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Popular courses fill in minutes

By Natasha Bhuyan
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, October 29, 2004
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Editor's note: This is the last in a three-part series on class registration.

As sophomores and freshmen prepare to register for courses in the next few weekends, many are building their schedule around core classes, but others have their sights set on popular UA classes, which are filling up quickly.

With high demand and limited availability, students are learning popular classes on campus disappear before they even have a chance to register.

Nikki Ing, an undeclared freshman, said the course she wants to get into is Music 109, Rock and American Pop Music.

But Ing said the class, which explores the role of music in social interaction, has already filled with upperclassmen and athletes, who had priority registration a few weeks ago.

"I heard it's a lot of fun, but it's already full," Ing said. "All the athletes got in."

But in some instances, even upperclassmen have a difficult time landing a popular course.

Kathleen O'Neil, a doctoral student of philosophy and instructor for the sociology department, teaches Sociology 324, Sociology of Sexuality, which has 60 seats.

"This semester, there's only one section being offered, and it filled up before some of the seniors even had a chance to register," O'Neil said.

Students who wanted to get into the course were added by contacting the instructor but the class is full, O'Neil said.

O'Neil said the course examines current theoretical and empirical approaches to the sociological study of sexuality. Students sign up for the class because they believe the subject matter is interesting, O'Neil said.

Susan White, associate professor of English, said her English 400 course, Themes in Literature and Film, filled up in one day.

The topic of the course, which changes every semester, ranges from crime film and fiction to Alfred Hitchcock to melodrama and horror. This spring, the course will focus on Stanley Kubrick and the novels that have inspired his films, such as Anthony Burgess' 1962 novel, "A Clockwork Orange."

"Students are really interested in film and adaptation and feel passionately about what they see," White said. "I think they see it as an opportunity to think and talk about the visual elements of culture."

Lindsay Lafaille, an undeclared sophomore, said a class she wanted to take was Special Education and Rehabilitation 370a, American Sign Language, a course geared toward those with no previous experience with ASL or deaf culture.

"Instead of taking Spanish, it's what I want to do," Lafaille said.

Some of the most popular UA classes
Music 109 - Rock and American Pop Music
Sociology 324 - Sociology of Sexuality
English 400 - Themes in Literature and Film
Special Education and Rehabilitation 370a - American Sign Language
Animal Sciences 272 - Introduction to Horsemanship
Theatre Arts 100 - Acting for the General College Student

But when Lafaille tried to register for the course at 7 a.m. last weekend, it was already full.

Introduction to Horsemanship Programs, Animal Sciences 272, is also a popular class that fills to capacity most semesters.

Laura Walker, instructional specialist coordinator for animal sciences, said the class, which is open to anybody, gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience on safely handling and riding horses. Safety techniques are practiced both on the ground and on horseback, along with working on balance and control.

Walker said the course is popular because it is fun and also serves as a prerequisite to other hands-on animal science courses, such as Horse Training and Conditioning of the Weanling, Yearling and 2-Year-Olds and Equitation Workshop.

"Students teach young horses to lead, pick up feet, be groomed and walk through an obstacle course," Walker said.

Tyler Fleming, a pre-business freshman, said he was frustrated to learn Music 102, Guitar for the General College Student, was already filled before he could register.

"We (underclassmen) kind of get robbed and stuck with what's left over," Fleming said. "Maybe someday I'll get to play the guitar."

Albert Tucci, director of the School of Theater Arts, said their most popular courses are Theatre Arts 100, Acting for the General College Student, and Theatre Arts 103, Theatre Appreciation. Both fulfill general education requirements, and Theatre Arts 100 has more than 230 students while Theatre Arts 103 has more than 550 students.

Heather Forsythe, an astronomy freshman, said she got into Japanese 101 last year by checking WebReg every day and waiting for a student to drop.

"Japanese is a popular course but everyone ends up dropping because it's too hard," Forsythe said.

But Rachel Langman, a theatre arts sophomore, said rather than going to extremes to get into the already-filled History 310 Black Death, about the bubonic plague, she is just going to "leave it up to luck."

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