Come for the basketball, stay for 'Introduction to Meats Judging'
At long last, March Madness is upon us, but as coaches and administrators so often remind us, there’s more to being a student-athlete than simply playing sports. So with that in mind, we perused the course catalogs for each of the 68 teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament field in search of the most unique courses that each school in the tourney has to offer. The following are the best of the best.
"Principles and procedures for sensory evaluation of food. Appropriate uses of specific tests are discussed, along with physiological, psychological, and environmental factors affecting sensory verdicts."
"For the student who has experience in volleyball through competitive play, Multi-terrain Volleyball offers analysis and development of techniques and game strategy for Wallyball, played in racquetball courts; Outdoor Volleyball, played on sand courts; and Indoor Volleyball."
"This course is designed to foster life-long habits of good health and multidimensional wellness by integrating physical activity, civic awareness, and community service. Emphasis will be on personal and social responsibility for optimal quality of life. Students will partner with the Humane Society of Indianapolis to provide physical activity and play for the animals, learning through service to the community, improved fitness and awareness that health and wellness are central to living a good life."
"This course will examine philosophical issues as they arise in the world of Harry Potter: speaking as doing (spells), essences, objects, and properties (transfiguration), space and time (apparition), (Time-Turners), good and evil (the Dark Arts), death and resurrection (the Killing Curse), (the Sorceror's Stone), minds and persons (Horcruxes)."
"This course explores a variety of historic and literary texts that deal with connections between the Old World and the New World from a transatlantic perspective. It also considers how ideas circulate around the Atlantic, and how this circulation influences the texts produced in the lands that bound it."
"To study quantity food production in foodservice system through application of principles for determining needs and procuring, producing and storing foods in quantity, along with institutional equipment selection, maintenance, and layout."
"Focusing on digital self portraits that social media denizens have hashtagged 'the selfie', the course will trace two different histories 1) the global history of portraiture in the arts and photography from the 19th C to the present 2) the emergence of the modern idea of 'everyday life' (i.e. the routine, the trivial, the unconscious, the unremarkable) as the exact antithesis of what has routinely been called 'history', all strongly associated with women and private life."
"This course involves the study of dance as a societal phenomenon. Students will examine the unique characteristics of dance and its various functions in society. Emphasis will be on dance in Western Civilization."
"Drawing from a range of disciplines, this course will provide us with the opportunity to explore and analyze what makes someone 'freakish' or aberrant; what it means to be a 'geek' (a word whose connotations have shifted dramatically over the past thirty years); and what characteristics historically have positioned people as 'outsiders' rather than 'insiders.'"
"One of the core mathematics courses for students of the liberal arts, this course provides an overview of numbers in their different formulations, interpretations and applications. Students will see numbers in new and unusual ways. They will see interesting numbers arising in nature, the arts and cyber security, among other applications."
"Physical, chemical and biological properties of meat important to processed meat product characteristics. Ingredients, technology and equipment used for fresh and cured meat products. Packaging, preservation and food safety issues critical to processed meat products are emphasized."
"In this seminar, students will use historical methods to investigate why piracy, whether maritime or digital, has proven so persistent, the contexts in which it flourished, and governmental responses to this recurring threat to order."
"The Bushcraft Skills course is designed to give students exposure to and practice with several core outdoor skill groups. Upon completion of the course students will be well versed in three main areas: Fire Making, Camp Craft, and Backcountry Navigation."
"The class will be offered in spring 2017 and will explore the cultural perception of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state. … (Professor Suzanne) Holt describes the course as being a ‘perfect mirror for us to see ourselves’ in regards to women’s issues."
"This course will examine transnational community food literacies, and how these connect stories of people build publics across borders. Students will explore the history and networks of Mexican and Mexican American food in the United States writing about recipes as well as rhetorics of authenticity, local variations to preparation or presentation, and how food literacies situate different spaces, identities, and forms of knowledge."
"The course will examine the question of who killed John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Both the Warren Commission conclusion that a single gunman killed Kennedy, and a variety of conspiracy theories will be critically evaluated."
"Students will critically examine the various implications of 'what it means to gamble' through investigations of various gambling forms, different sectors of the gambling industry and the related economics, along with consumer behavior, sport, public policy and public health in this context."
"History of the beach as a particular geographic place and space in human history in comparative world context. Themes and issues include tourism, socio-economic factors in beach access, beach-related industries, immigration, cultural contact, exploration, 'beach life,' surfing, ethnicity, segregation, and politics of real estate."
"Some of the outstanding 'failures' in evolutionary history also involve the most interesting success stories. This course looks at the fossil record and the ecological causes of diversification and extinction of the ruling reptiles."
"Systems of judging for current horse show disciplines and exercises for students who aspire to become professional judges. Ethics, contracts with management, and procedures for becoming a judge are part of focus."
"In 'Harry Potter and the Middle Ages,' we will explore the medieval historical, intellectual, and literary background to Rowling’s series of novels. The exploration of such topics as medieval magic and science, heresy and witchcraft, medieval manuscripts, alchemy, bestiaries, and medieval universities will provide us with a deeper understanding of both the Middle Ages and the Potter books."
"This course examines the methods and procedures for customizing the fit of ready-to-wear apparel. Common garment fitting problems and solutions for solving those problems will be identified and explored."
"The science and technology of brewing unit operations and the ingredients used in beer brewing. That knowledge is then applied to designing and brewing classic world beer styles. Styles investigated change every semester but typically include India Pale Ale, Pale Ale, Stout, Porter, Hefeweisen, Scottish Ale, and Black IPA. Comprehensive evaluation of the product relative to style guidelines completes the design-brew-evaluate cycle. Students must be at least 21 years of age on the first day of class."
