Closer Look

5 Unique Classes You Should Take Before You Graduate

Erin Kelly// The Phoenix

Scheduling can be a student’s worst nightmare, especially with so many options to choose from. Among all those classes, there are a few special snowflakes that may tickle your fancy.

Don’t have room in your schedule for something outside your major? Remember that students in good academic standing with 60 or more earned credit hours can take 12 credit hours of pass/ no pass classes. These classes do not count toward your GPA and are “passed” with a least a “C-.”

Here are five classes to consider taking before your time at Loyola is up.

FNAR 121: Ceramics: Wheel Throwing 

Need some new bowls or mugs? Save yourself a trip to Target and relieve a little stress in a ceramics class.

Ceramics: Wheel Throwing is  an introductory class to making pottery on a spinning wheel. The course is three credits that can be taken as one three-hour class or two one-and-a-half-hour classes to fulfill the artistic knowledge core requirement. Students learn basic pottery skills through different design concepts, such as shaping and sculpting, and create pottery while incorporating personal artistic expression.

Ameena Syed, 22, a 2015 Loyola graduate from Chicago, enrolled in the class in spring 2015 because she wanted to take something fun.

“It’s so important for students to take classes they are interested in once in a while instead of only taking what’s required,” said Syed. “It was so rewarding to finish the semester with some really cool pieces that I can show off to my friends.”

Syed made pots, cups and bowls. Although the course requires studio time outside of the allotted time for the class, Syed said the work was a good way to relieve the stress of her other classes.

“I definitely learned [in wheel throwing] how to be patient,” said Syed. “There were several times where I would spend the whole three-hour class throwing on the wheel and only end up with one good mug or bowl.”

Erin Kelly// The Phoenix
Erin Kelly// The Phoenix

PLSC 367: Model United Nations

The Model United Nations class introduces students to activities within the global organization and provides an understanding of negotiations that unfold in the U.N.

The course is three credit hours with no prerequisites, but students interested in taking the course have to fill out an application. Model UN club involvement, debate experience, classes taken on international politics and affairs, academic year and GPA are all taken into account in the application process.

At the end of the course, students are given the opportunity to attend the National Model United Nations (NMUN) conference, where students gather and discuss world issues on a global scale in New York, as delegates for Loyola.

The course is open to anyone as an elective but is geared toward international studies, peace studies and political science students. Brandon Bernhardt, 21, a senior biology major from Belleville, Illinois, said Model UN is the best course he’s taken at Loyola.

“It is really interesting [to hear the] perspectives of other people and countries,” said Bernhardt. “It makes you think in a more critical lens about your own views and those of your country. I had an amazing time at NMUN.”

Bernhardt said the workload for this course is different from other classes. The course is comprised of researching a specific country and information on topics such as women and children, peacekeeping, human rights or social and economic development, assigned for the NMUN conference, tests and quizzes.

“I learned a lot about a particular country, Sweden, [and] became really close with people I didn’t know before. We got to stay at a nice hotel in NYC, and I got to meet people from all over the world at NMUN,” said Bernhardt.

Students are able to retake this course because the material changes each semester and focuses on a different country. The application for taking the class this spring is due by Oct. 26 to Professor Brian Endless. Applications can be found directly through him or the Political Science Department.

Photo courtesy of Calico “Jack” Rackham
Photo courtesy of Calico “Jack” Rackham

HIST 361A: Pirates and Sailors in the Revolutionary Atlantic 

This course explores the identification of pirates and sailors, their quality of life, the impact they had on the American Revolution and why so many British citizens became pirates in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

“While this class certainly talks about pirates, the class covered a lot more ground,” said Brendan Courtois, 21, history and finance double major from Parker, Colorado. “The level of work was comparable to other 300-level history classes at Loyola, [and it had] a fair amount of reading and a few essays and tests to articulate that knowledge.”

This three-credit course is open to students of all majors.  The course is not scheduled for this year, but it is typically offered once an academic year.

“For history majors, it couples an interesting topic with a method of viewing historical figures as agents responding to their environments,” said Courtois. “For non-history majors, it is a class that might make you switch your major to history.”

PHIL 272: Metaphysics 

Offered each semester, this course examines the works of different philosophers and authors.

“It’s hard to immediately pin down one thing you learned in a metaphysics and Shakespeare class that’s particularly ‘practical,’” said Molly Frank, 20, a junior international studies major from Lenexa, Kansas.

Metaphysics is a three-credit hour course that students can take to fulfill the tier two philosophical knowledge requirement. The class asks students to consider questions about reality and how nature of reality can be explained.

The prerequisite for this class is foundational philosophical knowledge (PHIL 130: Philosophy & Persons, PHIL 181: Ethics or PHIL 182: Social and Political Philosophy).

Frank said the class gave her a deeper understanding of the universe by answering philosophical questions about our roles and limitations as humans, God’s role in the universe and the concept of infinity.

By examining the works of different philosophers and authors, students gain insight on the metaphysical aspects of the world.

Photo courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Photo courtesy of Chicago Shakespeare Theater

THTR 205: Theatre in Chicago I

Forget Broadway and grab a front row seat for one of Loyola’s theater classes.

Theatre in Chicago is a course that offers a full-immersion theatrical experience. Students attend live performances each week throughout Chicago and reflect on those performances in weekly critical writings and class discussions. Theatre 205 is a three-credit hour course in the Fine and Performing Arts Department.

“There are no books for this class, and for that matter, any right or wrong way of teaching this course,” Ann Douglas, the course instructor, wrote in an email to The Phoenix. “Theatre 205 is less about me imparting information to the students but rather the students instructing me. It is their view that matters most.”

The course costs an extra $170 fee that is automatically factored into the student’s tuition for the semester. Students are able to attend several shows throughout the year.

In the past, students have seen Playboy of the Western World, Two Trains Running, Marie Antoinette and Soul Brother, Where Art Thou?

“My hope is that students leave this course with a respect for the theatrical arts, joy in attending theater and knowledge of the diversity of theater Chicago has to offer,” said Douglas.

Some previous theaters the students have visited are The Steppenwolf, Goodman, Stage Left, Lookingglass and Second City.

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