Catamounts Choose Courses: Classes to Make Your Spring 2016 Schedule AWESOME.

We all know how stressful registering for classes can be.  Sometimes when you’re sitting at your computer in the early hours of the morning desperately trying to type/copy and paste CRN numbers it feels a little like the Hunger Games.

But what can feel even more difficult than fighting to the death is choosing which classes to take.  UVM offers so many great courses from so many awesome professors, often it’s hard to know where to even start…but the UVM Bored team is here to help! 

In honor of #UndeclaredWeek, we asked students what their favorite classes were for our Freebie Friday Contest. Click here for a list of the 50+ responses we got!

We also wanted to put in our two-bits! These are the UVM Bored Teams’ favorite UVM classes we wanted to recommend and why:


AS 096 – Major Decisions

Considering it’s the end of #UndeclaredWeek, I decided I’d give a shout-out to a class that truly defined my college experience. At the beginning of sophomore year, I realized that I still didn’t know what major to declare. I was still taking gen-ed classes, but it was getting to be about time to start finding a path for the rest of my course schedule. I decided to enroll in AS 095 – a class called “Major Decisions.” I thought this class was crucial in terms of my understanding of UVM, academia, and occupations in the real World. Although taught by a various professors, when I took it, Professor Jennifer Dickinson devoted each class to a different major. We would look at the course requirements, concentrations, discuss employment opportunities, and would have professors for each major come in and speak. I wouldn’t have even known about the Global & Regional Studies major if it hadn’t been for Major Decisions. I also have a stronger understanding of all other majors, and how the various colleges functions as a whole.
If you’re struggling to decide how you want to spend your college career, or are unsure about your future, I would highly suggest this class!

Spring 2016
Professor E Manetta
2 Credits
MW 3:00-4:45
CRN #15512



ENGS 040 – Tolkien’s Middle Earth

As someone who doesn’t get the chance to take many Humanities courses, spending a whole semester discussing Elves and Hobbits is a wonderful change of pace. I’ve always been a huge Tolkien fan, so when I found out about ENGS 040, I was pretty excited. The whole course is spent reading and discussing J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”. When I took the class we had the chance to memorize a poem/song/passage of our choice and perform it for the class. I chose to memorize a poem in both English and Elvish (Quenya) called “Namárië”, which is by far the coolest assignment I’ve ever had at UVM. Professor Chris Vaccaro is an authority on Tolkien (he’s written a book on the subject!) and his passion really spreads throughout the class. If you’re looking for a fun class and have even the slightest interest in J.R.R. Tolkien’s works, I would definitely recommend this class. Also, anyone who is a Tolkien fan, and wants to meet even more like-minded individuals, should definitely check out the UVM Tolkien Club!

Spring 2016
Professor C Vaccaro
3 Credits
MWF 12:00-12:50 or MWF 1:10-2:00
CRN #15732



GEOL 001 – Earth System Science

Have you ever wondered why there are two giant metal whale tails on the side of I89 when driving up to school? Well, the reason is in fact that whales used to live here! That’s right, whales were splashing around, right here! After the recession of a giant glacier that covered most of New England made its way up to Canada, the Champlain Valley was left deeply embedded into the lithosphere and asthenosphere (the mantle). Because of the extreme weight from the glacier and sinking of the crust, allowed water from the nearby ocean (that we now call the Atlantic) to come pouring in, creating a sea right here in Burlington, Vermont! Long story short, the crust eventually rose and the whales sadly died. We found their fossils and then decided to make a giant whale tail sculpture to signify their awesomeness! Anyways, if this whale story or any other baffling geologic anomalies interest you, I highly recommend taking Geology 001 (4 credit class) with Stephen Wright next semester! My favorite part of the class was taking weekly lab trips to see amazing geologic sites like the Champlain Thrust Fault and the Huntington Gorge! This class sparked my passion for geology and I now consider myself a huge rock nerd! Yay!

