Anthropology, communications and cannabis

By Adelia Sindunata

Spring quarter is reaching its end and that means it’s time to register for classes. The Ebbtide has looked into three of those classes and has arranged their instructors answers for your curiosity. Check it out:

CMST& 230 (Small Group Communication)

Instructor: Heather Munsell
E-mail: [email protected]
Schedule: 12:30-2:50 p.m., TTh

What is small group communication?

Small group communication is a specialized area of communication studies that explores interactions among three or more people who are connected through a common purpose and a shared identity. In a small group communication class, we generally look at the characteristics, functions, and types of small groups as well as leadership/followership within a group dynamic and even how interpersonal relationships work within groups
What will we learn in class?
Throughout the quarter, we will be playing various tabletop and RPG games and exploring how changing the rules and mechanics of the game(s) affects group communication within the game (and looking deeper into how the in-game experiences would translate in real-world scenarios).

Will there be any textbook required?

The textbook will be a free OER (Open Education Resource) online textbook.

Why do you teach this class?

I am a gamer. Small group communication, particularly how we communicate with each other when we play both competitive and cooperative games, has always been one of my personal interests so I have always hoped to teach a class like this someday… (Students) assume any class about group communication must involve a lot of group projects where their grade is dependent on other people. I wanted to come up with a way to have a group communication class that took a more unique, hopefully less stressful approach - and I wanted it to be about games, of course!

Other information about this class you would like the students to know?

If teaching the class this way is successful, I hope we can offer it again on a fairly regular basis; but, as of right now, this may be a one-time deal. If students think it sounds interesting, this might be their only opportunity so they should sign up for it now!

ANTH& 207 (Linguistic Anthropology)

Instructor: Abby Forster
E-mail: [email protected]
Schedule: 9:30-10:20 a.m., TTh, Room 1504

What is Linguistic Anthropology?

Linguistic Anthropology is a study of language as social practice. It is about how humans use language within specific, cross-cultural social contexts.

What we will learn in class?

We don’t study any languages specifically, but we study how people use language. The topics we'll cover in class are multilingualism, global English, linguistic discrimination, language and thought, language and gender. Students are not required to have specific language skills.

Will there be any textbook required?

Yes, the required textbook is Living Language: An Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology by Laura Ahearn. The cost of this book is rather low, especially if students buy it used or rent it. I also always make textbooks available in the library on course reserve. I haven't figured it out yet, but in order to watch some of the films for the class, students may need a Netflix account. I believe there is a free 30-Day trial for it.

Why do you teach this class?

The first time I learned about the connections between language and thought - the idea that our language guides the type of thoughts we can have and builds our reality - I was hooked! We all use language to relate to each other every single day without thinking about everything we're actually communicating beyond the words we are saying. I teach this class because I think it's incredibly interesting to learn how diverse groups of people all over the world use language.

Other information about this class you would like the students to know?

We have this class in W-Credits option, which satisfy UW writing requirements. The essay will generally be longer than the regular class’ essays.

BIOL 140 (The Science of Cannabis)

Instructor: David Baldwin
E-mail: [email protected]
Schedule: 1:00-1:50 p.m., T, room 2905

What will we learn in class?
This is a biology course, with some basics of how life on earth works with respect to plants, the food chain, and general use of plants for drugs by humans. We have learned an enormous amount about human biology through the use of aspirin, nicotine, morphine, and antibiotics. There is some overview of subjects like photosynthesis. But the focus is on what we know about the science of Cannabis itself. What are the molecules in the plant that interest humans? What are the human receptors to these that respond to the drugs? What have we learned about human biology from studying the interaction of Cannabis compounds with these receptors? Other topics include horticulture and sustainability, testing of Cannabis products, testing of humans for legal purposes.

Will there be any textbook required?
There is no textbook required, and there is an independent research assignment related to topics that interest individual students, using whatever resources they can find.

Why do you teach this class?
The purpose of the course is to inform the public about what we really know, and what is really going on in the legal world of Cannabis in Washington state. My goal is to send students back out into society with an understanding that promotes public conversation about what is good and bad with respect to what we know.

Any other information about this class you would like the students to know?
It is not a course on how to use it, or how to grow it, but rather an objective overview of the science behind it.


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