The Mark Side of UCSB: Recreation Assists University Students

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Remember back in the day when we used to sign up for classes just for the hell of it? Or how about joining sports for the fun of playing? Metal shop, home economics and beginners’ art may not have counted much towards graduating, but they certainly made high school more interesting. With pass times coming around, it’s time to start looking at the extracurricular possibilities UCSB has to offer.

Obvious ones include Sociology 152A, Human Sexuality, and Music 114, Music and Pop Culture. If you want something unique, I strongly recommend everyone to take Art Studio 7A, Art and Life, at some point before leaving UCSB. If you’ve ever wondered about all those students setting up weird displays on campus during Spring Quarter, this is the reason. Students are urged to adopt some sort of persona different from their normal self. As the quarter progresses, they take part in various projects meant to develop this persona. It all culminates in the outdoor installation project and the final exam where everybody shows up to lecture in character. It’s quite easily the most surreal experience you’ll ever have short of taking mind-altering chemicals.

There are also options outside of GOLD enrollment. The Recreation Center has a wide range of classes including sports, martial arts, dance and even wine tasting. These usually require a fee but, then again, the price you pay is considerably less than you would for textbooks anyways. The Rec Cen classes are more conveniently scheduled later in the day and on weekends. You won’t have to worry about having to go in and out of lecture while sweaty or carrying bulky sports equipment.

Take things a step further by getting some friends together and organizing an intramural sports team. My best memories of the various sports I’ve played weren’t related to scores. Instead, it was the chance to mess around in the face of competition. Be warned, the Nexus staff scrounges together a sports team every year. We’re there to have fun and anybody that keeps us from having a good time will get properly trounced.

For those looking for some old school sports, just head over to Storke Plaza some time. KCSB 9.19 FM’s DJ Fatkid, Maggie Muldoon and company are bringing recess back every Sunday through Thursday. If there aren’t any events going on around Storke Plaza, show up around noon for some pick up games of dodgeball, kickball, four square, etc. Join their group on Facebook to keep up to date.

Extracurriculars aren’t limited to classes in which you can enroll classes. Over the past couple of nights, I’ve been attending software workshops offered by Instructional Computing. They’re only about two hours long, so the workshops can’t possibly get into the intricacies of the various applications they’re about. However, I didn’t go to them expecting to learn everything. The workshops exist to help spark interest in their respective subject matter and on that front they succeed. There are other organizations like Cotillion Dance Club and Kapatirang Pilipino that also offer their own workshops. Just take a look at the campus calendar of events at http://events.sa.ucsb.edu for listings.

These activities may or may not help any of your requirements. That’s not the point. Students need to slow down and enjoy college at a leisurely pace. For the amount of money we pay for tuition, we should participate in these opportunities while they’re right in front of us. If you think it’s hard finding time for extracurricular activity now, imagine what it would be like in the nine-to-five world.

Daily Nexus columnist Mark Batalla is a kickball all-star.

Posted by Batalla at 8:13 AM  

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