Most, if not all students, have had their share of the most gruelling and sleep-inducing classes that De La Salle University has to offer. Some may seem to suck your soul away through sheer boredom, while others bombard you to a crisp with information and assignments.
Yet, in the crevices of our school lies a few gems in the rough—interesting, inspiring, or just downright fun classes—just waiting for the willing hand to dig up. So we delve deep into the murky depths of our fine institution, seeking the jewels that give glamour to DLSU’s educational environment.
As kids, watching endless hours of cartoons was all part of growing up. Whether it was from the magical world of Disney or the action-packed anime, our favorite cartoons have brought out the wildest imagination in all of us and will always have a special place in our lives. At one point, however, our six year-old selves may have wondered, “how on earth do they make cartoons!?”
Thankfully, the question that has burned in our minds as children has finally been answered with ANIMATE. As an introductory course in animation, Communication Arts majors are tasked (and privileged) to create basic 2D animations using both classic and modern techniques. From building the storyline to the final editing, students make their childhood fantasies come alive using a pen, paper, and Adobe Flash. For both the artistically gifted and kids at heart, ANIMATE is one class you surely don’t want to miss.
TV, movies, music, and social media have become the pillars of today’s modern culture. With the advent of media and technology, hitting the books have become more of a chore than a priority. For some students, exploring the latest fashion trends or knowing in-depth information on the latest Game of Thrones episode has already become their second nature. While these may not sound like academic topics, a subject devoted to today’s popular culture actually exists within the halls of our university.
POPCULT is the study on the theories of popular culture based on many numerous standpoints. As an elective for Communication Arts students, the subject takes into consideration how popular culture in its different forms shape the way we see the world. Ever wondered why Gangnam Style became a big deal? Or why we were fascinated with everything Miley? Find out with POPCULT.
For some subjects, learning is not restricted within the four walls of a classroom. Another factor of what makes a class interesting is whether or not the professor says the magic word: fieldtrip. Venturing off into a new place is one sure fire way to get students on the edge of their seats, especially if it’s in another country.
One subject that makes it happen is MARKRET or Retail Marketing, a major subject exclusively for Marketing majors. To tell us more about the subject, we asked Bryan Uy (V, PSM-MKT) on what MARKRET is all about. “Usually it’s about the different [retailers], so groceries, mall stores, etc. But in our case, we had a [foreign] prof who was an expert in fashion retail so we focused exclusively on fashion retail during that term.” In Bryan’s case, his class was able to go to Singapore for an educational tour on the retail landscape in that country. While it may not have been all work, Bryan mentions that a part of the trip will surely be dedicated for leisure.
ELECLIT – Jane Austen
There are wide varieties of literature electives, including one that brings you to the romantic world of Jane Austen.
The Jane Austen literature elective covers three of her most renowned novels, Emma, Persuasion, and Pride and Prejudice. The class discusses the events, the stores, and the way of life of both the characters in the books and Jane Austen herself, and how it connects to the life of students today. But there is more to it than that.
A bit of an immersion to the times is usually held by means of a literary festival, featuring the food, feels, and the nature of the time. Sometimes however, the festivities goes up a notch. Cris Barbra Pe, professor of the Austen elective course, articulates further into this, “There was one term, they requested for a class project instead for midterms and we did a ball. So it was sort of a re-enactment of how balls were held d uring Austen’s time. And just this term, we did cosplay. We dressed up and we had a fashion show. Some would have actual costumes. And one student this term, she’s into cosplaying. Her mom really sewed the outfit for her just for the class.”
And like the Jane Austen novels having their own film versions, students create their own short film adaptations as their finals output, developing their own version of the timeless classics.
ELECLIT – Harry Potter
Since 2004, the Rowling elective has been offered only once a year, having produced at least 400 witches and wizards in all. This elective emphasizes on the Harry Potter novels and related works by the author. Anne Frances Sangil, professor of the Rowling elective course, says they explore the novels through various lenses—morality, justice, race, gender, class, and technology.
“The class is interesting because it’s about works that are contemporary. It’s about novels that have inspired and continue to inspire a generation. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels are not only exciting and well-written stories (not to mention a cumulative marketing phenomenon) but are thought provoking and thoroughly engaging emotionally, intellectually and imaginatively”, says Sangil.
Apart from the usual literature discussions, the class tries to emulate a Hogwarts-like environment of education, with students sorted into different houses, OWLs for midterms, house points through activities and participation, and of course a House Cup competition complete with prizes at the end of the term.
Sometimes, one does not necessarily need to get a degree in Computer Engineering to get a taste of robotics in DLSU.
LBYME22 or Mechatronics Laboratory is a class in conjunction with Mechanical Engineering’s Mechatronics course. LBYME22 mainly tackles the practical concepts of mechatronics, rolling up mechanical, pneumatic, electrical, and computer hardware in the application of robotics and industrial automation. As explained by Dr. Alvin Chua, professor of both the laboratory and lecture class in mechatronics, Mechatronics aims to upgrade what we have right now by incorporating both electronics and mechanical systems to make it perform better.
To give students a glimpse of robotics and make it a bit more fun, the class tinkers with the Lego Mindstorm Robotics System. With an NXT programmable logic controller, a variety of sensors and motors, and a ton of lego parts, students can come up with a multitude of robotic creations. The class is also given an introduction to pneumatic circuitry, which utilizes air rather than electricity for mechanical systems to function. And finally, student are introduced to basic circuitry and programming of programmable logic controllers for robotics and industrial automation.
They say college is all about self-discovery; knowing your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes. But what they didn’t mention is that all of these only happen on the surface level. There are lot things about ourselves that even we don’t know exists, and that is what PHILUNC aims to explore.
As an elective for Philosophy majors, PHILUNC explores the unknown part of ourselves known as the unconscious. According to Dr. Raj Mansukhani, one way to tap into the unconscious is through dream work. “We do dream analysis in class. We draw and we paint because sometimes things come out in artwork which comes from the unconscious and you don’t even know that it’s there.”
Hypnosis is another method used in PHILUNC. “What I do sometimes in class is I put them in some kind of a trance. And on the basis of that, they write certain things or draw certain things and we work with that,” says Mansukhani.