Cool and fun courses at York

Written by Boris Licina

I love exploring courses at York because it is a window to my (fun) future. Here is the list of cool courses I took and some I consider taking. 

AP/EN 2177 Comics and Cartoons II

I took Comics and Cartoons II in my second year and loved learning about post-war comics and cartoon trends. I read many comics and had a great time exploring the topic as I, for example, learned that the nuclear paranoia I had in the eighties was not just my or a European thing - it was a shared experience with people in North America and covered in comics. 

Who is it for? For students who love The Simpsons or Spider-Man.

AP/CW 2600 Introduction to Creative Writing

Introduction to Creative Writing is one of the coolest courses I took, as the class was small and I wrote a lot - short stories, poems and other forms that were entertaining. The feedback I received from my peers and professor improved my writing as I learned to grab and hold readers’ attention. 

Who is it for? For all aspiring creative writers, this is a must.  

FA/VISA 1006 The Photographic Experience

Like other students, I take many photos for my Instagram or blog. In this short and intensive summer course I learned how to take better photos. The course is about taking pictures with your phone, and the assignments were quite creative. To this day, I still use the skills I learned on how to properly arrange light or frame a photo. 

Who is it for? If you want to improve your Instagram profile or general knowledge about photography, take it.  

FA/THEA 1520 Acting for Non-Majors

I recently acted in a movie I co-wrote, and it was a fantastic experience. Acting in the movie was far from my comfort zone, so I entered bravely and had much fun. I learned that acting on the set requires patience, as there are many repetitions. I believe you can have fun too in the Acting for Non-Majors course. 

Who is it for? For students with previous drama club experience or those who would love to try acting.  

FA/CMA 3123 Transmedia Storytelling

Who would not love a course where you develop an alternate reality game based on a show or movie you love? I sure did! As a group, we worked on a fun and educational game based on Despicable Me for kids aged 4 to 12. I did this course in my 3rd year; it is open to non-screenwriting majors with permission from the Department of Cinema and Media Arts.

Who is it for? Students who love to develop complex interactive stories with non-linear storylines and learn about concepts like target audiences, character development and player experience should try this course. 

FA/MUSI 1530 Rock and Popular Music

How the rise of mass media (like music videos) or new technologies (like sampling older songs to new ones) influenced music is just a small part of this course that covers music history and many genres, from punk to hip hop, after the Second World War.  

Who is it for? Those who love music history and Euro-American popular music. 

AP/ASL 1000 American Sign Language, Level I: Introduction to Sign Language Studies

Many people who took this class had a positive experience, and in our research, it did pop up as a cool and fun course to take. The main reason was that it allows the students to learn the language and be immersed in deaf culture since the professors are deaf themselves. Through funny stories, both fictitious and ones from his past, will come new vocabulary and the occasional inclusion of slang. Many people assume that American Sign Language (ASL) is just making gestures with your hands, but there is much more to it. There's grammar, structure, colloquialisms, etc. However, it is an entire year, so research it before you commit. 

Who is it for? For students interested in sign language.