Pop culture finds way into new courses

By Allison Krecek

Listening to Tupac, reading the Hunger Games and playing Dungeons and Dragons are all things students can do in classes coming next semester.

The College of Education has created 15 classes available to all. The courses have been promoted through posters that say “Craving Something New?”

Paul Baker, director of College Relations in the College of Education, hopes the classes intrigue students.

“We’re always trying to provide innovative and interesting classes in the College of Education that show some of the basic fundamentals and themes of education that can be used successfully by anyone on campus,” Baker said.

One of these classes is Mental Illness in Pop Culture, which focuses on how the media portrays characters with emotional or psychological disorders and how they are presented on the big screen.

Another class is 50 Shades of Instructional Technology, which educates students on how to better use changing technology.

Freshman history major Jessica Stoye finds the courses refreshing.

“I think it’s cool that they are offering these new classes because it’s something new and different,” Stoye said. “It gives people something fun and relaxing to do.”

While the classes may sound fun with promises of reading Harry Potter and sharpening photography skills, Baker wants to let students know these subjects touch on important topics.

“I think once you get past the initial fun names you put on them, you see that they are quite serious,” Baker said. “They speak to aspects of education that are applicable across the board to students and enrich them not only education-wise, but also to assist when they graduate.”

Baker and other members from the College of Education are working to advertise and promote the classes, but some students, like Paige Bumphrey, junior speech pathology major, didn’t hear about the classes until after she set up her spring semester schedule.

“If I had space available for the classes and it worked with my schedule, I would definitely take one of the classes,” Bumphrey said.

There is still time for students who have already registered for the spring semester to swap classes.

“I think if reading Hunger Games or playing Dungeons and Dragons is something that you’re interested in then I think the college should offer some classes like that,” Bumphrey said. “I think it would be cool for someone interested in those things.”

So far Stoye sees no negative side effect to these classes beside the fact they may take up too much room in students’ schedules.

“I just think that it’s not necessarily a blow-off class, but something fun to do to keep you happy in the university,” Stoye said.