Illustration by Kat Barton

Elective Classes fill up fast at LC

By Mackenzie Bath

A few courses at Lewis & Clark have become so heavily recommended that students jump at the chance to register for them. Yet that proves to be a challenge, as there are a few classes that tend to fill up quickly during registration, including Fundamentals of Movement, The Art of Tea and Intro to Electronic Music. Advisors recommend making these courses your first choice during registration, but that is not an option for all students. These courses are mostly electives, and students tend to prioritize classes they need for their major. What’s the deal with these classes?

Hannah Ring ’19 described Fundamentals of Movement as easier than she had expected. It is a theatre class that can count as an arts or PE credit.

“It was a lot of fun and had practically zero homework,” Ring said. “I chose to take it because it sounded like an interesting way for me to explore my interests at the time in both anatomy and dance.”

Ring was not solely driven by wanting an easy class. While that was a factor, she also felt passionate about the course. There are other courses at LC which do not have much work, but are not nearly as popular. So, what is the other factor?

Director of Electronic Music and Jazz studies, Jeffrey Leonard, explained why he thinks his course is so popular.

“One contributing factor is that there is no prerequisite for the intro class, and no prior musical experience or training is required or expected,” Leonard said. “So, for many students –particularly those that might feel uncomfortable or intimidated to learn a physical instrument from scratch — this may be their first opportunity to make music.”

This reasoning can be applied to all of the courses mentioned that tend to fill up during registration. Students want to take advantage of the liberal arts education, but there are only so many courses they can take without experience. People search for classes that do not have prerequisites and that correlate to their interests.

Janice Waldmann teaches the Study of Chado — the art of tea. She expressed an interest in adding a section, but at the moment LC only has two in the fall and one in the spring. She offered her opinion on why students take her class.

“Lewis & Clark students are busy and their courses of study are rigorous,” Waldmann said. “It is my belief that this class allows students some time relax while learning. Students are exposed to useful tools that they can adapt into other parts of their studies and other aspects of their lives.”

These courses are the best route into interesting subjects outside of a major. They are intro level courses that cover fun and engaging subjects. With a lower workload, it is easier for students to add them into their schedules at any point during their college career. Therefore, more students from all years are trying to get into the class.

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