Thursday, November 17, 2011

Choosing Your Electives

One of the things you do if you sign up for the Digital Photography program at Lambton College is choose your two General Electives. These run in the first and second semesters, so you need to pick one before September and the other in December, for the second term.

There are over 100 different courses available to you, in four general areas. (The Arts in Society theme is restricted for Photography students, because our entire program is in the Arts.) You can find the complete list of Gen Ed courses here.

The courses you choose are up to you. I would probably want to pick one of the three History courses, but I know some people would rather have a hot fork pluck out their eyes than study history. If you are one of those, you might prefer Politics (there are three) or the Media Law and Ethics course. All of these courses would be useful if you are aiming to work as a newspaper or magazine photographer.

There are a lot of Psychology courses in the list you might want to choose from. Psychology is the study of people, and the more you can learn about how people operate, the better. There are a few Ethics courses from the Philosophy department, if you want to understand that area better.

Some fun courses live in the Social and Cultural Understanding theme. One is a conversational French course, another is a course on Ojibwe languages. A course on the History of Gardens is available for the green thumbs in the group, or you might want to look at the Sociology of Women.

One course that could be a lot of fun is perfect for Photography students. HAT 3033 Field Study has a boring title, but in fact a major part of this course is a week-long visit to a major international destination. In the past this has been Costa Rica, now it is Haiti. The instructors in the course are quite willing to have photographic presentations rather than written essays as part of the course evaluation. Check in with the college a few weeks before term starts, and we can update you on the destination this year, and give you an idea of the costs for the trip. Fundraising helps with the amount you need to pay, but there are special fees for this course.

If you are a jock (are any photographers athletic?) you might want to take a Gen Ed in Physical Education. If not, the Phys Ed department also have courses in Person Wellness and Stress Management. The latter is one that will be useful if you get into a busy freelance position.

In the Science theme interesting courses include Alternative Energy, Environment, and Sustainable Development.

Finally, note that you can take your Gen Ed courses online. Digital Photography students have seven or eight hours a week of online work from your hybrid day classes, plus homework and assignments, so be careful about adding another three hour of online activity. Younger students often have trouble with fully online courses, and you can easily fall behind when you don’t have any scheduled sessions with an instructor. However, if you feel you can handle it, online courses will allow you more schedule freedom.

(All courses listed may not be available each term. New courses may appear. Check the listing, and feel free to ask for advice.)

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