Compelling classes to take this fall

Benjamin Mok

As class registration for Fall 2015 draws closer, the stress of picking the right classes is beginning to mount for many NYU students. Some are aiming for entertaining courses; others, for enriching ones. These following five classes provide a sampler of interesting classes available for fall. 

1. The Science of Happiness (CAMS-UA 110)

Stressed out and overwhelmed by the fast-paced lifestyle of being a college student in New York City? If you are worried about your sanity and well being, then taking “The Science of Happiness” is a great way to learn how to confront these issues. The class teaches students both the psychological and social contexts of happiness. Tisch freshman Josh Kane is among the hundreds of happy students who have taken this course.

“It’s about the recent studies in positive psychology and the ability to change one’s physical or psychological well-being through positive practices in brain malleability,” Kane said. “Not only would the class benefit personal well-being, you may find your share of happiness spreading to others, as the class encourages students to promote an area of mental wellness on campus.”

2. The U.S. to 1865 (HIST-UA 9)

From federal politics to gender inequality, U.S. history has a major impact on modern society. This class takes a closer look at what shaped the foundations of the modern United States, touching on topics including religion, the Revolution and the Civil War. While history can be difficult to learn at times, CAS freshman Trevor Sherman vouches for the helpfulness of the teaching faculty.

“The class was very interesting, and if you had any problems with the material, the professor was always willing to help,” Sherman said.

3. Drama in Performance (DRLIT-UA 300)

It is difficult to spend time in New York City without being exposed to theater. NYU students attend Broadway musicals and indie basement performances in equal measure. Yet, without a guide to the theatrical journey, it is easy to miss out on fully appreciating these shows. This class remedies that problem by teaching students dramatic theories and concepts applicable to performance through the study of 12 diverse plays. Gallatin freshman Hannah Fullerton not only enjoyed the syllabus of the class, but she has also had the opportunity to interact with her classmates.

“Watching the 12 plays was fascinating, and students in the class definitely form strong bonds with each other in the process,” Fullerton said.

4. Thinking About Games (OART-UT 1606)

Video games are a growing field in the modern entertainment industry. Looking critically at the intricacies of game design and theory could be useful to those pursuing a future in games design or simply those interested in the field. The class is offered as a Tisch Open Arts Curriculum, so applicants from all schools are welcome. The class itself is held at the Polytechnic School of Engineering. For students like Tisch freshman Andrew Kanatani, the course offers an interesting perspective on a familiar topic.

“It gives insight into the history of games and how loads of theory and principles are applied in modern entertainment,” Kanatani said.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 6 print edition.  Email Benjamin Mok at [email protected]

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