Hey, my name is Justin Passaro and I am a Junior majoring in Labor and Employment Relations. I am from Greensburg, Pennsylvania (about 45 min outside Pittsburgh). Prior to coming to Penn State, I played ice hockey for 16 years. Even though concussions have hindered my ability to play competitively, I still enjoy playing in “pick-up” games and adult leagues. During my last 3 years of playing hockey, I played what is called “Juniors”, a developmental league for players who hope to play NCAA. It was an experience of a lifetime on and off the ice. I was able to meet so many different people from playing all over the East Coast and living in three different states.
So why did I choose to take SC 200? Well, to be honest, I didn’t know very much about the class at all. I needed another science, so I started reading through descriptions of various courses that would fulfill my needs. SC 200 stuck out as a class that I thought I might have more interest in. I also will admit to checking out Rate My Professor and seeing that Andrew had very positive ratings. I can say without hesitation, after the first class meeting, I made the right choice. In regards to how most of us were taught in junior and high school, what Andrew said the first day of class that has really had me thinking. Have I been taught wrong? I never really thought science was boring but I never really found it super interesting. Prior to this course, I was taught that science is just science and it is not something that anyone outside the various fields should question. After attending Andrew’s first couple lectures, my curiosity wheels are turning! I want to avert more away from my traditional microanalytic science brain to a more macro and “big picture” way of viewing. For example, I know that hockey is a game built on physics. You have men and women standing on two inch blades of steal trying to accelerate and decelerate, slapping a little hard disk of vulcanized rubber with such velocity that it can fly past the goaltender and into the twine that makes up the 6’x4′ goal (all while trying to balance on ice). What I want to know are questions such as, “Why are people like myself so attracted to the game?”, “What about the game helps us form these certain stereotypes of hockey players?” or “Do we all internally share something in common?”. I don’t believe that I will know exact answers to these types of questions at the end of the 16 weeks, but I do believe that I will learn and acquire certain tools that can help me approach and think about them in a better way.
The reason why I am not a science major kind of goes back to my high school days. As I said earlier, it was never boring for me, but never super interesting. I was always a decent science student in high school, but nothing crazy. I will say, I feel that this class is going to be different. I don’t believe this will be just any old conventional science class, but one that can have a positive impact on how we think and solve problems. I am excited!