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Top 10 Coolest Classes at Cal State Sacramento

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Santosha Veera
24 Jun 2019
9 min read

Let's face it: college can be boring and difficult, and sometimes it can even get overwhelming. In between all the hard science courses, the annoying gen eds, and the required degree classes, students just wanna have fun. For a fun elective class - and maybe even an easy A, check out this list of the ten coolest classes at Cal State Sacramento.

1. THEA 115 - Puppetry

Puppets are great storytelling devices.

From Pinocchio to Kermit the Frog and his Muppet gang, puppetry is a craft that brings many children (and adults - just look at Avenue Q on Broadway!) great joy. For those who want to master this ancient and yet popular craft, THEA 115 gives students the tools to both make and manipulate many types of puppets. It's worth checking out and learning a unique skill - even if your life goal isn't to work for Sesame Street.

2. MUSC 38D - Beginning Hand Drums

Hand drums can be versatile and beautiful instruments.

Here's a skill that's sure to impress the ladies (and guys) on the next camping trip. Beginning Hand Drums introduces all students, including non-music majors, to the art of Asian and Middle Eastern Hand Drumming. Students will be able to play the rhythmic music of Northern India and the traditional drum solos of the Middle East on traditional hand drums. Your friends' flimsy guitar skills are sure to pale in comparison to these amazing ancient drumming techniques.

3. GEOL 114 - Volcanology

Volcano eruptions can cause immense destruction.

From the eruption of Vesuvius in ancient Pompeii to Mount St. Helens' surprise explosion that decimated the Washington farming population nearby, volcanoes have changed the course of human history and damaged many cities. Their violent, earth-shattering, and often unexpected outbursts have struck fear in the hearts of humanity since the beginning of time, who created elaborate mythos around the geological feature. Thankfully, we now have modern science to understand and predict volcanic eruptions, and students in this course will be able to better understand the mechanics behind volcanoes. Even better - there's a field trip to local volcanic sites involved!

4. DNCE 4C - Mexican Folklorico Level 1A

Folk dances are great ways to learn about new cultures and their history.

All students are welcome to take this introduction course to many different types of cultural dances found in Mexico and Latin America. DNCE 4C combines both the fun of learning new dances with the important history and cultural context around them. Students will gain a new appreciation for the diversity of Latin American cultures and also have a fun skill to practice in a supportive classroom community.

5. ANTH 13 - Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion

Witchcraft and magic have been around in folk tales and mythology since the beginning of human history.

Although this class might not necessarily go over the intricacies of the Harry Potter universe or explore the witchcraft in Hocus Pocus, students who are interested in an exploration of these elements in society will still love this class. ANTH 13 emphasizes a cultural understanding of global religions and rituals while reflecting on how these practices relate to more universal human values.

6. HIST 120A - History of Medicine, Ancient and Medieval

Witch doctors were common in the medieval era, during the Black Death.

Before the marvels of vaccination and antibiotics, a harmless stomach flu could send someone to the local witch doctor to sell their soul and have their blood sucked out slowly by leeches. HIST 120A covers ancient understandings of medicine and illness, including the use of folk magic and witchcraft to "cure" patients. If anything will make you appreciate your local doctor's office and CVS, it's this class.

7. ASTR 4C - Introduction to Astrobiology

Astrobiology explores the idea of life on other planets and habitability outside of Earth.

A course that exists because universities can't just name a course "Aliens 101" (yet), ASTR 4C aims to help students understand the science behind one of the biggest questions humanity has: are we alone in the universe? Focusing on the habitability of nearby celestial bodies, including planets and moons, and then broadening the search to the entire universe, students who yearn to journey beyond the stars to find life will love this course. Who know - maybe alien life isn't in a galaxy so far, far away!

8. LIBA 226 - Wisdom and Apocalyptic Literature

Noah's Ark is an example of an apocalyptic story in ancient mythology.

Ever wondered whether the guy holding the "THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH" sign at the edge of the street secretly had some otherworldly wisdom? LIBA 226, while not designed to answer that specific question, gets pretty close to its philosophical roots. Students will analyze the literary merits and cultural context behind apocalyptic mythos, including Greek myths, stories of Judaism and Christianity, and other myths from around the world.

9. PHIL 117 - Existentialism

The Thinker is a sculpture that embodies the feeling of trying to make sense of the world - similar to how students in this class will feel.

Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Do we have free will? These are all questions that probably won't be answered by PHIL 117, but they will definitely be thoroughly examined and talked about. Through reading the works of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and more, students will be able to understand the concepts of free will, determinism, crime, and punishment (shout out to the Dostoevsky gang).

10.HRS 188 - Fantasy and Romance

Fantasy has the ability to let their audience escape into a new and amazing world.

At least one of these are major components of any major blockbuster film, almost every award-winning television show, and many great novels. Fantasy and romance have the power to immerse their audiences in wonderful new worlds with powerful emotions - just ask all the die-hard Twi-moms. HRS 188 explores the use of fantasy and the heroes quest in historic and contemporary storytelling, allowing students to understand the context of these elements in many genres.

Whether you're in college to get a degree as soon as possible or to continue your education, it's important to not lose sight of the true meaning of education: to open up and learn about new and exciting things. Students who feel burnt out or overwhelmed deserve a break from all those difficult classes. From intro to puppetry to a fun dance class, there are many great classes which are sure to widen your horizons - if you dare to take them.

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