My Favorite Classes at UC Santa Barbara

July 14, 2015

University of California, Santa Barbara is home to over 23,000 students. The school is known for the beautiful ocean views and the strong academics. Stephjoobilee, UCSB ‘16, shares a few of her favorite classes from her life at school. From arts to sciences, UCSB has a lot to offer. See what stephjoobilee has to say!

Music 70V-Gospel Choir

This class might seem like a strange choice for someone who’s not a singer and more than likely tone-deaf, but I wanted to take it because I’d heard nothing but positive comments about it. As a Christian and someone who appreciates the performing arts, it was amazing to see different people from all sorts of backgrounds and religions come together to praise the Lord. Our teacher was an incredible composer who was well-known in the music community, and he made it easy to participate in the class regardless of your level of experience. I never felt embarrassed or overly self-conscious despite the fact that I’d never sung before. I can’t even begin to describe the chills I got when we harmonized during practices. The combination of all our voices in different pitches - alto, tenor, soprano, baritone - was so magical, and the fact that I actually learned how to sing by the end of the semester was nothing short of a miracle.

Education 131- Secondary Science Education

This class, perhaps above all others, had a huge impact on my life, as it was the determining factor in my decision to minor in education. As a science major, it really challenged the way I approach learning, as well as the way I view teaching grade school students. The class itself was small—about 25 students—and we had two amazing professors who led weekly experiments. The methods we used to conduct our experiments were quite different from the ones I learned in high school, primarily because of the recently changed academic standards. This class really made me think about the ways that education was evolving, and how hands-on and interactive it was starting to become. Our class fully embraced these newer methods of learning—aside from the typical weekly lecture and discussion classes, we also went to local high schools to act as teacher’s assistants for local science teachers. From my placement in these classrooms, I was able to see the student-teacher interactions and the ways through which teachers focus on the needs of every student. At the end of the quarter, we planned and led a science experiment for the class. Education 131 really challenged what I learned when I was in school, and helped me to think outside the box.

Theater 5- Intro to Acting

I’m currently taking this class (at the time this post was written) and it’s probably the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done. I have serious stage fright. I hate standing in front of people to deliver even short formal speeches, much less lengthy dialogues or monologues that require openly expressing emotions. Despite my fears, I took this class because I heard it was a really interesting and fun general education class. We did a lot of different activities, from playing group games to partnering up to share stories about our lives. Against all odds, I’m actually looking forward to performing skits in groups and acting out monologues. As a science major, it’s been really interesting to express myself in different ways and do things I didn’t think I ever could. I can say that the art behind acting is truly beautiful, and I now understand it a lot more!

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