With classes starting up again this week, here’s a look at some of the coolest courses East Carolina University is offering this fall, with topics ranging from Atlantis to Italian geology. If you’re not a student, these classes will make you wish you were. If you are a student, you might just want to pick up one (or more) of the courses below.
ANTH 1001: Aliens, Atlantis and Archaeology
Did aliens build the Egyptian pyramids? Does Atlantis really exist? Are mermaids real? This course critically examines some of the extraordinary theories concerning archaeological sites and artifacts. Students will learn how to assess claims about the past and gain appreciation of its many different reconstructions, though not all equally plausible.
MERCH 3003: Athleisure Wear
Leggings and Lycra aren’t just for the gym anymore. Activewear or athleisure – casual clothes that can be worn both for exercise and general use – has become a popular trend with global sales expected to top $350 billion in 2020. In this class, students will learn about the markets for athleisure and the merchandising strategies that have turned activewear into a lifestyle shift.
FINA 1904: Personal Finance
ECU’s wildly popular personal finance class combines practical money-saving tips and entertaining lessons to teach students how to be savvy spenders. Taught by Mark Weitzel and Len Rhodes, this class attracts 500 students per semester. Weitzel and Rhodes challenge students to save $100,000 collectively each semester by utilizing the tips they teach, a challenge the students have met for the past 10 years.
GEOL 1500: Dynamic Earth
It’s one thing to study geology in your own backyard. It’s another thing entirely to study geology in the shadow of Italy’s volcano, Mt. Vesuvius. This course covers the same basics of geology covered in classes on ECU’s main campus, but adapted for ECU Tuscany, the university’s year-round study abroad program in Italy. Students take field trips to the Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre, where they get to see coastal processes take place on beaches and cliff sides, and to Pompeii, where they see the remnants of a city buried under volcanic ash. Rocks just got a whole lot more interesting.
LING 2720: Invented Languages
In this course, students learn about invented languages such as Klingon and Elvish and are guided in creating their own invented language. The language will be built up incrementally over the course of the semester, starting with individual sounds and ending with brief conversations. Throughout the course, students learn about the features that human languages have and share. In other words, time to brush up on your Dothraki.
POLS 3037: Campaigns and Elections
Only offered during presidential and midterm election years, this course examines the key issues, questions and controversies that surround the study of campaigns and elections in the United States. The midterm elections in November will be enormously important –deciding whether Democrats can gain control of Congress or if Republicans will keep their hold on the legislative branch – giving students plenty to discuss.
HIST 6850 – Field Research in Maritime History
There’s something undeniably right about ECU Pirates working on various shipwreck sites. Past maritime studies students have explored shipwrecks in the Outer Banks, Bermuda and Saipan, uncovering artifacts and piecing together various mysteries at sea.
ENGL 2570: The Supernatural
Ever heard of the graveyard under Curry Court or the ghost of Cotten Hall? This folklore class explores supernatural narratives and campus lore. Students in the course organize a ghost walk on campus.
HIST 3635: Samurai History and Cinema
This course title (and coolness) is self-explanatory, but let us elaborate. Students study the samurai as a warrior elite in Japanese history and, most especially, film representations of the samurai and Japanese history. In addition to developing a critical perspective on claims about the samurai, the course provides a good introduction to the larger field of Japanese history from ancient times to the present.
HNRS 2013: Becoming Tomorrow’s Leader
Taught by former ECU chancellor Steve Ballard, this honors course is a practical guide to leadership that will teach students the skills to make a positive difference. Emphasis will be placed on understanding leadership’s joys, challenges and landmines as well as determining what kind of leader a student wishes to be. Students will learn vital lessons from great leaders and improve their own capacity to lead.
KINE 1010: Fitness Walking
New studies show there can be substantial health benefits to using a pet to be more active.
The Department of Kinesiology is ahead of the curve with its fitness walking class. For the past five years, it has partnered with the Pitt County Animal Shelter to have students walk shelter dogs for class credit. Cute dogs + exercise = win-win.
COAS 2150 – Boating Skills and Seamanship
Small boat safety and seamanship skills are at the center of this class, where students can truly feel like pirates on the open seas. Landlubbers need not register, matey.
-by Erin Shaw, University Communications