Friday, December 13, 2019
Los Angeles Times, ‘Adulting’ Is Hard. UC Berkeley Has a Class For That:
The 'Adulting' class at UC-Berkeley], which has 30 students enrolled in each section, is led by two Berkeley undergrads who plan discussion topics and schedule guest speakers to fill 90 minutes each week. The “adults in training” are among thousands of people across the country who have signed up for courses that focus on things such as cooking or budgeting or time management.
Adulting classes for college students and postgrads have swelled in popularity in recent years, in part because many high schools have largely abandoned “life skills” courses such as home economics, which were created to help students navigate the path to adulthood.
That trend, combined with armies of hovering parents who emphasize academic achievement to the exclusion of almost everything else, has resulted in university classrooms filled with students who scored a 5 on their AP Physics test, but struggle to plan for a week’s worth of groceries and meals. ...
Adulting is one of dozens of student-run courses in [Berkeley's] DeCal (Democratic Education at Cal) program, in which students create and facilitate their own classes on topics that include those practical and fun and often aren’t addressed in traditional curriculum. The project is rooted in the ideals of Berkeley’s free speech movement, launched in the 1960s when students pressed for and won greater academic rights. ...
There’s a class on criminal psychology, which “aims to analyze the minds of criminals, particularly of those who commit heinous crimes,” in an effort to understand factors that influenced their behaviors and led them to commit violent offenses. Students enrolled in “Intro to Baking” learn to make bread, cakes, pastries and other confections “without setting you or your roommates on fire,” according to the course catalog.
Another course takes participants on a journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry through discussions of Harry Potter novels.
The courses in DeCal count for one or two credits and are offered as pass/no pass; as a result, students say they are unlikely to add to their stress levels.