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Gearing up for spring quarter

by Emily Huntington

Horizon Reporter

A brand new class taught by Cathy Hagman is being introduced to Whatcom. Titled “Religions of the Far East,” it looks at religions from South Asia, India, China, Japan – religions such as Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Shinto, to name a few. It examines how they began, and what impacts they have on today’s society. Hagman will also be teaching “Intro to Philosophy.”

Need an English class, but can’t come to class every day? English 100, 101 and 102 are now being offered as hybrid courses, said Jeffrey Klausman, English department chair. Klausman said that students in hybrid courses outperformed those in a day-to-day English lecture class, according to a recent study performed by a department of education.

Klausman also recommends “Gender and Literature,” taught by Sue Lonac. This class looks into different literary works and examines the role of gender in literature.

Sherri Winans will be teaching an online version of Children’s Literature. This class focuses on reading and analysis of literature for pre-adolescent to young adults. It will touch on both classic and contemporary works, and may focus on a theme, genre, or time period.

Both “Gender and Literature” and “Children’s Literature” satisfy the humanities requirement for the general AA/transfer degree.

If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by all the coursework, and all the hours you spend behind a desk indoors, there’s always “Intro to Hiking,” taught by Bernie Dougan, a geology instructor. The class is offered for 1 credit, and includes three day-hikes throughout the quarter, which will teach the basics of hiking.

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“It is important for students to have appropriate footwear that has good traction and support,” Dougan said. Light hiking boots, running shoes, or hiking shoes should be sufficient. Dougan stresses that it is also crucial to have some degree of physical fitness before starting the class, as most hikes range between five to eight miles long. Hiking, Dougan said, means up and down steep mountain trails, not “a walk in the park.”

“Hikes will be on Chuckanut and Blanchard Mountains and maybe in the Cascades depending on weather and lack of snow,” said Dougan.

Doug McKeever, professor of geology, takes his students on several field trips throughout the quarter. His oceanography class takes a trip to Whidbey Island and Deception Pass to study “beaches, eroding sea cliffs, a failed seawall, among other things,” he said. They also go to Point Whitehorn Marine Park, near Birch Bay, to observe an undisturbed natural cliffed coastline in relation to erosion in the area that threatens some homes.

In his class on natural disasters, McKeever takes his students on two field trips. One is to observe flood issues and flood control strategies in the area. The other is to visit a landslide that occurred about a year ago in the foothills west of Mt. Baker, “as well as a huge 2,400 year old landslide that came from Church Mountain and covered the land where the town of Glacier is located today,” he said.

Although the geology and other science classes are typically reserved for science majors, anyone who wants to learn is welcome to join the class and participate in the field trips.

Tresha Dutton, social sciences department chair, recommends “History of the American West,” taught by Ed Chatterton, a geography instructor. This class will investigate the American West, and try to solve how the untamed wilderness became tame and industrialized. Students will do so through the eyes of the industrialists, women, Native Americans, minorities, etc, not just through the eyes of the cowboy.

Those are just a few of the recommended courses. For more classes being offered, visit Whatcom’s Web site and browse the classes by quarter, through my O.A.S.I.S.


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