"Performance class that allows the student to learn the fundamentals for hand-to-hand combat techniques. These techniques will be taught within an atmosphere of safety that is essential for the stage."
"The science will be focused on using forensics sciences (primarily DNA barcoding) to quantify seafood mislabeling (e.g., farm raised Tilapia being sold as wild caught Salmon). Additional topics covered include seafood supply chains and markets, fisheries management, over-fishing and its impact on marine ecosystems, and the importance of food labeling in human health."
"This course is designed for non-UAS majors to provide an introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). Course content includes aircraft operating software, launch and recovery operations, payload operations, normal and emergency procedures, and mission planning and execution."
"This course provides practical instruction in the design and analysis of board games. The course utilizes a variety of texts, tools and historical references to analyze and compare game designs across a range of genres, including dice games, games of chance, card games, board games and role-playing games. In teams, students will design, develop and thoroughly test their original games to understand the interaction and evolution of game rules, mechanics, themes and structures."
"This seminar will explore the many entertaining and serious meanings embedded in detective and spy novels and films. We will discuss and write about such topics as suspenseful action, elusive characters, deception, and challenging endings."
"In this course, students will look at episodes of Law and Order from different perspectives. Police Procedure: Can the detectives really do that? Legal: What do the charges mean? Television: What elements of the real-life crime should be written into the screenplay for dynamic storytelling?"
"The history of airport security, the laws and agencies tasked with aviation security and the passenger and baggage screening technologies currently in use or being tested in airports. The role of technology in the aviation layered security program will be discussed."
"In this class we shall acquaint ourselves with some of that evolution (of the samurai class), and also with some ways in which warriors (and commoners) reacted to the changes, in the medieval era (roughly 1150s-1600) when they were most involved in warfare. Our main focus will be on the 16th century."
"What is the nature of evil and how is it imagined? How can the noble ideas that define the modern world — justice and human rights, for example — be reconciled with the terrible events of the twentieth century: genocide, racial violence, and war? Why do good people do terrible things to others? What can reading books on evil in distant places teach us about ourselves? The course will explore how evil functions as a form of deep ethical violation and challenges how we understand the world and our relationship to others."
"Explores the cultural history of simple living in America over the last 300 years and the tension between this idea and the dominant cultural emphasis on moral, institutional, political, and economic ideas that argue for high consumption of energy and resources. The focus is on simple living as an element of mainstream culture."
"A survey of fish-catching methods of the world and the electronic enhancements to fishing that have increased fishing power. Application of these methods to scientific sampling, commercial harvesting, recreational and subsistence fishing."
"As Tom Wolfe has observed, the twentieth century was the great age of utopian impulses, with one utopian scheme after another being attempted, each one trying to 'go back to zero,' to begin again, and to remake humankind. Our central concern will be the literary response to the twentieth century’s Utopian urge."
"This course is designed to be integrated into a trip to Washington DC for the 2017 Presidential Inaugural Address. Students will learn the historical and rhetorical significance of the inaugural address and apply those concepts to the 2017 version."
"The SDSU Meat Judging program exists to generate student interest in meat science and to develop teamwork, communication, and critical-thinking skills among program participants. Participating on the Meat Judging team is an excellent complement to a student’s education at SDSU, through teaching students to evaluate final product quality, fabrication procedures, and marketing in the meat industry."
"Operation, adjustment, and troubleshooting of farm tractors and field equipment. Principles of operation, equipment terminology and uses of tilling, cultivating, thinning, and planting equipment. Typical sequences in cropping practices."
"Survey of groove-based electrified dance music from its origins in 1960s pop and soul to present, covering disco, house, techno, ambient, rave, and jungle. Emphasis on interaction of technology, musical structures, psychoactive drugs, and club cultures to induce altered states of musical consciousness; promise (versus reality of) political and spiritual transformation; electronic dance music as new art music."
"Introduction to the specialized profession of destination resort and/or spa management and its ongoing evolution. Skill sets including managing guest activity, planning and packaging adventure experiences, dealing with seasonal staff turnover, and the technological and ethical considerations of operating a day spa."
"Conventions of the rapidly evolving literary form of blogging. Creation and maintenance of a personal blog. Critique of online journalism across many genres, including activism, politics, science, and arts and culture. Interaction with professional bloggers."
"Study and practice of the first attribute for success in creativity: curiousness. Students engage in practical applications, readings, lectures, demonstrations and in-class exercises that build curiosity and help students identify and trust their natural curious nature."
"A course devoted to exploring George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones universe from the novels (book 1) and the HBO television adaptation. We will compare the ways in which HBO’s approach to the Game of Thrones phenomena both changes and cements aspects that Martin created."
"Introduction to the cultural and spiritual role of hunting; use of hunting as a wildlife management tool; and its economic value in wildlife conservation programs. Includes discussions on gun control, anti-hunting, and animal rights."
"Includes examinations of common superhero attributes and narratives, specifically in school or educational settings. Content is applied to projects related to personal development, synergetic collaboration, service outreach, and strategic preparation for ongoing learning and growth."
"This course introduces experiential education techniques as they apply to the challenge course and to outdoor setting. Topics will include the experiential learning cycle, feedback, support, processing, safety techniques and effective communication."
"Chemistry, microbiology, and technology of foods and beverages in which fermentations are important (e.g. cheese, bread, pickles, beer). Fermentation techniques in developing new foods and food additives. Instrumentation and mechanization of food fermentations. Field trips."
"Commentators have long argued that baseball is a key to understanding American culture and the American character. Over the past two decades historians of the sport have unearthed an enormous amount of material that not only verifies this insight but allows us to be more precise about the connection between baseball and the development of American culture."