New English course no stranger to fiction

Grace Amsden
Managing Editor

English 112, or Introduction to Fiction, is a new class that has been added to the range of classes offered at Pierce College.
This class is focused on the topic of fiction allowing students to use their imagination. 19th century fundamental text will be read and students will compare the text to new script and media that society has created from it.
“We’ll be reading text like a typical literature class but then each week we’ll be looking at film clips, radio broadcast,” professor Lisa Hurtado said. “Anything the media has transformed those texts and what they have done with it and that’s what I’m really interested in.”
The formation of this class was due to the students who voiced their growing interest in science fiction and fantasy to Hurtado.
“My students in the past said they wanted to see something like this, and so that’s why this class even emerged. Obviously I had the interest as well, but I think most classes are mostly driven by instructor interest, and I wanted this class to be more student interest driven,” Hurtado said.
Reading and writing will be done outside of class, students will then come to class on Thursday to view media and take part in class discussions.
One of the books the class will read is the 1898 alien invasion novel by H.G. Wells, “War of the Worlds.”
“We’ve done so much with it in the 20th and 21st century. Alien invasion is just one of those ideas we’ve revisited again and again in text, in movies, over the radio, over the internet; so many different ways,” Hurtado said.
One theme that will be talked about in this class is the idea of creating life out of death by using science. Instruction will be from the text of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Some of the topics examined by using Frankenstein is to discuss creatures that are ‘different’ and how it creates a definition of humanity.
“Frankenstein’s monster has been interpreted by so many in different ways,” Hurtado said. “The monster can be interpreted as a slave, or somebody of a minority status.”
No books are required for the purchase of this class. All text is for free online, a concern that has been heavily voiced regarding the prices.
“I don’t think that taking a literature class should be unreachable to any student just because of the price,” Hurtado said. “And of course as a literature major, I remember how expensive it was to just buy a ton of books for class.”
The first on campus class was Sep. 25 where Hurtado got to meet each student for the first time.
“I want to be a fiction writer, so I thought it would be pretty good practice,” student Tyler Keaton said.
Another class that has been added to the roster is Intro to Social Media Marketing, which stemmed off from the Introduction to Online Marketing class.
“With the help of our advisory board, we recognized that there are really good paying jobs; a huge opportunity for a college to educate people to be prepared for those good paying jobs needed in social media marketing,” said Paul Gerhardt, Program Coordinator for Business Management at Fort Steilacoom
This online class presents a range of knowledge in social media and technology.
Students will look at topics such as ethics in business marketing, copyright laws, communication with customers and plans for marketing.
“Students will learn some of the laws regarding social media and copyright, how social media can change society and how it is used in business,” said professor Taryn Givenchy.
Students will work on a series of hands on projects, including building an online portfolio of sample work to show to future customers and creating a blog. This class provides an overview for what experts use to effectively get communication out.
This year also marks the start for the Social Media and Marketing certificate and this class is part of a year long process of classes in order to receive the certificate. Two years ago, this idea was approved by the advisory board and now the word is spreading.
“It’s the only one like it in the state, so we’ve got the cutting edge as a state run institution to help students get skills that employers are looking for,” Gerhardt said.
Some of the classes needed for this certificate begin in the fall and include Intro to Social Media, Business 101 and Intro to Online Marketing. In the winter, there is a Design class, an Online Selling Website Usability class and Independent Contracting course. In the spring, there is a Social Media Marketing Class, Social Media Digital Content for Business and one elective class may be chosen.
“I would love to see everybody who starts the program finish the program and be make a positive difference for my current employer or future employer,” Gerhardt said.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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New English course no stranger to fiction

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