Reading, writing, sexuality

By Sara Adams

Students looking to add some interesting classes to their schedule or fill in extra hours may want to consider some unique classes offered at NIU. However, some of the classes are only available to those in the major. This schedule also fits into a four-year plan for any student with a major in health education and a minor in nutrition.

Body Fluids

Body fluids is a class open to all students, though clinical laboratory science majors usually make up most of the class, said Jeanne Isabel, associate professor of clinical science. In this class, students test fluids with an abnormal cell population.

The class studies several different fluids, including amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the fetus during pregnancy), peritoneal fluid (fluid in the lining of intestines when there is a disease) and cerebral fluid (fluid surrounding your spinal cord).

Food Preparation Lab

Food preparation lab is a class available for students going into NIU’s nutrition and dietetics programs. It’s also part of the teacher certification program for home economics. The class is a two-hour lab and the instructor, Martha O’Gorman, said she likes to think of the lab as “kitchen chemistry.”

“They have to understand what’s going on – it’s not just making stuff – there are chemical and physical changes occurring with the product,” O’Gorman said. “It looks like we’re just cooking, but you have to take it in the context that we do it in conjunction with the lecture.”

The lab is a good opportunity for students to use a variety of learning styles because it’s not only hearing about it, but seeing things as well, O’Gorman said.

One of O’Gorman’s goals is for her students to be able to take any recipe out of any cookbook and figure out how to cook it by the end of the semester.

Introduction To Theater

Students who take introduction to theater get a season ticket to NIU’s theater productions.

“Students are required to see a certain number of plays,” said theater professor Kent Gallagher. “They get a season ticket for one semester and can see other plays with their passes as well.”

Introduction to theater meets once a week for two and a half hours of lecture.

In the lecture portion of the class, students are shown slides and demonstrations, and guest speakers occasionally come to class as well, he said.

There are four sections of this class, and they are not full yet, Gallagher said.

Horseback Riding

Students wanting to get off campus for a change can take horseback riding at instructor Marie Hoffman’s farm – On Eagle’s Wings Equine Center LLC, which is about 18 minutes from DeKalb on the edge of Kirkland. The overall goal of this class is to understand a horse’s body language, learn which horses are safe to get on and also learn how to walk, trot and canter on a horse, Hoffman said.

Students share a horse with another student, and while one rides the other takes observation notes, Hoffman said. The class is usually made up of 10 to 12 students.

“Students are graded on effort and improvement,” Hoffman said. “It’s not a hard class. As long as they’re trying and cuing the horse correctly, they will get full credit.”

The farm features both an indoor and outdoor arena, so riding is available in poor weather conditions as well.

Sexuality Education

Sexuality education is a required class for any student wishing to become a certified health education teacher, and for health education minors. The class is also one of the electives for a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender certificate. The class focuses on teaching students how to teach sexuality and less on actual sexuality content, said health professor Sally Conklin. All spring sections are full.

“It’s popular because it’s an interesting topic and it’s a requirement for a variety of people,” Conklin said. Because sexuality education is a 400-level class, students can earn graduate credit for taking it, too.

Spring schedule 2005


Food Preparation Lab (FCNS 200B, 2 credit hours) 11-1:50 p.m.

Intro to Theatre (THEA 203, 3 credit hours) 6-8:30 p.m.


Body Fluids (AHLS 308, 1 credit hour) 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Horseback Riding (KNPE 186L) 1:30-2:59 p.m.


Food Preparation Lab 11-1:50 p.m. Sexuality Education (AHPH 411, 3 credit hours) 6-8:40 p.m.


Body Fluids 8:30-9:45 a.m.

Horseback Riding 1:30-2:59 p.m.

Friday – no class