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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Five easy GEs being offered in winter, spring 2024

Enjoyable lower-division courses and an upper-division psychology course that any major will enjoy


By LORENA ALVAREZ — arts@theaggie.org


A hallmark in the quarter system is frantically searching for easy and fun general education (GE) courses amidst the rush of finals season. Those who find themselves hopelessly reading through Reddit posts in search of easy GEs that will not bore them to sleep or add on unnecessary stress have come to the right place. The following are some GEs offered at UCD that continuously hold the spotlight for their ease and level of enjoyment.


GEL 012: Evolution & Paleobiology of Dinosaurs 


This course uses dinosaurs to teach students the basics in biology and geology, exploring how evolution and the environment have influenced our mental image of dinosaurs. While previously remote, the class now meets twice a week on campus. When taught by D. Gold, the grade breakdown is made up of three short activities, a media assignment and a final exam. As of today, Jan. 2, the class is being taught by R. Motani and currently has a four-person waitlist, but will also be offered in the Spring.


ECH 001: Design of Coffee — An Introduction to Chemical Engineering


With the growing need to boycott large companies to bring awareness to social justice, or a lack thereof, learning how to brew your own coffee has become even more important than ever before. Here, students make and sample coffee while they learn about the chemical engineering principles behind the surprisingly long production process. This class is being offered in person, with a hybrid option that as of today, only has a two-person waitlist. A large portion of this class concentrates on a quarter-long project consisting of a design contest in which students are tasked with testing different chemical makeups (type of coffee, time spent brewing and brewing process) in their lab section, with the end goal being to make the ideal cup of coffee.


PSC 150V Relationship Science: Lust, Love, & Evolution 


This upper-division remote course explores the evolutionary explanations of attraction and relationships. It incorporates social psychology, evolution and biology to teach students how to maintain healthy relationships and understand one another. Students are graded on quizzes and exams on the content covered in lectures. Although this class is not being taught winter quarter, it will return in the Spring. 


PLS 006V: Flower Power; Art & Science of Flowers & Their Uses 


Another easy A is “Flower Power,” a memorization remote P/NP course that teaches students about the production and marketing of flowers in such a big and delicate industry. The grade breakdown consists of quizzes, small assignments and exams. This course will be specifically enjoyable to those who are interested in flowers and their production. If you are frantically in search of a course to complete your winter schedule, this class is easily a must not only because of its easy content but also because of its availability, it has over six hundred open seats. 


NUT 010: Discoveries & Connects in Nutrition 


This nutrition class provides a comprehensive introduction to food science, teaching students how to read nutrition scores and take care of their physical and mental health. D. Fetter provides an exemplary emphasis on the importance of understanding nutrition and its unique impact on each individual body. While the class has students examine their own eating habits, Dr. Fetter highlights the value of eating diverse foods and the importance of portion sizes, stressing that there is no such thing as a “good” or “bad” food when eaten in moderation and prioritizing both your mental and physical well being. This in-person course meets once a week and has plenty of open seats for those looking for a course that will teach them valuable knowledge that is easily applied to everyday life. 


All these GEs are a sure way to boost your GPA and provide a moment of relief from an otherwise busy schedule. That said, for those who are new to the quarter system, language classes and first-year seminars are also excellent opportunities to meet graduation requirements and become comfortable with the environment while learning about the world around us and how it functions.


Written by: Lorena Alvarez — arts@theaggie.org


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