Whenever you start planning your schedule for the following semester, you usually start off with your core classes. Most of you may choose a math, a science, or an English course as your base, and go about building your schedule from there. And when you’ve finished grabbing the last few spots in every section, you’d likely lean back and take a deep breath, exhausted from fighting against our rotten class registration website.
However, a few of you won’t be so quick to log out and go about enjoying the rest of your day. Some of you have a couple extra units — and have an intrinsic sense of daring and adventure – so you go about signing up for seminars. Seminars are those things for underclassmen to have fun and experiment with their varying tastes in academia. These can range from how monsters roamed the ancient world, to discussing your vision for the University of California.
The great thing about seminars is that they can be totally random! The professors who teach seminars don’t have to be part of that seminar’s associated department, and the students don’t have to be affiliated with that major to enroll. Ever since its inception a couple of decades past, it’s been a way to bring both instructors and underclassmen with very diverse fields of study together to explore a unique avenue of knowledge that is probably not covered anywhere else. Best of all, it teaches you something that no other class would be capable of doing – do you think you’d really learn how and why birds sing, regardless of your major?
It’s a completely different aspect of education, in that it has allowed teachers to rework the manner in which they teach, such that they facilitate discussion and share what they know. And of course, most students are more motivated within the courses because there’s so little work outside the classroom. Participating gives everyone involved a small taste of a very specific field in academia – something that could invoke an interest that a student never knew existed.
So, as we pass a full 20 years of existence for the seminar program, here’s a moment to recognizing the over 700 faculty members who have volunteered their extensive knowledge to the freshman/sophomore seminar program. They have been a raging success following their creation, and we can probably say it’s not because they are the easiest and least time-consuming classes available on campus… we think.
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