by Anna Bratulic
Concordias course calendar includes all sorts of intriguing courses,
and heres just a sample.
finance is popular online
Personal Finance started in the fall of í999 and was the first
course in the Finance Department to be offered over the Internet.
Lots of people were coming up with courses online, and I wasnt
impressed because there was no theory to guide the design, says
Associate Professor Arshad Ahmad.
For his PhD dissertation in education, Ahmad devised a theoretical model
and used it to create his Personal Finance course. It has evolved to include
such tools as simulations and communications software.
The course attracts about 400 students every term, and Ahmad does not
put a cap on enrolment. While that may seem like a hefty load for one
teacher, Ahmad has designed the course so that much of the teaching is
delegated to other specialists. For example, students can e-mail relevant
questions to company executives and other experts.
fitness and the law
People now know that they have rights. They used to get injured
and would just pass it off. Today, theyll take you to court,
said Professor George Short, who will be teaching this course.
The daily newspaper headlines are proof: Knowledge of the law has become
crucial for sports administrators. This course will look at a variety
of legal cases from a North American perspective, dealing with such issues
as mandatory drug testing, rights of the disabled, AIDS and sports, and
Short says that, in general, Canada is following the American propensity
to litigation, and since pleading ignorance of the law does not stand
up in court, people can find themselves in a lot of hot water if they
dont know the basics.
The first part of each class will feature one facet of sport law, and
the second part will look at a specific case. The final project requires
students to take a topic discussed in class and apply it to a real or
hypothetical situation. For example, the student may decide to develop
an AIDS program for a sports organization.
to paint from life
How is painting a person different from painting a tree? In addition to
the technical and formal aspects of painting from life, there is a psychological
dimension, says Professor Leopold Plotek.
You dont look at a tree and wonder what its thinking,
but you do look at a woman (or man) and wonder what theyre thinking.
His course Calme, Luxe and the Model is in its fourth year, and allows
students with a serious interest in painting from life the opportunity
to work with models. The techniques and changing aesthetics of works from
Delacroix to Picasso will be discussed and critiqued, but most of the
time will be spent on oil painting.
The unusual title of the course is derived from a poem by Beaudelaire.
Plotek is not too fond of the name, because it can mislead people to think
that the scope of feeling model painting can depict is limited to pleasure
and enchantment. Art focused on the human body expresses not just
delight, but tragedy and longing as well.
journalism for scribes
There was a time when newspaper rooms were staffed with two-way
men who played the role of both reporter and photographer, but by
the late 1960s, increased specialization meant that reporters wrote and
Lack of money might see the old two-way rise again. Low-budget community
papers cannot afford to hire a separate photographer. As a consultant
to the Quebec Community Newspapers Association, Michael Dugas gets to
speak to the editors of local publications.
Publishers have been telling me that when they hire a journalist,
they notice that these people cant shoot [pictures]. But who better
to do it, when you think about it?
Students taking the course Photo Journalism will be provided with digital
cameras (which the industry uses almost exclusively nowadays) and will
be expected to go out into the field and e-mail back good shots.
data on plants
Did you know that belladonna, a poisonous perennial, was used by women
in the Middle Ages to enhance their eyes (hence the name, beautiful
lady)? The plant produces alkaloids known as atropine. Even today,
ophthalmologists use it to open our eyes wider during check-ups.
And did you know that certain plants produce a steroid called diosgenin
that affects the nervous systems and blood supply of herbivores, but that
this same compound is used as an active ingredient in birth control pills
Plants use these compounds as their own defense mechanisms. We use
these compounds the same ways that plants do, said Professor Bhindi
Mangat, who teaches Plants and Your Health.
The course, which is in its second year, will cover basic plant biotechnology
with emphasis on the pros and cons of genetically modified plants, medicinal
plants and herbs, and aromatherapy for the non-biology student. For many
of those enrolled, it will be their first academic venture into the world
of biology and chemistry.
More new course in the