Northwestern is offering many new courses for the Spring 2012 semester including special topics and four new activity courses.
The newly available activity courses are volleyball, basketball, ultimate Frisbee and soccer.
Freshmen Megan Knutson and Jenny Niemeyer are looking forward to taking the basketball and volleyball activity courses together next semester.
“I’m excited to experience a new sport,” Knutson said. “It will also be a nice break from the books.”
Niemeyer is a soccer player and is eager to learn how to use her hands instead of her feet.
“I think it’s great that we receive one credit for the course,” Niemeyer said. “It’s like a gym class, bringing back fun childhood memories. I know volleyball is going to end my day on a positive note.”
Not all students view activities courses with the same positive enthusiasm.
“I’ve heard that sometimes students really don’t feel like going to their activities classes because it’s just another class to take and add stress to their day,” said freshman Skyeler Tenopir.
The subject matter of special topics courses vary from semester to semester. Sandy Van Kley, who works in the registrar office, is a fan of special topics courses because of the flexibility they allow both faculty and students.
“Some special topics courses are required for majors, so some students have to take them,” Van Kley said. “But the nice thing is, because the topics change students can choose subject matter that interests them to fulfill the requirement.”
Professor Pendell is offering a new special topics course in English called Microfiction.
Professor Young is offering a new special topics course on conservative political thought.
A new topics course in sociology called Service and Social Change will be taught by Professor Hausmann.
“I’m really excited about teaching a new course on service and social change,” Hausmann said. “I think many students would find the course interesting too. This course offers an opportunity to study and reflect upon what it means to make a difference in the world.”
There are two new topics courses in history, one of which is History of Magic in Medieval Europe taught by Professor Winn. In this course students will discuss the origins of medieval magic in ancient times such as curse tablets and love spells.
“I thought the history of magic class was an interesting choice at a Christian college,” said junior Emma Fox. “I’m curious to hear more about it around campus.”
Sophomore Jenna Ripke agreed that the class sounds strange at first, but she plans to take it next semester.
“Special topics classes are great ways for history majors to explore different time periods,” Ripke said. “They can help people figure out which time periods they prefer, so this class will be good for anyone interested in medieval studies.”
Ripke is also taking the new topic course taught by Professor Kugler called Historical and Film Portraits of the Past, which will explore how history is portrayed in film.
“I’m really excited to watch movies,” Ripke said. “I also think this different way of looking at history will make it more interesting because we won’t be reading books