Tag Archives: non-engineering classes

Fundamentals of Rock Climbing

Wilson Taylor

Wilson Taylor,
Junior, Computer Science

Athens, OH 5 April 2015

Something I have learned to truly appreciate at Ohio University is the wide variety of classes available outside of the Russ College. Every semester I make a conscious effort to add something I both have a personal interest in and is outside of my major into my class schedule.

One of the most enjoyable classes I have taken was on the fundamentals of rock climbing. The class covered basic climbing techniques, safety, and general practices. We learned how to tie key climbing knots and set up tethers for varying situations one might encounter at different climbing locations. One thing I really valued about the class was the truly hands on element it offered.

After four in-class meetings learning about the proper techniques and knots used on climb sites we had three days dedicated to applying what we learned. Our instructor took us to two different climbing locations and one nifty bouldering location in areas surrounding Athens. We had the opportunity to climb natural rocks using equipment we set up as a class. Additionally, we were responsible for each other’s safety as we each took turns belaying while other classmates climbed.

I enjoy exploring Athens and taking advantage of the many recreational activities the surrounding area has to offer. The rock-climbing course enabled me to do this and more. I continue to search for recreational classes as I find them to be a great way to just relax and enjoy myself.

Enjoying My Golf Class

Justin Lumbard

Justin Lumbard,
Senior, Mechanical Engineering

Athens, OH 8 March 2015

This semester, because I am graduating, I decided to take a few classes that are more relaxing rather than doing more engineering work. One of my classes is Fundamentals of Golf.

As it turns out, going to the driving range three times a week for an hour is a very relaxing pastime. We go Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and use Ohio’s great driving range for an hour and as many golf balls as you can hit (or at least as many as I have been able to get through). To make matters better, I have some other friends in the same class so we are able to relax and get a break from engineering.

Thinking back, I wish I would have scheduled more of these classes as they are instructed very well and so far, my swing has improved. Unfortunately for my game, it would be impossible to get any worse at this sport, but as soon as the weather warms up I’m sure I will be able to go out and enjoy 9 holes on Ohio University’s course.

Calculus Class and Multi-Engine Flying

Gavin Whitehead

Gavin Whitehead,
Junior, Aviation

Athens, OH 14 February 2015

I’ve been planning out my senior year class schedule since freshman year. My plan was to take the harder classes before my senior year to make my last year here a breeze. One thing I didn’t quite plan out was that all of those harder classes were going to be compiled all to this year.

One of the classes I have been putting off till this semester is calculus. The thing about calculus is I haven’t taken anything math-related since high school. Going into this semester I was pretty nervous and for some reason the word “derivative” scared me. As it turns out, the class isn’t all that bad and the worry and stress I gave myself dreading over this was for nothing. One of the big things that is helping me though the class is the Student Connect software (the access code that comes with textbook that no one enjoys buying). It gives step-by-step instructions on how to do everything we learn in class and I would look over it the day before. This gave me a lot of confidence and I ended up scoring one of the highest on the first exam!

My favorite course by far this semester is the Multi-Engine Airplane certification course which is my last flight course I will take before graduation. The plane we use for this class is a Baron 55. Comparably, other flight schools usually train in a Piper Seminole that only puts out 180 hp on a side. The Barron 55 is a monster and it puts out 300 hp each engine for a total of 600 hp! This plane actually puts you back in your seat on takeoff and it is a blast. I regularly break 200 mph and like I always say, the faster the better! This is definitely the capstone class for me and I can’t wait to jump back in it for next time.

A Scary Experience in Junior Composition

Natasha Norris

Natasha Norris,
Junior, Electrical Engineering

Athens, OH 21 September 2014

When I signed up for junior composition for this fall semester, I had no idea I was in for such a “terrifying” experience. Of course, to any engineer, an English course doesn’t sound as appetizing as our math and science based curriculum, but in any case, it is a refreshing change.

A week before my classes started, I got an email from my soon-to-be English professor informing me of the required literature. To my shock, I found the movie “Carrie” by Stephen King, “Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris, and “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin just to name a few. I had signed up for a section of the class that was focused on “Women in Horror”. I have always avoided anything with terror, blood, etc. so I didn’t think I would be able to survive the course. My first reaction was to drop it, but after a few classes, I decided to give it a shot.

