August 2012 Archives

Hi! My name is Stephanie Skoller. I'm from northern New Jersey and I'm a sophomore. A few key things about me: I danced for 16 years and hope to continue again at some point, I absolutely love my dog (Niko, a labradoodle), I am extremely involved and passionate about THON (my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, was one of the top two fundraisers in greek life last year), I obviously love Penn State (who wouldn't?) and lastly, I have never been a science person. I always took the required courses that I had to, which unfortunately included classes like biology, and I managed to get by. I had a lot of great teachers, and I always tried extra hard, but science was still a constant struggle.

It was such a great feeling knowing that senior year of high school my science career would cease to exist - or so I thought. I always assumed that whatever major I chose, it would not include any science. Little did I know, that's not really possible? So, once I realized that I would have to be taking two science courses in order to fulfill the requirements for Public Relations major, I decided that I would get it out of the way as soon as possible. So, here I am, taking this course and hoping for the best. I hear that this a science course from people not so into science, and as you probably know by now that is right up my alley. Judging from what I've seen so far, the course really does seems pretty manageable (even for someone like me).  A science class without the periodic table or labs seems like my best bet - and hopefully I'm right about that. I guess I'll just have to wait and see!417909_10150645315681514_2106375128_n.jpeg

What's going on everybody, my name is Ted Worrell. I am a freshman from West Chester, Pennsylvania aka Dub C. Like most of you, I too do not like science! Weird right? I am currently in DUS and spent this previous summer here at UP and couldn't have been happier. I am taking this course because on my ftcap my adviser was shocked there were still seats left in the class because of how popular it is! Plus I am forced to take a gen ed science. So I figured if I have to take a science why not a popular one at that. I am not planning to be a science major because most of the time science classes are not like this class and they're dry and boring and teach things I have no interest in. Science just does not click like other subjects for me!


A little bit about my interests and what not, I love to play Frisbee and planned on trying to play club here. I usually spend my summers at the beach but PSU was just as nice!

Here is me and my new pup Charley

Me and Charley.jpg

My Name Is Evan

Hi there everyone! My name is Evan Cuneo and I am a freshman! My major is Telecommunications and I'm so excited to be here at Penn State. University Park was the first college campus I was ever on, my first official college visit, and the home of many great memories, so deciding to come Penn State was a no-brainer for me. I am from South Jersey, about thirty-fourty minutes from the Jersey Shore. I am the oldest of two, with a younger sister who is about to start her sophomore year of high school. I love movies, television, and music, and I recently started my own blog about those interests called EMC Entertainment! In high school, I acted and sang in my school's musicals, landing three lead roles over my four years. Additionally, I served as Secretary of my class on Student Council for two years, and was involved with my school's Chamber Choir, Show Choir, Italian Club, National Honor Society, Ambassador's Club, and Friends of Rachel Club. I consider myself a very outgoing person and I plan on getting involved in a lot of clubs at Penn State.

Now, done to the nitty gritty. Why am I here in SC200? Well, yes, I do have to take a certain amount of science classes, but I was trying to find ones that seemed the most appealing to me and this one sounded kind of decent. No previously knowledge required? Different topics every class? Count me in! In high school, I made the mistake of struggling through AP Biology and AP Chemistry. While I did make it through the classes with good grades, I really didn't enjoy the restless nights of studying, researching, and working on the same dumb problems. I never really loved science before, and those classes did no favors! After I finished my AP Chemistry final my junior year, I thought I was done with science classes forever. Alas, Penn State requires a certain amount of science credits to graduate, so here I am again. Still, these topics seem much more interesting than covalent bonding and different species of animalia (I'm not even sure these are actual topics, I'm just overexaggerating because that's what I do when I don't like something). I guess that explanation also answers the second question: Why am I not a science major? I really didn't hate science before those classes, and even after, I still don't really hate it. It's interesting sometimes, and it's responsible for a lot of the greatest discoveries in human history. It's just not for me. That said, I have the utmost respect for science majors, because the dedication is ridiculous and it's something I could never do.

Anyway, that's my spiel about myself and this course. I'm actually really excited to start this blog and I think it'll be a cool way to learn more about science outside the classroom, especially things we like. So I'll probably be writing about science things related to movies, TV, or know, if I can find cool topics about that. Feel free to talk to me in class, I know it's a big awkward room, but I'm always open to making new friends and meeting new people. Hope you all have a good Labor Day weekend and I'll see you in class on Tuesday!


First Blog

How's it going? My name is Kevin Kim and I'm a freshman in DUS. Like many students in SC200 I have little-to-no interest in science and I didn't do too well in science courses. I chose this class in order to fulfill my Gen-Ed requirements and it fit into my schedule perfectly. I was a little worried about taking this class due to my poor performance with science in the past but after the first session I am excited for this year. Although I had no interest in science in the past I think that the approach that Dr. Read has for this class will make it very interesting. I think that the topics listed in the syllabus are interesting and I look forward to funny and insightful debates in class. 

Besides that, I'm really excited to be here at Penn State and I can't wait to see what these next 4 years have to offer for me. I hope that I can balance work and play evenly because after all, Penn State is one of the greatest party schools in the country. We are!

Me and my bros


Initial Blog Post


Hi! I'm Tal Zarmi and I'm from Stamford, Connecticut. I am taking Science 200 in order to learn about science in a different way. All throughout school I hated science. I hated memorizing facts that I never had to use and I hated having to be tested on things that didn't have much relevance in my life. I think science 200 will be a good class for me because it relates science to things that I can actually relate to and care about. Instead of finding the mass of a certain chemical I can learn about how science helps with things I see everyday. I also needed a science class, so this seemed like a good one to take for someone who really doesn't like science.

            I don't want to be a science major because I don't have any interest in science. I don't enjoy learning about the human body, or about the periodic table, or about different units of measurement. It doesn't interest me. I weirdly enough enjoy math and doing equations, but don't like science at all.

This has no appeal to me.

chemist.jpg all

Hi, it's great to be here! My name is Cecelia Dunford and I'm a change- of- campus junior from Scranton, PA.

Scranton-PA.jpg-This is hopefully my last school (I've changed schools three times) and my major is print journalism with a minor in business.

