit some of the most horrendous diseases on the planet," he said.

Entomology and Nematology Department, 3 credits

HOS1014: Vegetable Gardening

Students will get to exercise their green thumbs by growing their own garden. This class is suited for non-majors.

Horticultural Sciences Department, 1 credit

PEN1136: Open-Water Scuba Diving

Besides reading and studying diving protocol, students get to spend a couple class periods in a pool each week, said Cheryl Lynn Thacker, the coordinator for UF's dive programs.

"I like watching the actual joy that the students have on their faces when we take them to their open-water dives," Thacker said. A swim test is a prerequisite.

Sport and Fitness Department, 2 credits

TPP3124: Improvisation and Social/Political Issues

Create a scene. Create a character. Create a relationship with the people around you. All off the top of your head.

This class teaches the art of improvisation, and students regularly participate in short-form games.

"We try to get you comfortable on the stage," said Torey Greenwald, a participant of the class and a UF telecommunications senior.

She said the class has helped her find a "nitch" in college, and the humor created through improv has helped her befriend other students.

"It isn't just a performance art," Greenwald said.

Theatre and Dance Department, 1-3 credits

Some information provided by the UF Office of the University Registrar.

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