Not going anywhere for a while? Grab a summer class! This May term, SU is offering a series of interesting courses for those who are looking for POKs, upper level electives, or even simply something to do over the summer. These classes cover special topics in a variety of fields.
One such class, Great Film, Great Literature, listed under the English department and taught by Professor Nick Courtright, explores the way literature gets adapted into film. As well as discussing mediocre film adaptations of literature (and great adaptations of mediocre literature), students who take this class will study the instances where the translation of literature into film is successful.
“The environment of a summer course tends to be, while more intense academically, pretty laid back and community-oriented,” Courtright said. “There’s a camaraderie that forms more quickly than during Fall and Spring semesters.”
For those who enjoy forensic science or watch shows like CSI and NCIS, Forensic Biology and Forensic Psychology are both classes that are offered this summer. Forensic Psychology focuses on the legal issues concerning insanity and crimes, as well as profiling and some psychological traits applicable to criminals. Because insanity is a legal term, this class provides a study of the role psychologists play in criminal investigations and testimonies.
Forensic Biology, however, offers a study of the science and techniques that go into gathering evidence at a crime scene. These include, DNA analysis, blood splatter analysis, anatomy, and microscopy of fingerprints, hair, and fibers.
“[Students] get into the subject matter and ask really interesting questions,” Dr. Linda Southwick, who teaches Forensic Biology, said “I think the topic is incredibly interesting and great fun. I enjoy teaching the course because I enjoy the subject matter.”
Forensic Biology is a course designed for non-science majors and is only offered in the summer.
Other courses that are unable to be offered next year will be offered during the summer. These courses include Journalism, Professional Communication & Ethics and Road Movies, a special topics course that focuses on the cultural aspects of the Road Movie. These courses are being offered during the summer due to professors leaving during the year on sabbatical.
Several other special topics courses will be offered this May, including German Environmentalism, which focuses on the environmental movement in Germany and how far it has come, 60s Hollywood, Shakespeare in Hollywood and Human Sexuality.
Courses offered in the summer are said to be more academically intense than those offered in the spring or fall. During the May term, a summer class will meet a total of 16 times.
“Your standard Monday, Wednesday, Friday course during the long semester meets almost three times as often,” Courtright said. However, because of the short term, readings are sometimes shortened in order to give students adequate time to absorb the material.
The learning environment during the summer is also different than that of the regular school year.
“Students are more focused and more interested in the topics since they only take one class,” said Dr. Southwick, “They get into the subject matter and ask really interesting questions.”
The typical summer course meets for about three hours per day, Monday through Friday. Laboratory classes are allotted up to four hours per day. According to both Courtright and Southwick, summer classes move very quickly and it can be difficult keeping up with all the material.
Student life is also different during the summer. Because fewer people are here every summer, the campus is more quiet and relaxed.
“The campus is very relaxing during the summer,” senior Matt Maschino said, “Everything is green and the days are warm and sunny.”
However, because there is less activity on campus, campus can get lonely. “This place gets really quiet at night and on weekends,” Maschino said, who lived on campus most of last summer designing a website for the school.
Despite the quietness, students generally enjoy being on campus during the summer. At the very least, campus parking is plentiful. However, if students who do not live in a Lord Center or DLC apartment are not provided with a meal plan and must either find a way to feed themselves or eat at the Commons for lunch along with the various youth that attend summer camps sponsored by SU.
Overall, summer courses offer a way to study something that truly interests students while giving students course credit towards their majors, upper-level electives, or POKs. Although the courses themselves are intense and rigorous, they provide opportunities to learn about something that one would not be able to otherwise. Student life on campus is quiet and relaxed, if a little lonely at times, and provides an excellent environment for studying. If you have nothing else to do this summer, and you want a fun way to earn course credits, consider taking a course at SU.