-I've had an on camous and off campus map glued to my face since August 24th.

-Like most of you, I am literally afraid of chemistry and like to avoid science at all costs.

-It's not that I don't find science interesting, but when it came to being tested on in depth biology, chemistry, and other past science classes, it seemed like the tests were written in a foreign language.

-This class so far has been so different from anything I've been apart of as far as science classes go and that fills me with great relief.

-I am so excited to finally be at University Park, I've been waking up the past few days not being able to believe that I'm here and it's all really happening!

-My dad is from New York City and half of my family still lives there and as a result I am from a big Giants and Yankees fan club/family.

-Also, my three brothers, dad, uncles, and grandfather have been devoted Notre Dame fans since I can remember, but I am definitely trying to break the mold and become a loyal PSU fan, even though it's hard for me not to cry everytime I watch the movie Rudy.

-A few things I love and appreciate besides Penn State University is family, writing, running, movies (The Departed is a favorite), television (big reality tv addict), reading, and traveling.


Sites :

            Hello my name is Nicholas Marsico and I am a student in the Division of Undergraduate Studies: I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. I am very excited for not only this class but also my college experience.




          I took this class because I wanted to keep an open mind on the principles of science and thought it would eventually change my perspective toward science and I can honestly say it already has just after two lectures from Professor Read.  But, to answer the question in regards to the homework assignment, I didn't major in science because of my aversion toward mathematics. Throughout high school, I never liked to find definite solutions by utilizing quantitative applications, I loved to argue and write on abstract ideas that don't require calculation but mental analysis. I feel like SC200 will allow me to expose myself to an unfamiliar subject but still be able to apply writing and thinking: in essence, scientific journalism.


            I'm not too sure yet what I want to definitely study in college so I am being as candid as possible. Music is my passion but careers in that field are highly competitive and I would need to rethink a lot of my plans: only time will tell. I look forward to taking this class and meeting my intellectual classmates. 

Meet Me


Hey! I'll start by introducing myself. My name is Alicia Racculia and I am a freshman in DUS, although I definitely want to major in something in The Smeal College of Business. I was here for summer session and am so excited to finally be on campus with all of the rest of the students this fall! I am from Pittsburgh, but Penn State has always been my favorite school so I knew I had to come here. Like most people enrolled in this class, science is not my thing. I was okay with biology, but my hatred for the subject set in when I was forced to take chemistry. I found it to be boring and did not understand when I would ever need to know any of the topics I was learning. Ironically, my step sister graduated with a degree in Biology from Penn State this past spring, but I definitely will not be following in her scientist footsteps.


So, when I was registering for my courses for this fall semester my advisor told me I would need to enroll in a natural science. This was disappointing for me, because I was hoping to be able to avoid this subject. When I came across this science course I felt that it would be broad enough to still keep my interest and now after looking at the syllabus I think I made the right decision. I know that I still will never be a scientist but at least this will fulfill my requirements.

Why Hello There!

Hey guys! My name is Jasmin and I'm a junior majoring in Media Law and Policy and Business and looking to either take on another major or minor. I'm from sunny California but where I'm from is not so sunny. I'm from a gray city named San Francisco where the fog rolls in as often as the tourists do. By the way, please come visit me in San Francisco!!! I'm a home away from home but I do miss my beautiful city :(

sf.jpgI L.O.V.E. science! I've always been aware of the scientific aspects of our world due to the constant summer science camps and the intensity of science courses in my elementary school and high school. I love the concept of science and the further explanation of the world around us, it's just that following the science career path in college entails a lot of science with math integrated into it, and I hate math. I'm glad that I am able to appreciate and be interested in science, but I don't think it's the career path for me. I took SC200 not only because it was one of the required classes to complete my general education, but I was instantly drawn to the courses title, Science In Our World:Certainty and Controversy. I feel as though there's still a lot of things, we as humans, have not discovered yet. There are so many questions and theories always floating around to try to explain to us who we are and where we come from. This is all fascinating to me and also I feel as if though we can't always believe what we're told, and as college students, it's our job to further question the world around us. Lastly, when looking over my courses, my counselor chimed in that this was an amazing course for those who are up for critical thinking and learning more than what's in the books.

I was beyond thrilled when Dr. Read Andrew walked into class with his charming and quite sexy New Zealand accent and told us the only homework there would be was the blogs. SCORE! Now I can't wait for rest of the semester to unfold with a class that I know is going to be too much fun!

P.S.: For all yooouuuu fressshiies out there.... you might want to check THIS out!


P.P.S. Here are my pups!! I'm so in love with them!!!


First Blog Post

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Hey guys! My name is Sean Murphy and I'm a freshman from Atlanta, Georgia. I am studying communications but I haven't decided on what my exact major is. I am taking this class because I have heard that it is a fun and interesting course and it also fill a requirement for most communications majors. I am not majoring in science because, while I do not hate science, I would rather study other things besides science. I am a huge fan of all Atlanta sports teams, especially the Braves, who my favorite sports player ever, Chipper Jones, plays for. 
I look forward to having class with all of you guys this semester.
IMG_0106.PNGHi, hello! I am Eugene Kim, a freshman enrolled in DUS and SC200. I was the first one to submit this text, and now I deeply regret my decisions. I can only hope that it doesn't escalate to some huge heated battle between dragon slayers and slayers of the former. Let's be friends here. (No, seriously whoever keeps texting all that stuff, please stop).

I enrolled in SC200 because I suck at science. I can't grasp my head around it, and how the theories of science works in the world. Numbers make a little more sense to me, but in relation to the world, I have no clue.

SC200, honestly, seemed to be an easy class, but now that I know I'm mistaken, I have found a new reason to continue this class. It seems to value critical thinking based on what I find enjoying, and that is just the kind of thing I like.

Hopefully, the science aspect of the course won't be too bad (if anyone wants to help me work with me, that'd be great!). The topics look great, the future looks exciting, and I hope I can read some interesting stuff on this blog. Have a nice day! 


Why's it called "blog"?

