Entry Year Experience Course Descriptions
EYE 105: Life is a Matrix
Contrary to our assumptions, we do use mathematics in everyday life: we calculate personal benefits when deciding who to vote for; we consider proportions when drawing, cooking, and calculating drug dosage, to name a few examples. Mathematics is integral to our lives. This introductory seminar will use first hand examples from the social sciences, the arts, humanities and natural sciences to demonstrate how pervasive mathematics is in our lives. This course is a great opportunity for students to see the applications of mathematics in their daily lives.
EYE 108: Culture, Identity and Education
This course focuses on the interrelationships among group affiliation, a quest for inquiry and learning, one’s role in society, and one’s personal identity. The course explores the basic questions of Who are you? What/who has influenced who you are and whom you wish to become? Students will engage in a personal examination of culture and education as components of personal identity. Drawing from concepts borrowed from sociology and educational psychology, students will be asked to analyze educational materials, settings, aims, and procedures, compare these to their own successes or challenges with institutional learning, and frame their future learning goals.
EYE 109: Gender, Representation and Resistance
Femininity and masculinity mean different things to different people. Why? This course will examine the fundamental impact of gender on human activity—artistic, scientific, religious, economic, political, legal, and linguistic. Drawing on many disciplines we will explore constructions of gender in many cultures and throughout history. Some of the questions on which we’ll focus include: What is gender? How is gender practiced and represented historically and cross-culturally? How have people redefined and altered its representations and meanings? How do social institutions distribute power, resources, and status based on gender? How do the mass media, education, and political discourse shape gender constructions? How have gender resistance and transgression changed accepted gender practices and representations?
EYE 110: Literature and Medicine
How can literature and medicine relate to each other? This course explores the similarities and differences among the sciences and humanities and uses literature as the basis for examining concerns of health, illness, and healing. Topics include the moral and ethical issues of the health care worker-patient relationship, historical approaches to healing, and their implications for modern medical practices, and the cultural, racial, and gendered aspects of these issues.
EYE 111: A World of Words
A World of Words examines the relationship between language, power and the environment from a variety of perspectives. We will examine “what’s in a word” to raise awareness about things we take for granted such as where words come from, how language shapes experience and is shaped by it, how languages live and die, and how human language compares with non-human forms of communication. We will explore both our emotional investment in language and our relative unconsciousness about it.
EYE 112: The Built Environment: Energy
A substantial component of the world we live in is the built environment - the world that people have invented, designed, built and used. People have seen the natural environment to be sacred, to be a part of, to be enjoyed, to be used, and to be dominated. In recent times it has become recognized that human activities can seriously affect the natural environment. This semester we focus on a particular part of the natural environment - energy. You will learn what energy is, where various forms of energy come from and how they are transformed and used. Forms of energy studied include, for example, fossil, solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and nuclear. You will study the social, economic, political and environmental issues related to the acquisition, processing and use of energy. Integral to the course are lectures, reading, writing, group activities, laboratory exercises and experiments, and a team project. Students should have very basic algebra skills. This course is not required for transfer students with more than 24 credits applied toward one of our engineering degree programs. ($150.00 course fee)
EYE 116: Nature-Nurture
The completion of the human genome project has reawakened a tendency for people to account for mental functioning, behavior, health and disease as the product of biology. But how much of our personality, intelligence, behavior is the product of our biological makeup? To what degree are we shaped by natural, social and cultural influences in the world? What do various answers to these questions suggest about our ability to change? How do these answers influence decisions we might make about utilizing genetic screening and genetic engineering?
EYE 117: Nature, Self, and Society
How do I relate to the natural world? How do I relate to society? How do I act resolutely, self-reliantly, ethically, and in concert with nature? In this course students explore answers to these questions by studying the work of Henry David Thoreau, an activist, a scientist, a writer, and explorer from the 1800’s. In addition to traditional classroom learning, EYE117 involves outdoor and other non-classroom-based learning experiences.
EYE 118: Musician’s Health: A Path to Peak Performance
A practical course aimed at musicians in developing strategies for preparing themselves physically and psychologically to achieve their maximal performance potential. Students will learn the principles and practices of injury prevention, healthy lifestyle and practicing habits, performance psychology, and the interrelationship of physiology and psychology for the performing musician. Co-requisite: FOR NON MUSIC MAJORS: MUP 101, 102; FOR MUSIC MAJORS: MUP 201, 202, or 203.
EYE 123: Our Brains at Play
This course will explore how play and interpersonal experiences forge key connections in the brain. By examining "our brains at play" students devote equal time to the fields of interpersonal neurobiology and play studies. The course will build communicative competence through experiential and cooperative learning, community engagement opportunities, class discussions on topics of ethical and social importance, and oral and written assignments. Several times throughout the course, students will utilize a modification of the Lego Serious Play method, a kinesthetic and storytelling methodology, for understanding how and why the interpersonal neurobiology of play contributes to the well-being of individuals, relationships, and society.
EYE 127: Friendship
This course is an interdisciplinary examination of friendship that brings resources of philosophy, sociology, and literature to bear on our experience and understanding of this relationship. It addresses the following questions: What is meant by “friendship”? In what ways does the experience and understanding of friendship change over time and across cultures? What is the impact of modern technology on friendship? What are impediments to and pitfalls in this form of human affection? Can friendship be a problem? What conditions help establish friendship and allow it to flourish? Is friendship thinning in modern society and, if so, for what reasons?
EYE 199: Topics
Each instructor uses a theme to engage students in exploration of significant questions about human culture and the natural world. The course facilitates student transition to college by engaging students in active and collaborative learning that enhances their inclination and ability to view complex issues from multiple perspectives. Topics vary, but may include: food systems, race, creativity, entrepreneurship, sexuality, story-telling, war and peace, ethics, utopia, and others.
Topics vary. Each instructor uses a theme to engage students in exploration of significant questions about human culture and the natural world. The course facilitates student transition to college by engaging students in active and collaborative learning that enhances their inclination and ability to view complex issues from multiple perspectives. Co-requisites: College Writing, 1st year student, honors student (or permission).
LAC 123: College and Community
Open to all students, this entry phase course introduces students to the promise and possibilities of USM LAC's interdisciplinary, writing-intensive, and student-centered culture. Students will consider the relevance the four themes of the Lewiston Common Core (justice, sustainability, democracy and difference) have to their future lives. Students link their own "stories" -- what has brought them to this point in their personal, academic, and professional lives -- with the habits of mind needed for success in college, career, and global citizenship.
RSP 103: Culture, Community, and the Environment
This seminar explores the inter-relationships between culture, community, and the environment from an educational, theoretical, and practical framework. It focuses on development as a person, as a learner, and as a member of a community. The course explores contemporary global issues from a dialectical perspective. It considers the values and approaches of different cultures in order to better understand the current problems facing any community which will include environmental damage and pollution, population growth, lifestyle impacts on the ecology, ethnic conflict, and other threats to cultural survival and ecological balance.