OSU offers free "Classes Without Quizzes" during Homecoming


CORVALLIS - What do the brown tree snake of Guam, Shakespeare, and an operating nuclear research reactor have in common? They are all subjects for "Classes Without Quizzes," a special Homecoming Weekend program at Oregon State University.

First offered last year, Classes Without Quizzes was an immediate success. The program presents some of the university's most noted faculty teaching classes such as "Snakes, Sex and Scents: The Garden of Eden Revisited," and "Shakespeare for Dummies: Unleashing Your Imagination."

Classes Without Quizzes is free and open to the public. It will be held Friday, Oct. 22, and is sponsored by the OSU Distance and Continuing Education program and the OSU Alumni College. In addition to the classes, OSU is offering a morning tour of the OSU Radiation Center and The Valley Library. The tour starts and finishes at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center. It begins at 8:30 a.m. and finishes at noon where a boxed lunch is available for $6. All classes are offered at the CH2M HILL Alumni Center.

"We were amazed at how popular the tour and classes were last year," said Pat Newport, marketing coordinator for OSU Distance and Continuing Education. "We had a great first year turnout - a total of about 75 attended classes and the faculty really enjoyed interacting with their 'students' - OSU alumni, staff, and people from the Corvallis community. People really enjoy the variety of interesting classes that we offer."

Sandra Woods, interim dean of OSU Distance and Continuing Education, said the program was originally intended to introduce people to the university's distance and continuing education programs but everyone quickly discovered it offered more than that.

"People had a lot of fun," she said. "It's a good way for people to stay in touch with the university."

Woods said the university plans to expand the program to Bend and other points off-campus.

"It's an ideal program to take off-campus," she said. "People can explore academics in a relaxed setting without a cost."

To register for this year's Classes Without Quizzes, call OSU Distance and Continuing Education at 541-737-2676, or 1-800-235-6559. The classes include:

  • "Blue Glow and Two Phase Flow" morning tour (8:30 a.m. to noon). Join Steve Binney, Radiation Center director, and Jose Reyes, professor of Nuclear Engineering, for a tour of OSU's nuclear reactor and state-of-the-art thermal hydraulics research lab. Karyle Butcher, university librarian, will lead the tour through the recently-renovated Valley Library and show why it was the first academic library to receive the Library Journal's coveted Library of the Year Award.


  • "Writing Memoirs: Celebrating Commonplaces" (1 to 1:55 p.m.). Pencil, papers and inspiration will be provided for you to begin your journey back in time. Moira Dempsey, writing instructor and program coordinator for the OSU Center for Writing & Learning, will teach the class.


  • "Important Molecules and the Way We View Them" (1 to 1:55 p.m.). Join James Krueger, professor of chemistry emeritus, for his "show and tell" class to see what some molecules look like and learn what they do.


  • "Snakes, Sex and Scents: The Garden of Eden Revisited" (2 to 2:55 p.m.). Bob Mason, associate professor of zoology, will talk about the brown tree snake of Guam - one of the most horrifying conservation stories of our time - and the red-sided garter snake of Manitoba that represents the highest concentration (75,000) of snakes in the world.


  • "Shakespeare for Dummies: Unleashing your Imagination" (2 to 2:55 p.m.). Join this interactive session and learn how to get the most out of Shakespeare's plays by teaching the right and left sides of your brain to talk to each other. Ray Lischner, co-author of "Shakespeare for Dummies," will teach the class.


  • "Creating Life, Hastening Death: Ethics at the Edges of Life" (3 to 3:55 p.m.). This class will examine ethical questions generated by recent developments in biomedicine, the use of human embryos for research, and physician assistance in the death of terminally ill persons, as permitted by Oregon's Death with Dignity Act. Courtney Campbell, associate professor of philosophy, will teach the class.


  • "Alumni of the Century" (3 to 3:55 p.m.). Learn about the achievements of past OSU alumni, as the class examines the last 100 years at OSU. George Edmonston, editor of The Oregon Stater, the university's alumni publication, will teach the class.