  • That's a legitimate question I have; so if you know the answer and want to get your posting badge, opportunity is knocking.
  • Regarding the focal point of this post. I basically took this class because, like other students, I'm required to have a general science for my major.
  • I'm not majoring in science because I never even considered the idea.  Not necessarily because I didn't like it but it literally did not cross my mind as a viable option for me
  • Here a live link containing a youtube video that may brighten your day!
  • Here's a picture of me riding a small pink with bike.jpg

Initial Blog Post


11.jpg In the spirit of a new football season, here is a picture of my boyfriend and I at the blue and white game this spring.

Hiii!! I’m Mayra Martinez. Like a lot of SCI 200 students, science has always been my worst subject. Though I recognize it’s value and appreciate the discoveries/research that has made human life easier, thus far, I am not interested in a field of science. My interests are in government, politics, economics, and sociology. My major is Education Public Policy.
I don’t intend to be a science major because of my distaste for it. Even in elementary school, the lessons never stuck with me and I would forget almost everything by the next day. However, because of my competitive nature, I managed to always win my science fairs in Middle School. In high school I took every honors and AP class that I could and even though I hated science I took on honors biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy and AP physics and biology. I managed to get all ‘A’s and ‘B’s in my science courses but not without frustration, stress and sleepless nights. I was jealous of my classmates that were able to understand and ace the tests with minimum studying. I struggled my whole life to accept that I’m simply not good at everything. I knew there were things I hated like science and soccer but I still took the toughest science courses and joined the soccer team. I always wanted to be the best in everything, even if I didn’t like it.
College has taught me to accept that I’m not good at everything. However, I still continue to challenge myself. I didn’t take this science class because I thought it was easy. I took BISCI 004 in the spring aware that it was a challenging class. My adviser actually picked the class for me because I didn’t know what gen-ed to take. I am really excited to be in this class because it’s nontraditional in the sense that it doesn’t require memorizing facts but rather, just thinking and learning about things that I haven’t learned in any of my former science courses. Good luck to everyone in SCI 200!

Hello everyone.  My name is Lauren Angelini and I am a Sophomore majoring in Psychology.


I took this class because I needed a GN in my schedule right before my Soc 119 class, and when I looked up classes with those specifications on the scheduling website, this was the only decent class that showed up as a result.  

Or more simply, it looked like an "easy" GN that fit into the right time slot. 

There are three main reasons that I am not a science major.

1. I am absolutely in love with the study of psychology and believe that with a degree in psychology I could truly find a good job that I really enjoy doing.

2. My academic strengths are in the humanities, and in writing.  Neither of which are very applicable to a science major. 

3. Chemistry is basically the bane of my existence.

With that said, I have high hopes for this class and am excited to get started!

      Hey guys!My name is Harry Augustus,sophomore in broadcast journalism major.I am originally from Tibet.I love my country and so do I love the slow-tempo life in State College.

      Overwhelmed by both the grandeur and the confusion that the science has created for us in this ever-changing world, I feel it practically impossible to detach from usages of the technologies. There's also absolutely no doubt that the science is the fountain-head of innovations, and the latter has been constantly enhanced to pander the blown-up demand of our survival needs.


      When I was young, science was simply not my cup of tea. I viewed this enormous field as a swamp of unidentified patterns awaits the whole world to unveil. Honestly speaking, even during my adolescence, I didn't have a snippet of fervor in scientific explorations, that was not saying I was deprived of the aspiring curiosity that a kid should have innately bestows or I was a reclusive hermit. This insensitivity, widely speaking, rooted in the intrinsic aversion toward the acquisitions of scientific knowledge. As for many of my peers, science was a captivating nebula which hides colossal mystiques for disentanglement; whereas to me, the science, to its most essence forms, is a paradigm of absurdity. In my dictionary, science is a complete set of human knowledge that exists in specific media. Some are mutant, while the other perdurable; some are esoteric, while the other self-telling; some are conducive, while the other deleterious. Despite the dichotomy that it brings to this world, there stands a monolithic truth that science, which defies manifold camouflages, is a futile enterprise. Arbitrarily any morsel of scientific lore precedes its own revelation; that is to say, we are only the acknowledger of science, not the facilitator. For instance, based on the spectrum of recognition to this date, the theoretical freezing point of the eater nails to 32 degree Fahrenheit. Although in actual circumstance, this thermal threshold might swing away from the mark, scientists propose that in an absolute environment, the vitality, namely the liquid property of water, will be stemmed and morphed into a solid state. If we were the facilitator of science, we could have turned things around. Were the water freeze at a higher temperature, less glacier will be put into jeopardies of disappearance; on the other hand, were it freeze at a lower temperature, a wide expanse of permafrost will be relegated to tundra or taiga landforms, where might provide more optimistic future for new settlement of human beings. Nevertheless, human beings are servants to science, and will remain the subordinate position evermore.

      The world system itself, as we refer to science, has been settled by the world itself. There is a telling metaphor to it. Science, consisting of unlimited items of facts, has been placed into a boundless matrix, in which each column and row has been circumscribed by disparate vectors, such as when, where, what, how and why. A scientific fact will be exposed, if not sufficiently evidenced, when scientists endeavored to locate the complete coordinates of an item in this matrix. In sum, science survives because multitudes of researches tirelessly dove themselves in this intricate puzzle. It's the puzzle manipulates us rather than we galvanize new wisdom wherein, which perfectly explains the reason why I withdraw from science in the past, at present, and in prospective future. Science is amorality has no life. Researchers persistently invest immense efforts in their oh-so-exquisite rules of the world by excavating those facts which has remains extant since the time that even human could not exhaust. Scientists end up in disconsolate mopes when they fail, whereas they end up in unrestrained elation when they succeed. These emotions aroused by their enterprise, of course, are not putatively reproachable; but quite unfortunately, they are grave-diggers, not trail-blazers, and that says it all.

      It seems that I am a daredevil dissident of the value of science, but I decided to take this course. Obviously, I am in great desire to fulfill my department requirement. On the other hand, which is the one I want to underscore, is that I do have the incentives to be more acquainted in science. And the reason is by no means to develop long-lost interests, or you might call it appreciation, I merely don't like the embarrassment to be despised as a "yeoman "every next time someone talks about the high-techs. Once I set this goal, I fully dedicate to it. That is my learning style: show some respects to the material I am studying.

