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10 Coolest Courses at Santa Monica College

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Santosha Veera
26 Jun 2019
8 min read

Between long essays, tear-jerking midterms, and strict professors, getting a degree can be a grueling process. Often times, students are left tired and burned out from the plethora of difficult classes they need to take. With all this in mind, it's easy to lose sight of the true meaning of education: to widen your horizons and find new passions. For anyone needing a bit of a break from the grind, here are 10 of the coolest courses to take at Santa Monica College.

1. ANTHRO 22 - Magic, Religion, and Witchcraft

Witchcraft has a long global history.

For anyone who spent too much time waiting for their letter from Hogwarts or watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch reruns, the business of Magic and Witchcraft is serious. This class will cover global religions and ideas of spirituality, including understandings of folk magic and witchcraft in a cross-cultural context. Just don't take this knowledge to Salem...

2. ASTRON 5 - Life in the Universe

How life forms on Earth and it's potential on other planets are questions this course will explore.

Ever wanted to know if extraterrestrials truly roamed the far corners of the universe? Spent every Sunday morning wishing Star Trek was real? Although this class may not give any definite answers to those large questions, it does cover the chemical and biological building blocks of life on Earth and other planets, as well as the search for life on other planets, such as Mars.

3. BIOL 46G - Natural History and Marine Biology of Costa Rica

Costa Rica has many amazing creatures to learn about.

Imagine exploring a beautiful tropical paradise...and getting college credit for it! BIOL 46G takes students straight to the source to explore and learn about Costa Rica's rainforest ecosystem and the plethora of wildlife that call it home. For anyone who is ready for an adventure, BIOL 46G is the perfect class (Who knows, maybe you'll find some ancient treasure along the way)!

4. COM ST 12 - Persuasion

Persuading an audience is an essential skill for many careers

Ever wonder how great leaders and terrifying dictators alike managed to sway an audience to their favor? Want to learn to use their techniques (for good, hopefully)? COM ST 12 covers rhetorical techniques in persuasive speaking, a topic that has been explored since early Ancient Greece (As long as parties have existed, there's been an annoyed teenager trying to convince their parents to let them go). Students will learn how to balance logic, emotion, and credibility to form a strong argument.

5. CS 6 - Virtual Worlds and Game Programming

The virtual world of Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto 5 is vibrantly created by skilled programmers.

Ever played GTA 5 and wondered just how the creators got Los Santos to look so detailed and expansive? Marvel at how the realistic combat in the latest Uncharted was programmed? CS 6 will answer these questions, and more, as well as teach students how to make their own fantastical and immersive 3D worlds and begin programming games.

6. DANCE 19 - Ballroom Dance

Ballroom dance has been a part of many different cultures and societies, often viewed as a social skill.

This is a skill that's sure to impress, especially at formal events. Ballroom dance covers different types of social dance styles that have been both historically and currently popular, such as swing, tango, and and waltz. That awkward side-step shuffle will only work for so long, so take a leap (or dainty step) and enroll in this course!

7. ENGL 61 - Introduction to the Fairy Tale

Fantastical worlds and creatures, exist in many cultures and have been re-purposed in current mass media.

Every watch a Disney movie and wonder where the original inspiration came from? The answer might be surprising - before the Grimm brothers, who collected many folk tales from their country, many fairy tales had much more sinister and dark plot lines. This class explores the themes and purposes behind historical fairy tales, as well as the new transformations they've undergone in modern cinema and literature.

8. HIST 53 - The History of Religion

Religion and spirituality has been integral in many societies.

Religions of all different types have had a major impact on the current state of human civilization. Many great empires and nations were build on religious ideas and philosophies, and even in an age of science, many people are spiritual or culturally religious. This course goes over the historical origins and impacts of major global religions, including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, and Hinduism, as well as various tribal religions.

9. KIN PE 51A - Beginning Surfing

Surfing is a fun and adventurous activity, and many SoCal youth live by it!

Some people say there's no better place to catch a wave than the sunny beaches of Southern California (although I suspect that other coastal dwellers might have a bone to pick with that). Either way, there's no better time to pick up a board and take up this fun athletic hobby (AND get college credit for it)!

10. KIN PE 34A - Karate

Karate is a versatile and inclusive art

Although it won't get you to the martial arts skill level of Keanu Reeves in the Matrix (and definitely not Jackie Chan), karate is a fun and stimulating martial arts form that promotes mental, spiritual, and physical strength. Students who are excited to learn some new skills and challenge themselves will love this class!

Next time that 10 page essay is looming or those five midterms have got you down, remind yourself to check out some of these interesting courses! Maybe you'll find a new passion!

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