Texas State offers alternative courses, lectures for students

By: 

Trends Reporter

From a course on the languages of J. R. R. Tolkien at the University of Wisconsin to a Rutgers class dedicated to a complete analysis of Beyoncé, classes exploring themes outside the academic norm have been cropping up across the county. Texas State is no exception to the growing trend, offering classes and lectures dedicated to nearly every interest imaginable.

For Johnny Drozdyk, undecided freshman, taking a course on underwater photography was the perfect way to combine his love of water sports with the technicality of taking photos.

“I grew up on the water in Florida,” Drozdyk said. “Taking pictures along with being in the water would be a great way to preserve thoss memories.”  

Drozdyk said the best part of the course is the different species of plants and animals encountered during the
class’ dives.

In addition to spending time exploring the San Marcos River, the class covers the technical uses of film, strobe, natural light photography, composition and underwater modeling.

For more philosophical Bobcats, the university offers a course dedicated to the discovery and discussion about the meaning of life and purpose of human existence.

“We want students to get recognition that there are multiple ways to find meaning in the world and in their own lives,” said Jim Summers, the course’s instructor. “All cultures we know of created stories or worldviews to help make them make sense of cosmos, of events, of life and death. Our culture is no different.”

Summers said the semester-long course features five central themes, including the role of a god or gods in the quest for meaning, explorations of death, futility, hope and optimistic naturalism—which is finding meaning in a world without the existence of a deity.

Romance and relationships are on the forefront of many college students’ thoughts, making the School of Social Work’s ‘Love and Relationships’ course a popular subject.

Michael Sullivan, criminal justice freshman, said the course is interesting because he thinks love is one of the world’s greatest mysteries, and it offers a new perspective for students.

The course explores the nature of all levels of attraction, including both friendship and romantic love. Understanding the science and social aspects of human sexuality is a key theme of the course. The class aims to enable students to enhance their own personal and professional relationships, according to the School of Social Work course catalogue.

“The coolest part of this class would be all of the immediate learning and skills you could apply to everyday life,” Sullivan said. “And heck, who doesn’t want to know more about love?”