      The picture below was taken in Tibetan area.Welcome to Tibet!


Why I Took This Class


My name is Aizya and I am a sophomore at Penn State. I am currently undecided, but I am leaning towards Ad/PR with a minor in Business. Ever since my freshmen year in High School I have disliked science, it has just never held an interest for me. The reason I am taking this class is because my advisor recommended to me, saying that it was a science class for non-science people. Plus, it helps get a GN out of the way.

I am from a military family (both my parents were in the Air Force) and have traveled to many places across the globe. We currently live in San Antonio, Texas, which is where I travel up to here from. I have a big interest in Photography and am working on a 52 weeks project, on Flickr, to help improve my skills.



initial blog post

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Hi! My name is Alyssa Kaplan and I'm a sophomore from the suburbs outside of Philadelphia.


This is a photo of me and my dog, Bonnie:



She hates cameras. I promise she's cuter in real life.


I really, really don't like science. My maternal grandfather was a scientist, yet my cousins got all of the smart science genes. I hated my science classes all throughout middle school and high school. Each year it seemed to be worse than the one before. Biology was extremely unpleasant, chemistry was even worse. Physics... I don't even want to talk about it. Hence, being a science major was always out of the picture.


I was so worried about how I'd survive any kind of science course in college that I put off taking one for a whole year. When I saw the description for this course, I thought it would be perfect for me. A science course for non-scientists? Sign me up!



SC200 whatsup!

Hey everyone, my name is Matt Fleischacker and I'm a freshman here at Penn State.  I am pretty much basically in this course for the same reason as all of you.  I am not the biggest fan of Science, mainly Chemistry, Biology and Physics courses.  They just are not my thing, however when looking through science GN qualifying courses I saw this course and it immediately struck me as interesting and a great way to gain an appreciation for science and what it stands for.  I am currently undecided, but have a good idea that I will be pursuing a finance degree as I have always had a knack for math, but who know that could change at any time!

Now a little bit about my interests, I am a sports fanatic. A native from New Jersey I am a huge New York Giants football fan as well as the Knicks when it comes to basketball.  I love being active and playing sports lncluding football, basketball, baseball, tennis and even ultimate frisbee.
 Eli Manning.jpg

Im excited for the semester with this class, seems like it is going to be extremely interesting and fun at the same time. Good luck to everyone!

Initial Post

Hello. My name is Lauren Hall and I am a freshman. My hometown is Montoursville, PA. (wikipedia). I chose to take SC 200 for my first semester because i needed to take a gen. ed. science credit and I wanted to take a class that would be interesting to me. Upon reading the course description, I saw that SC 200 would work well, especially because I generally do not like science and it is intended for non science majors. Upon decided I would come to Penn State I chose to major in Secondary Education-Social Studies. I decided not to become a science major because frankly, science classes always frustrated me in high school. Throughout my high school years, I had some good science teachers, but I could never seem to fully grasp the concepts that they taught. I feel that I am much more skilled in other areas and probably would be miserable if I had to be confused by science in my professional life once I graduate. 

Here is a picture of me with my grandfather who, incidentally, taught Ag Sciences for 40 years

Initial Post

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Hello. My name is Lauren Hall and I am a freshman. My hometown is Montoursville, PA. (wikipedia). I chose to take SC 200 for my first semester because i needed to take a gen. ed. science credit and I wanted to take a class that would be interesting to me. Upon reading the course description, I saw that SC 200 would work well, especially because I generally do not like science and it is intended for non science majors. Upon decided I would come to Penn State I chose to major in Secondary Education-Social Studies. I decided not to become a science major because frankly, science classes always frustrated me in high school. Throughout my high school years, I had some good science teachers, but I could never seem to fully grasp the concepts that they taught. I feel that I am much more skilled in other areas and probably would be miserable if I had to be confused by science in my professional life once I graduate. 

Here is a picture of me with my grandfather who, incidentally, taught Ag Sciences for 40 years

Hey Everyone!

Hey! My name is Caitlin Clements and I'm a freshman hoping to major in Finance with a minor in International Business.

My decision to not major in science is based mostly on the chemistry class I took during my junior year of high school. Even my funny and endearing teacher couldn't stop the suicidal thoughts I had during the stoichiometry chapter. My astronomy class didn't help much either. I don't think I've ever cared about anything less then I care about moon rocks and white dwarves. Finally, those goggles we had to wear in high school science labs never looked good on me. If that's not reason enough for not majoring in science, I don't know what is.

I chose this course after stalking the list of available GN courses religiously all summer. I had to take a break from my daily schedule checks during a family trip to Italy. I wasn't going to let the impending doom of a college science course ruin my favorite city in the world, Florence.

(nothing like a high-quality Blackberry photo!)

When I got back, the course searching continued. That's when I saw that this class was a science course aimed at non-science majors, I scheduled it right away. When the college student's bible turned up very little information about Andrew to guarantee he wouldn't try to ruin my life/GPA, I (being the problem-solving student that I am) turned to Google. Thats when I found this. Let's just say it was love at first accent. Is it superficial to choose a class based purely on an accent? Possibly, but it seems to be a pretty good method thus far. I also liked the fact that this course would cover a wide range of interesting topics rather than one dull subject.

I'm so excited for what sounds like a fun and interesting semester of SC200!

Slept Through Science

        Hey everyone, my name is Erin Witt and I am a freshman in the Broadcast Journalism program.  I am from the 10th Worst City in America, Cleveland, Ohio.  I am a die-hard supporter of all Cleveland sports teams and come to accept the fact that we will suck forever and always, but I will continue to support my hometown in hopes that they will win a championship sometime in my life. The thing I miss most about Cleveland is that everyone loved country music then I come here and I struggle to find kids who love it as much as me!  Country concerts > any other concert you have been to.
        I am in this course because the famous Gary, my communications advisor, convinced me that it is a "chill" class and that it is for students who are not science whizzes.  Plus it fills a general education requirement.  
       There are a few reasons why I will not be a Science major.  One being that at my high school we had two forty minute periods of a particular science and I am convinced that the teachers at my school made it their goal to see how many people they can get to fall asleep during class.  Science has always been the most boring and uninteresting classes and there is no way I could endure four more years of it as a Science major.  I also just like English and writing much more.  Therefore, if any of you need a paper proof-read, I would happily do so.  That is all, thank you!