Recently, I’ve just completed one of my more interesting projects for the course: I live-tweeted my experiences while watching the movie “Carrie” (1976). Hopefully, nightmares won’t come and my followers on Twitter won’t think I have the most random tweets in the world, but this was a great change from the usual calculations my engineering courses require. So far, I’m very happy with my decision to try something bizarre and completely different from my engineering courses.

Project Management, Facilities, Econ, and Bio

Sarah Anderson

Sarah Anderson,
Senior, Industrial and Systems Engineering

Athens, OH 3 November 2013 – As my college career is culminating into my final year, each semester of classes is more interesting than the one before. One of my favorite aspects of my class schedule is its diversity. I am currently enrolled in three of my ‘major’ classes and three electives required by my degree.

My project management class gives me the chance to work in teams with new people to develop and present a potential project idea. It’s fun to witness the range of ideas that appear, from building a new bar uptown to building an island. Still it’s amazing to see the similarities in the decision-making process for the different scopes of projects.

My favorite class is about designing layouts for various facilities. We have to come up with the most effective arrangement of various departments in a given building considering a variety of factors. Even in designing the skeleton of the building itself, a number of systems (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc.) need to come together to create an optimal work environment.

I also get to stretch my legs and go across campus to study economics and human biology. Econ is a neat class, especially because taking a federal macroeconomics gives me a flip-side perspective to the small-scale microeconomics class I took freshman year. I like having the chance to see how society works, not just my personal engineering projects.

I am so excited to be able to finally take a biology class though, especially an anatomy class. Perhaps it’s the systems engineer in me, but I love seeing how the different systems in the body interact to create such a complex organism (my molecular biology roommate also likes that I now understand more than 40% of what she says). The class has also motivated me to want to work on designing harder and more complex systems that take into consideration a number of factors.

As I’m scheduling next semester, my classes are all in the engineering building, but I’ll be sure to schedule an extra, just to give me some perspective.

English Classes are Important Too

Colton Moran

Colton Moran,
Junior, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Athens, OH 17 February 2013 – As an engineer, I don’t always have the chance to explore my interests by taking classes outside my major. So when a class is required and of great interest to me outside of engineering it’s like striking gold. This semester I am taking a English 3080J course that is themed on medieval times. The class is so different than most classes I have taken and it has shown me that I have a real interest in writing as well as reading medieval literature. The first portion of the class was based off a reading by Chrétien de Troyes, a story he wrote called “Yvain the Knight with the Lion”. It was a Romantic novel that to my surprise was a great read. It contained action, romance and deep rooted symbolism that unlike most literature spurred my interested. Then after having the chance to read such a great novel we were assigned to write one.

This is where I truly got a chance to experience something new in college–never before have I been asked to tap into my creative side to such an extent. I really enjoyed the release from such an analytic approach to homework assignments and papers that are part of the engineering curriculum. I enjoyed it to the point that I wrote 4000 words or 10 pages for an assignment that was only supposed to be 1100 words or 3-4 pages. This ambition to write so much didn’t come from the fact that I was looking to increase my grade, but came about because after taking so many engineering courses this class was something I could enjoy and not stress out about.

In all, it may just be the beginning of the semester but this English course has been a great way for me to experience more of my creative side. This mixed with my engineering courses has the makings of a great semester and I for one am excited to mix it up and work both the left and right sides of my brain.

Winter Semester Courses

Joe Cook

Joe Cook,
Junior, Civil Engineering

Athens, OH 22 January 2013 – Winter semester, time to shake off the dust and get back to class. This semester I have a really interesting course load. I’m taking a course called Water Quality Engineering that covers aquatic chemistry. The course deals heavily in chemistry, but the content we learn is very practical. The methods we learn allow me as a civil engineer to judge the condition of a sample of water based on chemical, biological, and physical composition. To put it simply, I can tell you if water is safe for swimming, drinking, or even laboratory use.

On the flip side I’m also taking a physical education course, bowling. Not the most strenuous activity, but it’s fun to pull myself away from the engineering side of things and just throw a 16 pound ball at some wood for 2 hours every other day.

In addition to classes, I was recently appointed president of the American Society of Civil Engineers student chapter, and the duties I’ve assumed with that position are keeping me busy as well. I can’t wait to see our concrete canoe come out of the mold and get painted. I’m looking forward to the competition in April to prove our design and have some fun in Cleveland at our yearly conference.