Education with a Twist

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Have you ever wanted to take a course that you would consider random or out of the ordinary? Something that you know would keep you awake and interested to learn? As we all know we are here to gain knowledge and training in our preferred fields, however wouldn’t you want to try something new or different in the classroom?

Great examples of these courses here at NYIT are Winemaking Theory and Casino Management course, both offered by the department of Hospitality Studies.

“Most students taking the [Casino Management] class have told me that it is a class that “they actually enjoy going to” which makes it an out of the ordinary class and this makes it a fun class for all especially me since I usually teach something that a student is learning for the first time at each session,” said Professor Turley, who has been teaching the class for the past 20 years.

They’re very hands on courses that bring a lot of real world experience to them. The casino management course is designed to analyze table games, to understand the mathematics of casino games and learn the elements of an effective player rating system.

According to the class syllabus, during the semester students study the history of gaming and the regulatory environment that comes with it and will always continue being a part of it. Not only that but students also learn how gambling has achieved and lasted for so long. During their time in this course students go in to depth on the various games located in casinos. Table games like Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, and Poker are learned and a lot more games like the various racing games and slot machine games.

Professor Turley exclaimed, “The course does NOT promote gambling but offers the student taking the class a true knowledge of all bets made at all table games…..Two rules are established at the onset of the course, one being that you should be properly financed for all gaming play since all games have minimum investments and number two, after losing; know when to walk away.”

A current student of the class, Nina Cicero is elated to take the casino management course this semester. “I hope to learn all the different techniques of all casino games. As of now I have no experience of the casino industry so I hope to gain knowledge about it.”

The course teaches students the history and the theory of how the games are played and the layouts of how the casinos are organize — where to place the games is a big part of the course. The best part about the class is that most of the games themselves are taught to students. Imagine learning how to play poker for a grade, doesn’t that sound fun and crazy all at the same time.

Nina also elaborated that “One of the perks and most exciting aspects is the fact that we are taking a trip to Atlantic City. We get to gamble and use our new learned skills.”

The winemaking theory course is another odd but still interesting course that is offered here at NYIT. The syllabus states the objective of the course is to understand the various aspects of how wine taste. After the completion of the course, students will have the ability to distinguish between, and identify, aromatic and structural components of the different type of wine. During their time in class students will also have an understanding of what are the key quality markers in a wine.

“The class is broken down into two parts; the first half of the semester we do all of the class learning. While in the second half that’s when we get to go to De Seversky and actually wine taste, that’s the part I’m definitely looking forward to,” said Nina. The atmosphere of the class is really professional that students have uniform attire when they attend the tasting. This attire consists of slacks or a knee high skirt and a long sleeve collar shirt and no excess amount of jewelry.

This winemaking theory class has a magnificent way of educating yourself on something that in later years can become a hobby. Courses similar to these provide you with expertise knowledge on wine tasting or gambling that the average Joe doesn’t know.

After learning about what these odd courses have to offer students, curiosity hit whether other colleges or universities were offering strange or bizarre course on their campus.

Turns out that there are even more eccentric things happening places far far away from NYIT. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, students in Georgetown University in Washington, D.C are learning how philosophy and Star Trek relate to one another and students at the University of Wisconsin are learning about daytime serials: family and social roles. Students in Centre College (the State of Kentucky) are learning the Art of Walking. Just by looking at the course titles, it makes you wonder what they are learning.

Closer to home, NYIT next-door-neighbor college C.W Post has some odd classes listed in its online catalog. A few of these courses are Romanticism (English course), Pets and People (Psychology course) and also Women & War and Love & Guns (Cinema course). They also offer a course which appears very intriguing called Behind the Scenes at SNL (Cinema course); this would be a splendid course for anyone who is headed for a career in TV.

If schools are already offering these types of classes, why can’t we the students pick what we want the next peculiar class to be? The answers might actually want you to get NYIT to add them to their roster.

“Well I would have to say I would like to take a course on the effects of social media on relationships. It might not be as wacky, but I do feel like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace do affect relationships whether it is friendships or dating. I would like to know how this type of communication could affect people in the long run.” – Annie Jean-Aimee (New York Institute of Technology: majoring in Communication Arts)

“A course on reality TV and how people are so obsessed with them and trying to get their fifteen minutes of fame by them. For example, I would like to take a look at the new ‘Teen Mom’ and ‘16 & Pregnant’ shows that MTV offers. I think that shows like this influence ordinary people to do crazy things like get pregnant at sixteen to get on shows like this. I would want to know why reality shows are so big.” – Xuan Nguyen (New York Institute of Technology: majoring in Communication Arts)

“A course that I would create and think would be awesome to take is a course on the art of scuba diving.” –Peter Collazo (New York Institute of Technology: majoring in Computer Graphics)

NYITs odds courses don’t seem as bizarre next to all these ideas students have or the ones listed previously. The idea of learning poker and learning the techniques of tasting wine in a classroom is fascinating because it’s a once in a lifetime course to experience and gain knowledge from. You never know NYIT might just consider that sky diving class one day, but until then we will focus on what we got!

 

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