Hi, my name's Alex and I hate science. I guess it all started when I was in tenth grade science class. I didn't like my teacher very much and found all the big words boring and uninteresting. I guess that class just stuck with me and I still hate science to this day. I even failed a science course last year. I'm taking the class because I'm a Senior and I need natural science credits and the description of this class seemed more my style.

 My main area of interest is music. I wasn't really good at anything else in high school so I thought, it makes sense to be a music major. Turns out, just like science, being a music major wasn't for me. Currently, I'm an Integrative Arts major which lets me build my own degree within the Arts field with an area of focus. Eventually, I want to become involved in music production and recording which is my focus within the program. That includes some science of music, which is the only kind of science that is interesting to me. I still play a lot of music, though. I play drums and percussion- which I have played for 12 years-, acoustic guitar, and bass guitar. That last link describes me well in a lot of ways. Hehe. I even sing with the Men's Glee Club on campus. We're nothing like the show "Glee" (which all of the men in Glee Club are frustrated with.) We're better! So, I guess I'm kind of a choir nerd. But, girls like singers, right?

Photo courtesy of Annemarie Mountz

I hope I get to meet some other people in class! If you recognize my face from my picture and I seem like a cool guy, say hello! I'm kind of shy but pretty easy to talk to, so I'm probably more afraid of you than you are of me. 

Hey :)


Hey SC200!

My name is Paulina Moussavi and I am from Washington, D.C. I am a sophomore and planning on majoring in Public Relations within Penn State's College of Communications. I am interested in PR because like science, the possibilities are limitless and there is not always one right answer. The appealing part of PR for me is that it involves meeting a lot of new people, making a lot of new connections, and most of all not being stuck in a cubicle all day. I think my best bet for being successful in my major is to move back to Washington in the future because it is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, cities for PR.



Since elementary school, I was never great at math or science, the reason why I am not planning on majoring in Science. I guess I am just one of those people better at speaking, writing, and languages. With that said, I am taking this course because I need to fulfill a science credit. I told my advisor that science is not one of my strong points, and she reccomended this course. When I read the course description, this class sounded like a good choice because it deals with theories of science as oppose to the mathematical aspect of it. I do find fascinating discoveries made in science, but I don't think it would be the right major for me. Good luck to everyone in SC200!

Numba One!


Picture 1.jpg

 My name is Quinn Brooks and I'm a sophomore here in Happy Valley :)! I grew up in a (very) small town in upstate New York.  I plan on majoring in Marketing and I hope to get a minor in Spanish and International Business.  In my free time I enjoy hanging out with my friends, working out, and cuddling with my dog named Edison (when I'm at home, obviously).

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I took SC200 because I needed one more Science Gen Ed.  Also, the fact that it was for non-science majors made it sound very appealing to me.  I never enjoyed science in high school and it always took me forever to understand it.  If it wasn't for my dad being a chemistry and physics teacher, there is a good chance all of my science classes would have been a huge GPA-buster.  So, that is why I am not a science major!  Literally anything about chemicals or bonds or cells or inertia or mitochondria or layers of rocks goes right over my head and bores me to death.  To be honest, I couldn't even tell you what mitochondria are and I'm really surprised I remembered that word from 10th grade Biology.  I always enjoyed my social studies and math courses a lot more.  I know, weird, I like math and not science.  This is the first science class that I am looking forward to.. ever!

Limbic Limbo

So you've heard that whole "men are from Mars, women are from Venus" deal a million and one times, am I right? Through those prison-like halls in high school, you spent hours trying to figure out what he meant by that "hey," what she and her girlfriends really discuss when they go to the bathroom. 

It's you, by the way. But I'll save that for another time. 

Everyone's their own unique self, but those vast generalizations about each gender don't just come from angry dates who had to pay for the lobster. Men and women are distinctly different for scientific reasons. Maybe our bodies are all wired on Earth, but our brains couldn't be wired any differently. And for good reason, too. I think I'd lose it completely if my boyfriend started complaining about breaking a nail. 

I'd blaming the limbic system on the conflict between men and women. The limbic system of the brain controls the bonding/"nesting" instincts, and women's limbic systems are larger and deeper (thank you, we try) than men's. So because of this deep emotional bond women reach, we can sit on the couch eating a pint of ice cream and watching Titanic without dying. Men however, typically would rather work out a math problem or a perhaps the machinery that was used to film a tear-jerker. Day to day life for women tends to be connecting with others, and really trying to relate to that girl running down the hall crying, "he said he was over me! My life is ruined!" A female friend would grab the dumped girl by the arm, and tell her to start from the beginning. A guy would be telling her to find some waterproof mascara and giving her the steps to get over the ex. Logistically, this makes sense. Emotionally, this is what high school girls like to coin "a totally douchey move." And then we, ya' know, cry in a corner and become twice as likely to get depression. So having an emotionally attuned brain does have its downsides. 

Psychology Today describes male thinking as "systemizing" and "mechanistic," whereas females empathize and are "mentalistic." Not to say that men are cold hearted or will never shed a tear (though I have yet to see a guy cry), but they're much more interested in doing what needs to be done and fixing things. To illustrate, I've created a little scenario about Alphonso and Esmeralda, a fictitious married couple who are trying to decide what they want for dinner.

Alphonso: Hey honey, do we have any mac 'n cheese left?
Esmeralda: Second cupboard, first shelf. *Heavy sigh.* [Note: Every matter of importance a woman "indirectly" wants to bring up will begin with a heavy sigh.]
Alphonso: What's wrong?
Esmeralda: I miss our sit down dinners...remember when we first started going out? You'd get the steak, I'd get the caesar salad and we'd bemoan our lives' lack of direction?
Alphonso: I just wanna get rid of this pasta. The kids are gone all week. When else will it get eaten? 
Esmeralda: Oh. Okay. You know, you might as well just say you can't stand a long meal with me. 
Alphonso: *baffled silence*

So perhaps I'm exaggerating here, but this exemplifies what a man might find as logistics and problem solving, and a woman would see dinner as an opportunity to get closer emotionally. I personally find mac 'n cheese dinners quite emotionally stimulating, but women's limbic systems are naturally attuned to those candlelit fancy shmancy meals that you see at least once in a romantic comedy.

