10 Coolest Courses at Evergreen State College

Evergreen State College

Evergreen State College is a public liberal arts college located in Olympia, Washington. Although most of the classes students are expected to take in college are in a major or degree track, it is extremely valuable to take a few electives that you are truly interested in, or that are just fun and easy. For any students looking for a bit of a break, here are 10 of the coolest courses at Evergreen State College.

1. 10011 – Audio Recording 1

Picture of person in studio at the audio booth, while recording and producing music

Audio production is the process of producing sound effects and music (including studio recordings and backing tracks), usually using electronic and digital means. Students taking this class will get an inside look as to how their favorite pop radio hits are made, and the sound engineers behind it all. For their final project, they’ll even get a chance to make their very own multi-step music project with their fellow classmates.

2. 10078 – Anthrozoology

Different types of animals

Why is it okay to eat a pig, but absolutely awful to eat a dog? What animals do we consider ripe for the slaughter, and which ones do we hold dear to our hearts and think of as our kin – and why does this happen? Anthrozoology seeks to explore these questions and understand the historical and current relationship between humans and different animal species. Students will partake in field trips and interviews to understand how animals are viewed in many different cultures.

3. 10033 – Broke: Poverty in the US Today

Picture of a protest, with signs that say Fight Poverty NOT the Poor.

An incredibly timely and important class, 10033 – Broke, offers students an in-depth understanding of the extreme wealth disparities present in the US, and which groups are disproportionately affected. In addition to statistics and sociological studies, students will also listen to artists who have dealt with poverty in the US and gain a more personal perspective on what it’s like to be broke.

4. 20103 – Ceramics: Foundational Skills

A person throwing on a ceramics wheel

For a fun new hobby that involves working with your hands and the hot burning fires of a kiln, look no further than Ceramics. This introductory course puts students in the studio and teaches them the basic forming processes and hand-building techniques needed for pottery-making. The best thing is that you can finally make your own dishware – no more trips to HomeGoods’ sale aisle!

5. 10142 – Clones and Mutants: Genetics and Photography

Digital illustration of  DNA in abstract background

10142 explores the themes of the individual and what constitutes an “individual”. In the new scientific era of genetic engineering and cloning, there are suddenly infinite possibilities to changing our own biology, and it can be harder to define who “we” truly are. This is a highly philosophical course – the kind that’ll make you stop and wonder “who am I? What is an individual? Do we even really exist?”. Your existential crises will definitely be fun at parties.

6. 10269 – Creative Writing: Short Fiction and Poetry

Picture of ink pen on a notebook with some cursive writing on the page.

For all the aspiring J.K. Rowlings and George R. R. Martins, this course is… probably not the one for you. But if you want to follow in the likes of Edgar Allen Poe’s horrific short stories or Lord Byron’s drawling romantic poetry, consider taking 10269. Students will be assigned various short writing and poetry assignments and be offered feedback on their work. At the end of the course, the class will host a community open mic to showcase their final projects.

7. 10092 – Farm to Table

Picture of a healthy spread of food, including a bunch of veggies, salt and pepper to taste.

Ever looked at that bottle of organic, locally-produced, farm-fresh, lactose-free, GMO-free, free-range, fat-free milk at your local Whole Foods and wonder what that glaringly obnoxious “Farm-to-table!” sticker truly meant? Wonder no more – 10092 will expose students to the realities of modern-day farming and food production, both through exploring the biology and anthropological history of agriculture and human-plant co-evolution and through field trips to local food banks and farms.

8. 10176 – Forests

Picture of a forest with light coming through and moss everywhere

Want to take your next biology course on the damp floor of the lush Pacific Northwest forests, surrounded by unique wildlife found nowhere else? 10176 is the perfect course for you! Through both lecture and field trips, students will explore the ecological, biological, chemical, and environmental aspects of the forests in Washington State, and will even partake in their own fieldwork in the Cascade Mountains.

9. 10263 – Island Ecology and Evolution

Empty hammock strung from palm trees overlooking a blue ocean on an idyllic tropical island

Maybe forest life just isn’t for you, but you still want an amazing ecological adventure to spice up your course list. 10263 has got your back with its exploration of the coastal Washington islands, which allows students to take field trips to multiple of these islands and partake in fieldwork. Students will look at the ecology and biodiversity of islands and how they can be protected from human impact.

10. 10200 – Madness and Creativity: The Psychological Link

Van Gogh's STARRY NIGHT painting

Why did Van Gogh cut off his ear? Why did Picasso find it funny to fire blanks from a revolver to random people he found distasteful? 10200 will explore the lives and mental states of many eccentric artists and explore these questions, along with a more fundamental one: Is there a psychological link between mental illness or psychological disturbance, and high levels of creativity? Students will learn from more than textbooks, using real-life art and media from the artists discussed in class.

Author: Santosha Veera

Santosha Veera is currently a freshman Biology major at Virginia Commonwealth University with a focus on pre-medical studies.

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