With pass times approaching for spring quarter, the members of the Editorial Board share some of their favorite classes they have taken at UC Davis
Anjini Venugopal, Editor-in-Chief – ECH 001: Design of Coffee
If you ask any of my friends about my most quintessential traits, they’re sure to mention that I’m quite the coffee gal. This three-unit course involved a weekly lecture and a lab section during which we roasted, ground and brewed coffee beans to investigate basics of chemistry and chemical engineering; though I sometimes flaunt to pre-med friends that I haven’t needed to take a biology, chemistry or physics class, this was a nice, basic course that examined one of my favorite things from a more academic perspective than I had ever considered (and it provided some visual literacy GE units). I’d love to share some other top contenders for courses that I absolutely recommend taking if you have a chance: LIN 127, ECS 122A and PSC 136.
Margo Rosenbaum, Managing Editor – GEL 012: Evolution and Paleobiology of Dinosaurs
As an avid dinosaur lover, I was so excited to see a class devoted to the very subject and even bought a dinosaur-covered notebook to take notes in lecture. Using dinosaurs as examples, GEL 012 covers introductory ideas to evolutionary biology, paleobiology, ecology and paleoecology, making it a great GE for people without an extensive science background. I took the class with Dr. Sandy Carlson, who is incredibly animated about fossils, dinosaur reconstructions and current events in paleontology. I highly recommend this class for anyone looking to geek out about dinosaurs (like me), or to earn two units toward the science and technology GE category.
Sophie Dewees, Campus News Editor – ENL 105: History of the English Language
ENL 105 is easily one of my favorite classes I’ve taken in college. Even without a background in linguistics, I found the concepts easy to understand and the deep dive into Old and Middle English fascinating. I took the class with Professor Seeta Chaganti, whom I cannot recommend enough. As a medieval historian, she was incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the subject and made the class one of the highlights of my time at Davis.
Madeleine Payne, City News Editor – GEL 020: Geology of California
This two-unit course explores the many diverse and distinctive geologic features of California and offers a billion-year-old history lesson on the state. It’s perfect for those who are new to geology or looking to satisfy the visual or scientific literacies core requirements. I took this class my freshman year, and it totally transformed how I see California, giving so much more meaning to the mountainous features and coastal landscape I enjoy spending time in every day.
Eden Winniford, Opinion Editor – PHI 011: Asian Philosophy
PHI 011 can be dense at times but it’s always engaging — it’s amazing how applicable ancient texts can be to modern life. Dr. Thorian Harris is incredibly knowledgeable and approachable, and he gives his students the freedom to think deeply and write meaningful essays. I initially signed up for it to satisfy my world cultures GE requirement, but now I always check to see if any philosophy classes fit into my schedule.
Katie DeBenedetti, Features Editor – ETX 020: Introduction to Forensic Science
For crime nerds like me, taking a GE that studies real life murders, how they’re solved, the evolution of DNA evidence — and fulfills a science requirement — is a no-brainer. This course delves into famous crimes committed in California, like the 1989 “Yosemite Murders,” and how forensic evidence like fingerprints, bloodpatterns and small skin and hair samples can help detectives solve hard to understand cases. I’d definitely recommend this course to anyone looking to up their armchair detective skills — but maybe not to the easily spooked.
Allie Bailey, Arts & Culture Editor – WMS 050: Intro Gender Studies
I feel lucky to have taken many classes at Davis that could have made this list. Looking back on my four years here, however, I think the most valuable course I’ve taken is WMS 050. One of the central ideas of the course is intersectional feminism, and how social issues can be better understood and remedied when considered through a feminist lens. Having taken it my first quarter at Davis, I’m surprised that the course has stuck with me, but I think it’s the fact that it was one of my first classes that made it so influential; it gave me critical thinking tools early on and an intersectional feminist framework that I used to analyze other course content. I think having these skills has deepened all of the subsequent learning I’ve done at Davis and will continue to impact how I learn about and interact with the world around me.
Omar Navarro, Sports Editor – CMN 001: Introduction to Public Speaking
As someone who really does not like public speaking, I find it surprising that I would recommend a public speaking course. But, the reason I selected this class is because of the valuable things I learned, the interesting course content and how much the practice of public speaking has really helped other areas of my life. While public speaking can be frightening sometimes (and it was for me in that class), it is going to be necessary in a lot of our lives down the road, so getting over that fear or working on it can go a long way. The class is four units and falls under social sciences, but to me, the value is something you can take with you even after you are done in Davis.
Michelle Wong, Science Editor – MUS 116: Music of the Beatles
Growing up listening to “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Yellow Submarine,” I have always been an avid listener of The Beatles and was excited to see UC Davis offered a course solely dedicated to the band. For anyone who loves The Beatles, this course dives into the background of the members, different influences on their evolving music style and how their music influenced artists to come. After learning more about the different hardships and trials this band faced, I have further grown in my appreciation for all music artists and the intertwinement between music and culture.
Written by: The Editorial Board