Academic Anomalies: The craziest classes of spring 2016

Maggie Gates |
Maggie Gates | Staff Photographer
Maggie Gates | Staff Photographer

By Claudia Hardy | Staff Writer

While scrolling through the course list, have you ever come across classes where you can’t help but say “seriously, who would ever take this?” Some classes are oddly specific while others are just flat-out bizarre. Finding weird classes at any College or University is not difficult. Duquesne is no different.

Classics 255: Animals in Antiquity

Looking to explore Greek and Roman attitudes towards non-human animals? Then this class is for you. This course pays special attention to views on the mental and emotional characteristics of animals. Some topics of interest include use of animals in entertainment, food choices and companionship.

It is unique, I would say, in allowing students to see directly and clearly that classics has much to teach the modern world, and that what we usually think of as ‘new’ ideas are thousands of years old,” said course instructor Stephen Newmyer.

The course is offered irregularly, so take it while you can.

Philosophy 259: Philosophy and Star Trek

For all you Sci-Fi lovers, don’t pass up the opportunity to take a course on one of the most popular television series known to man. In each class, you will watch one episode of Star Trek, then read contemporary and historical philosophical texts that discuss topics surrounding those episodes. This course will highlight the moral, social and political issues that humanity takes for granted that is presented in a fictionalized and futuristic style. Overall, this course allows students to gain a deeper understanding of the philosophical world that we are surrounded by.

Theology 245: God, Money, And Power

Focusing on the study of religion and ethical meaning of wealth and power, this class discusses the personal and social aspect of what it means to be a threat to the rest of society.

This class is a revival of a class that hasn’t been run for a long time,” course instructor Anna Scheid said. “This Spring will be the first semester it runs in many years. Students might want to take this class if they are interested in thinking through the intersections of money with political and social power, in the context of Christian theology. The class might be especially interesting for students from the business school, majors in theology, political science, economics, sociology and students who are pre-law”

The course fulfills the theme area of faith and reason, and it is another class offered irregularly.

Sociology 321: White Collar Crime

This course studies the explanations and consequences of those involved with non-violent,  fraudulent behavior in the United States. This is a prerequisite course, so students must have already taken any 100-level Sociology course to enroll in the class.

Theology 301: Marriage

This course will focus on the interpersonal relationship of marriage from a sociological, cultural and theological perspective. Topics including hooking up, cohabitation, divorce, sexual behavior, gay marriage and more.

Take the course because it is informative, relevant and fun,” course instructor George Worgul said. “I enjoy it and I think the students also enjoy it. It’s a large class but this makes it easier because there are so many points of view.”

The class is offered every semester, so if you don’t have room in your schedule this time around all is not lost.

This, of course, is only a small showcase of weird classes offered at Duquesne. Class schedules can be tight for some, but why not take at least one weird class while in college? They say you get the most from the things you least expect to. It’s apparent that students want to focus on classes that count towards their majors or minors. Stepping out of your comfort zone can help build character.  Maybe you’ll like it — maybe you’ll even love it.

When you’re building your class schedule for the upcoming spring semester, be on the lookout for these quirky classes and others like them. Branch out and try something new, you never know what you might learn.