Mortuary Musing
a mortuary science student's perspective on the study of the dead

The Spring Class Schedule

(CSC Original Post 01-15-10)

The first week of school is officially done with for the Spring semester, so now I can finally start rambling about which classes the mortuary science students are taking this semester. To be honest, I am pretty excited about this spring semester. I am not trying to sound geeky, but this semester is going to fly by fast. The mortuary science program’s classes (Introduction to Microbiology, Funeral Service Counseling and Introduction to Pathology for Funeral Service Professionals) are only 8 weeks long. The general education classes (Fundamentals to Management, Principles of Accounting 1 and Business Law) are still 16 weeks, but after the first 8 weeks are gone everyone is going to have plenty of free time for themselves.

Nonetheless, it is time to review the spring semester classes for the mortuary science students. So here we go!

Introduction to Microbiology

To be blunt, of all the classes I am enrolled in this semester this is the one that the clock seems to stall. For some reason it drags on and on to the point where everything feels lethargic. Of course, it might be because the subject material isn’t something to get pumped up and excited about. Microbiology—as one could imagine—goes into detail about microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, fungus and all the other good stuff you probably wouldn’t want to share as a dinner conversation if you are out on a date. If you do, you either plan on not seeing that person ever again, or you really have nothing to talk about. However, this is important information to know about if you are planning on becoming a funeral director. Some of the information in the class is a little throwback to Chemistry and Anatomy & Physiology, so it is a good thing you (hopefully) took those classes.

Funeral Service Counseling

Funeral Service Counseling is partially a continuation from what you learned from the previous semester’s Psychology of Death and Dying class. Students will learn the difference between grief counseling and grief therapy and will examine the historical development of the term counseling. This includes looking back at theories from John Bowlby, Jean Piaget, and Sigmund Freud. Of course eventually we will learn the approaches a funeral director takes towards counseling when it comes to helping a person through grief. This is probably the most amusing class so far this semester. There has been a lot of fascinating class discussions. This is good, I guess, since we have this class everyday from Monday through Thursday.

Introduction to Pathology for Funeral Service Professionals

What is strange about this class is it uses the same textbook as the Introduction to Microbiology class, but this class is nowhere as slow as the microbiology one. Maybe the class is more interesting because it talks about pathological diseases instead of bacteria and microorganisms. Of course, this is another bad topic for a dinner conversation if you are trying to impress someone in case you aren’t aware. Some of the information you learn from taking Anatomy & Physiology will be reiterate back in here. So if you need to refresh up on your A & P material you better do so.

Fundamentals of Management

“Now why would I need a class on management?” one person might ask. I’ll tell you why. This class is important for anyone who plans on one day running their own funeral home. It will help a person to understand the skills and the role of a manager, or if you do not intend on going into management it also discusses how to properly communicate with management. A person can not expect to become a manager one day without any previous notion about management and expect to run a business smooth and efficient. Mortuary science students here at Carl Sandburg College have the choice of taking this class online or in person. I choose taking the class in person because I like being around people and I hate being in front of the computer for too long. I am happy with my choice. The instructor, Bob Clark, can create a lot of interesting class discussions. I highly recommend to anyone in the future to take this class in person instead of taking it online. You won’t regret it.

As for the Principles of Accounting 1 and the Business Law classes, I have already taken those classes years ago so I don’t have to worry about them this semester. So, yeah, I will not be reviewing them. Sorry. I might ask the other students in the future how the classes are going and possibly write about them, but as for right now there will be no information. However I will add—in case you were wondering—you will need these classes if you are going into mortuary science (in case you haven’t notice I have dealt with quite a few people who ask me, “Do you really need those classes?”). You will need Business Law because a funeral home is a business, and unless you plan on not earning any income in your career you probably want to take an accounting class.

Personally, I’m just happy I have three classes that end after 8 weeks and then there is only one class I have to deal with for the rest of the semester. I can't complain. This is all for now.


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