Spring 2016
Professor Stephen Wright
4 Credits
MWF 12:00-12:50 or W 6:40-9:40
CRN #10189



PHIL 013 – Introduction to Logic

Intro to Logic has to be my favorite Philosophy class I’ve taken thus far. Professor Weiner is one of the funniest and knowledgeable people I know! Learning how to formally construct arguments has been incredibly helpful. I cannot tell you how fun it is to prove your friends (and enemies) wrong! Do you like The Lego Movie? Well, be prepared for a plethora of ‘Everything is Awesome’ references! Also, if it applies to you, it can also count as a math credit! I know! It’s wonderful! Be sure to check out this class if you can in the spring. It is definitely worth taking! Bored team member Dallas approved.

Spring 2016
Professor Weiner
3 Credits
MWF 9:40-10:30
CRN #15097



CDAE 124 – Public Communications Media

Looking for an animated, passionate, kind-hearted professor who always has your best interest in mind? Are you ready to analyze causes and campaigns in the media that impact your day-to-day life? CDAE 124 Public Communication Media with Dr. Rob Williams is the class you’re looking for. In this fun and dynamic course, the knowledgeable and well-traveled “Doctor Dub” teaches the role that media plays in our society, and more importantly, our power as individuals to impact that role. You will learn how the brain consumes and processes messages in a way that is simple and easy to comprehend. Working mainly in groups and but occasionally on your own will help to get you the full experience that is Public Communication Media with Dr. Dub. Don’t miss out!!

Spring 2016
Professor Williams
3 Credits
TR 4:25-5:40
CRN #12264



AS 096 – Design Your Life

If you’re a rising junior or senior, I seriously recommend taking Design Your Life.  The idea of life after graduation is exciting, but a little nerve wracking.  DYL helps you prepare.  Eugene is awesome and the class is so fun and helpful.  You learn essential skills for entering “the real world” and choosing and finding a career.  You’ll also learn a lot about yourself and your own happiness.  Plus Eugene starts and ends every class with great music and leaves you with a cute animal pic.  DYL will be that class you look forward to every week!

Spring 2016
Eugene Korsunskiy
1 credit
T 4:25-5:40 or R 4:25-5:40 or R 6:00-7:15
CRN #15478, 15479, 15480
(Any year can take Eugene’s Design Thinking class for 3 credits MW 3:30-4:45)


ENGS 096 – The Hobbit

If you need to take an online winter session course, I suggest Professor Vaccaro’s The Hobbit class.  It is a 2 credit class over the course of a few weeks.  It lets you completely immerse yourself in The Hobbit without worrying about other classes.  Sometimes when you dive in too deep with something you love, the analysis can “ruin it for you.”  This is not the case here.  I learned so much about Tolkien and The Hobbit and it just made me love this book even more.  Plus it’s a great excuse to finally buy The Annotated Hobbit…

Winter 2015-2016
Professor Vaccaro
2 credits
CRN #15682


HCOL 186 – Shakespeare and the Classical Tradition

If you’re a sophomore in the Honors College, take Professor Chiu’s Shakespeare class.  The class combines two awesome things, Shakespeare and Classics.  Not only do you learn tons about these subjects, but you also become a better writer and student.  Daily reading and writing assignments may sound terrifying, but by a few weeks in, they become part of your routine and help you understand the material.  By the end of this class, you’ll be a Shakespeare pro.

Spring 2016
Professor Angeline Chiu
3 credits
MWF 1:10-2:00
CRN #12912


CRES anything

If you’re interested in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and/or social justice, take any class in the CRES program.  These courses often fill a Diversity requirement, but more importantly, deal with crucial and relevant issues in today’s world.  These classes will change your life.  All of the professors in CRES are excellent and so passionate about the work they do and about teaching students.  From my own experience, I highly recommend any of the classes next semester in CRES with Professor Bernard, Professor Khanna, or Professor Ewald.



And there you have it, Cats!  Those are your UVM Bored Team’s picks for classes next semester.  Feel free to ask us questions about these classes in the comments and add your own suggestions!