What really struck me was due to male's more mathematically inclined brain, they are much more likely to have autism or to at least be on the spectrum. Four out of five autistic people are male. These are severe cases of how the male brain is wired, but it's still the same basic scenario of not being able to relate to other people's emotions. It's not that they don't want to, or don't care, or don't even try. I have personal experience with someone with autism who is kind, considerate, but just can't get into others' heads. As a woman, it seems natural to want to identify with other people, but not everyone can work that way. If it weren't for those shallower limbic system-ed folk, we wouldn't have great math mathematicians, or great puzzle solvers. We wouldn't be able to giggle at Einstein's funny hair, because someone like Einstein wouldn't have existed! 

Granted, it can be frustrating to try and deal with the severe differences that men and women exhibit, but it also makes life interesting. It's amazing how our same species can have such different kinds of brains. While I'm a fan of my deep limbic system, I admire those who can focus on a task and not let emotional aspects get in the way. This lovely limbic system makes dynamic between males and females it would just be too much if we ALL started sobbing over Titanic

And for your viewing pleasure, an example of how men can go hours, days even, of just focusing on the task on hand and letting emotional stuff slide. Brought to you by Brian Regan:

Science? Not Me...

    Hi everybody! My name is Ariel Epstein.  I am a freshman majoring in Broadcast Journalism.  My parents have always told me to find a job that I would love to wake up to doing every morning.  I have always enjoyed watching sports and talking so I realized my dream job is to be a sports anchor for ESPN in New York City.  My passion for sports is just like Andrew's passion for making new discoveries.  I am a big New York Yankee and Baltimore Ravens fan, weird mix I know.  
   Science is an interesting subject for me.  I have interest in certain things within the science field such as the things we learn in this class that relate to our lives.  On the other hand, learning about molecules and other intangible elements is when I totally lose focus.  Throughout those science classes all I ever thought about was, when will I ever use this in my life? 

   The tools I need to succeed in the field of Broadcast Journalism are tools I can use not just in my field, but in my life as well.  The worst feeling to me is when I was in a class and had no interest because I knew I would never use the information after the test.  

   I chose this class for the same reason I am sure most of you did, to fill the requirements for our Gen Eds.  One of the advisors in the communications department told me to take this course because it interests people who are not necessarily interested in science.  He was correct.  It has only been a few classes but I can already tell this is the science class for me.  Thank you Andrew and Chris for making what I thought at first would be an annoying class to take and making it something to look forward to.  I am looking forward to a great semester with all of my classmates and reading more about all of you and your interests on your blogs.

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Science and I used to get along in middle school, but like most camaraderies that reach high school, we grew apart.  I soon found myself hanging out with English books and Creative Writing papers.  I went from engaging in PJAS (Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science) in 7th and 8th grade to being editor of my school newspaper, the Leonid.  Now, I've found myself dual majoring in Public Relations and Secondary English Education, and after all, what does science have to do with that?  Basically, the only reason I'm here is to fulfill my Science Gen Eds.  
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When I graduate from Penn State, I would love to be able to work for the Pittsburgh Steelers as a public relations specialist or maybe even go to law school and become an NFL agent. I am obsessed with football.  I love it so much, I want to be a part of it for my career.  However, if my unrealistic dream job doesn't quite become reality, I'll have a teaching degree for high school English, which was my favorite subject.   

In high school, some of my favorite times were standing underneath the Friday night lights and cheering for the football team.  In 2011, my squad went to Disney World for Nationals.  We took first in our division and celebrated by stunting illegally in the resort's beach area.  

Cheerleading is an activity that I would also like to pursue here at Penn State, along with joining a sorority.  Despite my dislike for Science, I am excited for Science 200 considering it's already unlike any other boring high school class.  

My Initial Post



My name is Mao Shuqi, first-year student of Communication College . I come from China.
If u feel my name is hard to pronounce, u can call me Mandy.large_XMFK_38c500021f071375[1].jpg

   I attend this class because my Chinese alumni recommened it to me. And I think it is really a good choice to have this class in my schedule.
   When I am in high school, I joined a group which studies about supernatural things, just like ghost and something else. We tried to find reasonable expression to those events which had happened all around the world.
   It is my first time to study oustide. I should admit that I miss my home and doggy, not a little. To adapt a totally different cultre is a diffucult task for me to complete.
    Why not try to major in science? The answer is that in my opinion , scientist should be careful to every experiment, and dataI , but I think I am too careless to be a scientist. .

    After all I am happy to be in this class, be in penn state.


What's up, SC200?

Now that I've gotten that formality-- or informality-- aside, I can get this initial post mumbo-jumbo out of the way. I'm a sophomore broadcast journalism major/ theatre minor (for now) and, like most of you in this class, science was never really my calling. I've always excelled in liberal arts classes that were writing-intensive and strayed far from the beaten paths of logs, proofs, cells, laws and compounds. Next semester, I'm hoping to become a writer for Onward State. I'm taking SC200 because I may have never been good at science, but I've always wanted to learn a greater sense of appreciation for it and I'm hoping this course will help me do so.

I'm very social and willing to start a study group of some kind if anyone wishes to do so. I'm not hard to spot; I'm the kid in the back of the room with the mess of curly hair. I'm looking forward to working with you guys!

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Never fails to make me laugh.

Hi fellow SC200 classmates!

My name is Megan Lasko, I'm a freshman this year and majoring in (or atleast planning to thus far) broadcast journalism.  I don't LOATHE science (aside from chemistry...THAT I loathe), but I've always had a passion for writing as well as a lifelong dream of being in front of the camera.  I'm fairly certain I wouldn't make it as an actress, so a love for writing paired with a desire to be on screen resulted in my choice of major.  I was never a science-hater in high school, though!  I enjoyed biology and my natural science courses, just not quite enough to pursue a career in the field.


Here I am as a freshman in high school...putting together some molecule models and already hating chem! 

