You’ll see it in a thousand Facebook statuses or in a rushed text from a friend who is registering for classes in ten minutes’ time:
“What electives should I take?”
It’s a choice that plagues UVic students like a, well, plague, afflicting those who want to balance their hours of microchemistry or neurobiology with something more uncommon and unique.
“Uncommon and unique” are two of the Martlet’s middle names, and so we decided to rise to the challenge and make a comprehensive elective list for this coming school year.
We found the 2017-2018 UVic course calendar (a task so difficult it deserves its own article, really) and clicked through every course offered this semester. In doing so, we picked out ten courses that we think offer some different perspectives or touch on particular topics that can really spice up an otherwise bland year.
The Search for Life in the Universe (ASTR 201)
This first course — thrown about a lot on Facebook groups and Buzzfeed lists — is designed for non-science majors who are interested in space. The course is up for grabs in the fall and can be taken by any student with second-year standing.
Reasons to take the course: Being able to ruin Interstellar for all your friends as you talk about the scientific discrepancies and assumptions the film makes.
Reasons to drop: Never getting invited to movie night again.
50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (MUS 316B)
The “Beatles Course” is a firm favourite when it comes to fun courses to take and has been for years, but 2018’s iteration offers a nice little twist on the class. Students will be examining Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles’ eighth and arguably greatest album. The course is offered in the spring semester and it is open to all students.
Reasons to take the course: You spend a semester listening to, examining, and understanding one of the greatest albums — and one of the greatest pieces of art — of all time.
Reasons to drop: You realize that every modern artist is just ripping off the Beatles and all music is ruined for you.
History of Video Games (AHVS 311E)
It’s called the history of video games, but this course explores far more than just the past. Instructor David William Wilson will discuss the “cultural role” of video games and other interactive mediums — the art, the artists, and the admirers. The course is offered in the fall and is open to all students.
Reasons to take the course: “But playing video games is my homework, mom!”
Reasons to drop: No more hand-delivered pizza pops.
Natural Hazards (EOS 170)
Hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods, oh my! This Earth and Ocean Sciences course is a great introduction to understanding natural disasters, particularly in regards to climate change and British Columbia’s natural hazard history. This is a fall semester course and all students can take it.
Reasons to take the course: A deep knowledge and understanding of why British Columbia will most likely be affected by a cataclysmic natural event in the next 50 years.
Reasons to drop: A deep knowledge and understanding of why British Columbia will most likely be affected by a cataclysmic natural event in the next 50 years.
Fakes, Forgeries, and Frauds (AHVS 300B)
A class about art crime — both the thieves that have partaken in it for centuries and everyone else who tries to stop them. Students can take the course in the fall semester and it’s open to all students.
Reasons to take the course: You become an art crime expert, working for 50 years, and are the first person called when the Mona Lisa is stolen. You work with an ambitious but reckless cop in an attempt to find it. In a cruel twist you reveal that you stole the painting. You disappear into the night, never to be seen again.
Reasons to drop: None. Are you kidding me? You’re a billionaire now.
Networking, New Media, and Social Practices (TS 300)
TS 300 explores social media and the effect it has on society. Students in this course will complete traditional forms of engagement within the classroom while also participating on social media as well. All students can take this course in the fall semester.
Reasons to take the course: You understand the system, become Twitter famous, and gain about 30 000 new followers.
Reasons to drop: Twitter becomes uncool three weeks later and everybody migrates to Gink instead.
This list isn’t comprehensive, and there’s no guarantee that any of these courses will be easy. But you shouldn’t take university classes just because you think you’ll get an easy A. Your time at UVic should be about expanding your academic horizons. You’ll leave this campus as a better, well-rounded learner and knowledge-owner.
Ah, who am I kidding. You raise that GPA, kiddo.
Hey, here are five more courses you could also take if you wanted! They’re all offered in the fall semester and available to all students.
HSTR 320B — Homicide in Modern Britain
ASL 100A — American Sign Language
SOCI 206 — Crime and Deviance
AHVS 332b — Bollywood Global: Popular Visual Culture in the Indian Diaspora, 1980s to the Present
THEA 150 — Public Speaking