Ahh.. summer. A time to relax, enjoy the outdoors, maybe travel to new locations. With the long break from school, there’s plenty of options for you. One of those is also to take the opportunity to get ahead in school or learn something new in a less busy time. SUNY is chock-full of interesting classes to take in any given semester, including summer. That’s what makes compiling these lists so hard! When all of the classes are great, it’s hard to single out a few of the most unique options. But we’ve done just that.
Below you can find some of the best classes available to take this summer at SUNY. The title and course description can hardly do justice to these unique and exciting courses. There are many exceptional learning and living experiences to be had so be sure to enroll in a few great course this summer.
This course is part of Adirondack’s Adventure Sport program. Courses are held at the Wild Water Outdoor Center and focus on teaching the basics of rafting safety. Be prepared for those outdoor adventures you love to, or want to, take in New York. If you want to learn how to canoe or go river rafting, this class can teach you techniques for accident prevention, preparedness, and rescue response on the water. This will be a great preparation for those future summer outings you spend on the waters in and around New York parks.
Pop culture takes us into many worlds in the fantasy realm. From ancient times to life in outer space, their are many different environments and cultures that we can be transported to on screen or page. And many of these worlds’ cultures are truly unique, even creating their own languages. Elvish, for example, is a language spoken by immortal elves in The Lord of the Rings. Klingon is spoken by humanoid aliens from another planet in Star Trek. Both languages attempt to imagine what the communication system of another intelligent species might be like. But in order to construct a credible fictional language, however, we have to think carefully about the nature of human language. What parts of the human language are the most important to any intelligent communications system and which come up by accident? This course will explore these questions and more.
When you go away on vacation, you want some great photos to capture the fun and beauty of your time away. Don’t just rely on luck for that. This class (com 112) will get you up to speed on the proper ways and methods of photography. Like what is depth of field, sharp focus, or blur motion? Students in this course will be introduced to the fundamentals of taking pictures and also camera operation. And don’t worry about having the right equipment. Students can sign-out cameras and other supplies on campus.
From Zika to Bird Flu and more, there seems to be a threat of a pandemic event nearly every year. How do these diseases come to be and what threats do they pose to humans? This course explores the nature of infectious diseases and disease processes that affect humans. Study is based on case studies of infectious diseases that demonstrate not only the basic principles of microbiology, but the nature and origins of infection. The course will also cover how microbes adapt and change in light of recent discoveries and discussion on ways to control infectious diseases by influencing the adaptations of microbes to their environment.
Learn to identify the plant-life native to New York. Students will spend time outside in Central New York to examine spring flowering plants, woody plants, ferns, and fern allies. A true example of learning by doing as you’ll get the chance to see these flowers up close. Although prior completion of a course in plant identification is strongly recommended, it is not required.
From smartphones to smart homes, technology is all around us and becoming more and more a part of everything we do. We can control things in our house from many miles away, but does that change us? This class investigates the history as well as the present and potential future impact of technology and artifacts not only on material human life but also on the human experience of the world. Students will also study the uses and abuses of technology and how ethics play into that. Is technology neutral and merely instrumental or should it be seen as having a more profound impact on human life?
Kay is a student assistant with the SUNY Office of New Media. She is a University at Albany undergraduate working towards a double major in English and East Asian studies with a double minor in communications and film.