New quarter brings unique classes to CSUB

This week is the start of winter quarter and for students who are still looking for a couple of units to fill out their schedules, you may want to consider one of these unique courses.

Unai Nafarrate is a visiting lecturer from Basque country who is teaching a course on Basque culture during the winter quarter 2012.

Basque is more than lunch at Woolgrowers

For the first time, CSUB is offering a course in Basque Language and Culture (MODL 277). The university has partnered with the local Basque community to bring Basque native Unai Nafarrate to Bakersfield to teach this three-unit course through the Department of Modern Languages and Literature. The class meets Monday and Wednesday from 12:20 to 1:50 p.m.  Students will be introduced to the Basque language, history, literature, art, music, and other aspects of contemporary Basque society. (Basque country is a region that overlaps Spain and France.)

As the site of the largest Basque population in California, Bakersfield will benefit from its residents being educated about the culture. As the Californian quoted CSUB language professor Steven Gamboa in an article over the weekend, this course is “a big opportunity for Basque people to showcase their culture, and to raise awareness.” And here is another article from a Basque website about the course.

Photo courtesy of California High Speed Rail

High speed rail offers lots of room for discussion

With the California High Speed Rail project being hotly debated from the local to the national level, CSUB is offering a chance for students and the community to hear arguments and learn facts from all sides. A free, five-session speaker series beginning Jan. 18 will feature community experts, and continues every other Wednesday through March 14, hitting topics such as the project’s business plan, financing, environmental impact, consequences, and culminating with a town hall style meeting. The class meets in the evening from 5:45 to 7:30 p.m. in Science III, Room 213. The schedule is:

Jan. 18: Job Creation
Ray Watson, Kern County Board of Supervisors, Fourth District
Richard Chapman, Executive Director, Kern Economic Development Corporation

Feb. 1: High Speed Rail Benefits
Ron Brummet, retired, Kern Council Of Governments (KernCOG)
Emily Rusch, State Director, California Public Interest Group (Cal PIRG)

Feb. 15: Business Plan / Finance / Future Phasing
California High Speed Rail Authority

Feb. 29: EIR / EIS and “Build / No Build” Consequences
Lorelei Oviatt, Director, Kern County Planning and Community Development Department
Ken Hooper, President, Kern County Historical Society & BHS Social Studies Instructor

March 14:  Town Hall
Congressman Kevin McCarthy (confirming), Majority Whip, 112th Congress
Second speaker to be confirmed

Students who take the course will receive general studies credit.  The free course is also open to the general public through CSUB’s Extended University program. For more information about this course or to register, contact Extended University at 661-654-2441 or visit

Online writing lab provides tutoring

Writing is probably the number one skill that is universally necessary across all disciplines in college. My Writing Lab Plus (Humanities 207 and 407) offers out-of-class practice with writing and grammar through a one-unit, online course. The program helps you learn the writing process at your own pace. You can also send in papers to an online tutor with a Phd or Master’s degree in the subject area of your paper and receive feedback within 24 hours. If you have questions, visit the writing lab (also called MyWritingLabPlus) in Classroom Building 100 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, email, or call 654-2823.

Get fit while earning units

The Physical Education and Kinesiology Department (PEAK) offers several one-unit courses, including Interval Training, Pilates, Straight Up Strength, and Cardio Dance (Zumba). Learn more about PEAK classes by calling the department at 654-2187 or visiting the PEAK Facebook page.

Learning through public service

One set of courses that are becoming popular with students are those that involve community service. Jane Evarian, director of the Center for Community Engagement and Career Education, teaches three sections of Community Service Learning, and Dr. Michael Flachmann teaches one section to honor students. Also this year CSUB is offering 10 sections of CSUB 103 – Roadrunner Passion to Learn, which is for freshmen through the First-Year Experience program. Through CSUB 103, students will explore homelessness and volunteer at the Bakersfield Homeless Center.

For a complete, up-to-date course catalog and schedule, visit