Spice up your schedule this spring with Harry Potter, vampires, yoga and…beer?

When the time comes to register for classes, attending a liberal arts school can be a bit annoying. The College asks us to take a broad range of classes to enrich our overall education; however, most of these classes are just plain boring. If you’re looking to change it up a bit, consider these four unique classes to spice up your next semester.

ENGL 190: Harry Potter

Recently, universities across the nation have experienced a dramatic “Potter-ization” with the rise of Quidditch as a recognized sport. College of Charleston takes this one step further by offering ENGL 190: Harry Potter. This class takes you from Charleston to Hogwarts with class discussions ranging from Harry’s scar to Umbridge’s cat portraits and the evilness of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Mary Raycroft is a senior currently enrolled in ENGL 190. “The best part of the class,” Raycroft said, “is the community of friends in the class all interested in Harry Potter.” Class requirements include reading all seven novels, participating in discussion, making connections with mythology and frequenting trivia games. “There is no bad part about the class,” Raycroft said. “It’s Harry freaking Potter.” There are serious assignments, though, including weekly papers and three exams throughout the semester, but a true Potterhead will easily ace this class. If you’re interested in magic, obsessed with the Harry Potter fandom, or just looking for a fun class, then bloody hell, this is the class for you.

LTRS 250: Vampires

Speaking of bloody hell, let’s talk about blood. Sometimes class can feel like a blood-suckingly torturous experience, and for students enrolled in LTRS 250: Vampires, this is a good thing. Carson Schafer, a junior here at the College, spends three hours a week learning about blood-suckers and brutes in this wonderfully horrifying class. “We’ve looked at all the old Eastern European vampire folklore, tropes, different types of vampires and how they evolved into Edward Cullen,” Schafer said. The class involves a lot of reading, from shorts stories to novels. “Right now we’re reading Dracula — of course,” she said, “and we interpret it looking at sex, race, gender and xenophobia.” Schafer loves the fact that everyone in the class is fascinated with the topic and the readings in which they sink their teeth into everyday. Historical background is a large part of the class, and Schafer has learned about how vampire folklore indicates what certain cultures fear. Schafer embraces her own fears by being a part of this class. “I’m pretty sure the teacher is a vampire,” she said, “but no one’s been bitten yet.” So, if your looking to put a little extra hemoglobin in your class schedule, consider taking LTRS 250. “If you have a dark sense of humor and a morbid curiosity,” Schafer said, “this class is for you.” But, students beware. You may think this professor’s office hours are for extra help, yet it might turn out to be an unauthorized blood donation. Register at your own risk.

HTMT 310: Advanced Concepts in the Beer Industry

If drinking blood isn’t your thing, you may want to try a class on beer. Michael Cohen is a professor of hospitality and tourism and teaches the class HTMT 310: Advanced Concepts in the Beer Industry. “This class was intended to inform and educate the student into sensory analysis of beer,” Cohen said. And for a college student, this is heaven on campus. The class often involves beer sampling in order for students to better understand the product. Students also learn the hospitality concept of food pairing. “Food pairing,” Cohen said, “is another exercise to correlate students’ new palate knowledge with a known database so as to associate their new learning with a well-worn concept.” One assignment requires students to bring a beer and cheese combination to class and explain why the two work together. Critiquing follows and the class is engaged in a delicious understanding of the presence of beer in the hospitality industry. This class seems like fun and games (beer pong, perhaps?), but it is more demanding than one might think. “Typically a class would sample between 15 and 20 beers along with the lecture material, “beer jeopardy” and a weekly quiz,” Cohen said. “So this is not for the feint of heart.” Class material is serious, but that sure would be a fun class to study for.

PEAC 102: Introduction to Yoga

Maybe the thought of drinking beer everyday worries you, and you’re looking for a healthier class. Well, look no further than yoga. We all need a little relaxation, and now we can have it through PEAC 102. This class is focused on the philosophy, positions and breathing of yoga. Sophomore Jade Carpenter, an emerging yogi, says that Introduction to Yoga is her favorite class this semester.“You get credits to go and relax and it’s nice because it’s like getting academic rewards for working out,” Carpenter said. The class can be a bit awkward, though, because some of the asanas put students in weird positions, but it’s all worth it. “One time we all got in a big circle and massaged each others backs,” Carpenter said. “It was during midterms, so it was nice, but still weird.” The true yogi will take this class as a stress-reducer, but for a beginner it might be challenging. “There are actually tests and a final,” Carpenter said. “They are written and include a practical element where you demonstrate poses.” Do not think of this class as a GPA booster; yoga is a challenging endeavor that can take you through a deep emotional journey and challenge your body in remarkable ways. But yoga is a viable solution to the trials and tribulations of college — from stress and anxiety to the freshman fifteen. If you need to align your chakras as much as you align your social activities, consider registering for yoga. Take the first step toward peace and serenity.

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Jessica Wilkinson is a feature writer at CisternYard News. She is a sophomore majoring in Secondary Education and History with a minor in Political Science. In her free time, she can be found binge-watching Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars on Netflix, doing Muay Thai Kickboxing and spending as much time as possible on Pinterest. She aspires to be the best history teacher your kids will ever have while spending her summers writing and traveling the world.

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