I am taking this course because (surprise, surprise) I needed to get started on fulfilling my Gen Ed Natural Science requirements.  At my FTCAP orientation in May, I struggled through the packet of class descriptions of the science courses available for me this semester.  Fortunately one of the academic advisors for the College of Communications, Gary Abdullah, noticed my defeat and immediately suggested (insisted, actually) that SC200 was the right choice.  If you aren't familiar with Gary, check out his picture here and make a point to chat with him if you're lucky enough to see him around campus.  I've only had two conversations with him to date, but he's super friendly and never fails to make me laugh.  He's the man.

 I'm already pleased with his suggestion.  After our first class on Tuesday, I'm feeling pretty enthusiastic about this semester with Andrew!  Let's be real...a teacher with an awesome accent automatically makes a good class a great one!

For the longest time, science to me was the subject that I would make sure to find an excuse to get out of in grade school.My name is Niki Epps and I am currently a junior here at Penn State, double majoring in psych and criminology.I have been under the impression that i can't possibly comprehend scientific findings and notions just due to the way my brain works. But even only by looking through the lens of this class from a 2 day perspective, i can tell that this class could quite possibly rekindle my fascination with science. I have to admit, i've always been intrigued by the unknown. In a way, my major and interests reflect that. . As i said before, im fascinated with the unknown, and through the eyes of a psychologist, i've been learning about the unknown things that human beings deal with in every day life. This ranges from mental illness to simple issues. Technically, psychology is a science. We use the scientific method, independent and dependent variables, and of course my absolute favorite (not) statistics. In a way, psychology is a science in disguise. It seems so interesting because it pertains to every day life. Have you ever wondered why when we are in a crowded room and you are listening to one conversation and have the ability to block out all the others around you? What about if you are in the same situation, yet you hear your name in the background and it instantly catches your attention? It is known as The Cocktail Party EffectThats a psychological inference, but its also scientific. It has taken be 2 years of higher education to realize that science is pretty awesome. Given my background, i think its easy to say that i'm alway thinking about new ideas, interesting prospects and odd happenings. In the immortal words of Patrick Star "The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma", especially pertaining to science. But i am excited and willing to further my knowledge and curiosity. I took this class so that it could rekindle that curiosity, and it seems to be right on track. 

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In all honesty, science is a source of endless frustration and stress for me. Although I can recognize its value, it is simply not something that interests me. Throughout high school, scheduling for the year's mandatory science course was always a source of dread and apprehension. Even though I managed to pass basic classes such as biology and chemistry with respectable grades, I still never learned to enjoy science. Naturally, this dislike made science the last thing I would ever think to major in. 

I took this class because I wanted to get my science credits out of the way early and this course seemed to be the most desirable of the science courses available to me. As a journalism major, I could basically choose any science option I wanted and this one seemed to be the least rigid. 

After actually attending one the lectures, I have a much more positive view of the class and am actually excited for the next class. It not only has the openness that I desired but it will also provide me with an opportunity to improve my writing and explore a new type of media through the blogging. Even though I may always dislike the subject, this class will probably provide me with a way of appreciating science

Hi friends!

So, I'm an English major. That should be pretty much enough explanation as to why I'm in this class. It's not that I hate science or anything, on the contrary I took a ton of science in high school. Science just isn't really my thing. I'm not really a fan of questions that only have one answer. I like science, but I love English. So when it came time to make my schedule for this semester, not only did this class seem like it could be my style as far as science goes, it also wasn't at 8 AM, which is a major plus. Morning's aren't really my thing either. So far I'm really glad I picked this class up. It seems like it'll be interesting. 

So English major, right. When you tell people you're an English major, they almost always say, "Oh, so you want to teach!" No. Absolutely not. Putting the future of a child's education in my hands? Not the best idea. My goal is to move to Ireland or England and work in a publishing house. Granted I'll probably just end up on the west coast, where my siblings all moved after college, but Ireland is The Dream. I'm studying abroad this summer in Ireland, in a program through the English department. It'll be my second trip to Ireland, and hopefully not my last!

The Cliffs of Moher, one of my favorite stops in Ireland.


Hello, class of Science 200! I am here, I admit, because I have a particular loathing for Science, and all throughout high school I took those classes like "let's save the environment!"...which is useful, but very much unlike chem and physics and all those other categories that could otherwise be used as nap time. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that our main grade would be this blog. I keep a blog for fun, and while it's hardly science based, I still think it would be entertaining to write a school related blog. 

I'm also a fan of Eddie Izzard. This particular clip makes me giggle all the time:

I'm not a science major because I am extremely right-brained. I LOVE English and would write fiction and narrative all day if I could. I don't want to bash Science in any way, seeing as it's extremely important, but it's just not my cup of coffee. 
So this is me, being weird, which is not entirely unusual: (I'm on the right)

Initial Post!

I am taking SC200 simply because I have no choice. I transferred to Penn State last year and I am still trying to get all of the required classes out of the way that I need for my major, Human Development and Family Studies. I am on most definitely NOT a science major. This is mainly because it has never quite caught my interest and it has very rarely been my strong point in school. My interests are more geared toward child development and the ways in which we can help children succeed by providing developmentally appropriate social and cognitive practices. 

My Pre-K class and myself on the playground!

Who I Am And Why I Am Here


Hello everyone! My name is Tarek Kerbag (some of my friends call me Rick), I was born on August 6, 1993 (Go Leos!) 

tribal_zodiac_V_Leo_by_Sakashima.jpgin Syria. I moved to the United States of America when I was thirteen years old. I lived and attended school in Philadelphia until I moved to Penn State University Park as a student and a Lenfest Scholar. I am a very athletic and active person. My two main sports are soccer and volleyball. soccer_Small_2-500pxx358.jpgI also play basketball and tennis. I like to read, swim, play pool, run and play the piano.

The main reason I am taking the course Science 200 is like most students, to fulfill the general education requirements and this class was recommended by my advisor. The reason I am not majoring in science is because I have always been a math guy. I am currently in DUS but I want to enter the Smeal College of Business and major in Actuarial Science. Now for those of you who do not know what Actuarial Science, most likely you will get the wrong impression of what kind of "science" it is. Actuarial Science includes probability, mathematics, statistics, finance, economics, financial economics, and computer programming. Actuarial science is a risk management; it is used to assess risk in the insurance and finance industries.

             The most significant aspect about me is that I have arrived to the United States from a different country not knowing a single English word. Coming from Syria, I did not know what to expect or how my life was going to turn out to be. The language was of course a major concern for me. It does not take a genius to figure out that academic success requires knowledge of the language it's taught in. Knowing that, I studied very diligently and my English language developed very rapidly to the point where I was surpassing those whom English was their first language.

            When I arrived to the United States, there were three weeks left to school and I was supposed to be in eighth grade, but I was held back a grade so I would not have to enter high school with little knowledge of the language. I am very glad that happened, because it gave me the opportunity to attain admission at a very good high school and from there attaining admission to Penn State. I surpassed the obstacle of the language very quickly which enabled me to explore and do much more.

           I try to get involved in activities and events as much as possible. I have passion for education, studying, and obtaining various kinds of knowledge. I am bilingual; I have the ability to speak, read, and write both English and Arabic.

          Other than that, I am a very open minded student and very diligent, passionate, attentive, aspiring, and dedicated. I will try my very best in every class I have to attain the highest grade possible. I will not procrastinate or become indifferent and apathetic to any of them. Overall, I am very glad to have attended this university. It was a very long journey to get to get to where I am now. But I know that the path ahead of me is still long and there will be more journeys awaiting me.

Hello ladies and gents! Welcome back to PSU for yet another fantastic semester. I hope you all had enjoyable summers and are back into the swing-of-things in Happy Valley.

My name is Rachel Tedesco and, as you should know, I am one of your TA's for SC200 this semester.

I figured that I would start out by giving you a little info about me and then I'll give you some tips for success this semester.

Fun Facts About Me:
  • I'm only 5'1" tall.
  • I'm a 3rd generation Penn Stater.
  • My favorite color is yellow.
  • I chose my major (Public Relations) because it didn't require me to take Chemistry or Calculus.
  • I absolutely love THON. I'm a THON Chair for Oriana Singers and Glee Club THON. From my work with THON, I decided I wanted to work with non-profits after I graduate.
  • My favorite food is peanut butter (in any variety). 
  • I took this class because I had to fulfill science credits. I HATED science in general when I began the course. I came out of the class with-- if nothing else-- a real appreciation for science and how it impacts our lives (though we still aren't exactly BFFs).
  • I'm a Lion Ambassador, so let me know if you have any Penn State questions!

Please feel free to contact me at any time with questions. You can reach me at my PSU email,, or my personal email, I'm super small and not intimidating at all so don't worry, we will get through this semester together.

Now, for the stuff that you really care about... How to do well in Science 200. 

  • Show Up and Take Notes: The only way to succeed in this class is to be present. You have to go to class. Take notes in whatever way works best for you. I'm a visual learner so I wrote down my notes in lots of different colors. If you are better with just listening, take some notes and listen intently.
  • Don't Over-Think: Andrew is probably the most fair professor I've had. He does not try to trick you and he absolutely wants you to succeed. Take your time on the exams and don't psych yourself out. Use your notes and use your common sense and you will do great.
  • Be Creative!: One of the reasons I was successful in SC200 was because I write with my own voice and my own (strong) opinions. Should your blogs have some structure, be logical, be free of errors? YES! But there is nothing wrong with writing in the way that you feel most comfortable. For me, as you can probably tell, I have a more conversational writing style and it worked for these blogs. BUT! Let me caution you... you must have structure and a clear thought-out body to your blogs. Be consistent. Be creative.
  • Write About What You Love: Do you have a dog? Do you ever wonder why he wags his tail when he sees you? Have you ever had a concussion? What exactly happens when you get a concussion? Do you love playing around with makeup? What exactly makes make-up work? Pick topics you are interested in! This is such simple advice but it will get you a long way.
  • Be Responsible: For many of you, this is your first semester of college. You must learn to time manage. Don't wait until the last minute to do your blogs. Don't wait until the last minute to take the exams. THAT is how you will fail this class.

I hope you all are as excited about this semester as Andrew, Beth and I are! Please let me know if you have any questions about SC200, PSU or just life in general. I'd be more than happy to help!

See you Thursday!

Rachel Tedesco

"Easy" A


Above is a picture of myself (the frog) and my cousin (the otter) at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta - it was amazing!!

Hello Everyone! I hope everybody had an awesome summer! I know mine went by way too fast & I was definitely not ready to head back to school, reading, and homework! But oh well.

As I'm sure you've heard, I am one of your TA's for SC200! There are a few pointers I'd like to share with all of you as you get started with this class.

  1. Go to class! I cannot tell you how important it is to not only go to class, but pay attention. You will learn so much just by being in class, and taking notes on what is going on will definitely help you when exams come up.

  2. Don't procrastinate on your blogs! Writing a blog can seem like a daunting assignment. But I promise, if you start writing them early and put some thought into what you are writing about, you will be fine. Blogs are a big part of your overall grade, so don't brush them off until the last minute. Just remember to be thoughtful about what you're writing & of course don't forget to comment!

  3. Be sure to speak up in class! This was one thing that I didn't catch on to until later in the semester, but interacting in class can really help you understand better what Andrew is saying. Even if you're not confused, stating opinions or giving your thoughts on a certain topic will help you to more fully understand and relate to what Andrew has to say. This will definitely be useful in the future for exams!

  4. Don't be afraid to talk to us! And that goes for any of us. I promise, if you have a question there is going to be at least one other person who was thinking or wondering the same thing. So don't be afraid to email the TA's, or approach Andrew (he's really not scary at all... I promise!)
    On a side note, I definitely encourage taking Andrew up on the "free" lunch offer from Eberly College of Science. It was a great chance for him to get to know me & it was nice to talk with him outside of the regular classroom... plus it's free food :)

If you have any questions, feel free to ask! We're here to help you, but keep in mind you have to work for the grade that you want. So if you put in the time & effort, you will be fine! I can't wait to start working with this class & I know you guys will really enjoy this class! See you on Thursday :-)

This is a test post. But welcome, class of 2012.  Think hard and have fun.

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