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Useful Pitches for USIE Seminars

March 4 is the last information session to learn more about the Undergraduate Student Initiated Education program. USIE allows interested juniors and seniors to design a one-unit lower division seminar to teach to other UCLA students. That’s right, you, an ordinary UCLA student, could add “teacher at the 12th best university in the world” to your resumé. Past seminar topics have included “Comic Books as Literature,” “Sociology of Facebook and Online Social Networks” and even “One Course to Rule Them All: Exploring J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings.’” In case you’re dying to create your own course but blanking on what your topic should be, here’s some suggestions:

1. Navigating the Endless Staircases of UCLA

Aimed at the newest additions to the Bruin family, this course teaches the skills needed to tackle the hills of campus. Learn the proper breathing techniques to use while powering through the last two flights of the classic Café 1919 “death stairs.” Analyze the proper geometric angles to position your legs, so you look like less of an idiot going down the “awkward stairs” by Covel. Discuss the proper icing procedures to soothe your newly enlarged calves. Explore alternative routes that cut down on staircase usage. You may have to allot more time for walking to class, but you’ll avoid the signature freshmen “I can’t believe I just climbed 250 stairs to get here” sweaty and distressed look.

2. The Science of Creating the Perfect Tinder Profile

Made obvious by the plethora of creepily too-close selfies and overused quotes, some people just don’t know what they are doing on Tinder. The class would be broken into small groups to evaluate the profiles of each individual student. Once you determine your strengths and weaknesses as a potential match, experts would come in to give guest lectures on a range of relevant topics like the “Do’s and Don’ts of Group Photos” and “How to Convey You’re Looking for Something Causal Without Coming Off Like a Creep.” By the end of the 10 weeks, you’ll have so many matches, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Be warned: you’re on your own for the actual date.

3. The Sport of Binge Watching

It is hip to claim to be a Netflix fanatic, but does everyone really know what it takes to watch an entire series in three days? One of the more active seminars, this class tackles the athletics behind laying down for hours on end. Students will be taught various exercises and stretches to avoid common injuries, such as eye strain and hand cramps. The second half of the course will highlight the essential food groups of a binge watcher’s diet: candy, chips and cookies. Final assessment includes watching 15 episodes of the student’s choosing while exhibiting all of the techniques learned throughout the quarter. This course really does bring a new meaning to “survival of the fittest.”

If you are inspired by any of these ideas, or have a few of your own, swing by Ackerman Union Room 3516 Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to hear more about the USIE program.

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Five Places to Find Your Last-Minute Valentine

Valentine’s Day is coming up, and of course, you waited until the last minute to find a date. Now, there is no problem with cuddling up with some chocolate and binge-watching rom-coms on Netflix, but wouldn’t you rather spend the most romantic day of the year with someone special?

Or, at least, someone at all?

Mojo has you covered with the five best places to meet that special someone. The best part? You don’t even have to leave campus to do it.

1. Northern Lights (or any campus coffee shop, for that matter)

The classic North Campus coffee shop is more than just a study space. According to Mental Floss, caffeine stimulates the part of the central nervous system connected to sexual arousal. Don’t like the bitter taste of coffee? Chai tea is the perfect alternative; it contains plenty of ginger, a spice linked to increasing sexual desire. Plus, the blaze of the fireplace totally sets the mood for some romantic chit-chat.

2. The gym

As you’ve probably noticed, Wooden has been recently packed with people working on their “New Year, New Me” bodies. As you wait for your turn on the StairMaster, why not strike up a convo with the person next you? Approaching a potential mate covered in post-workout sweat could actually work in your favor. LIVESTRONG says that sweat helps to spread the smell of your natural pheromones, the chemical that attracts individuals of the opposite sex to one another.

3. Street salsa at Bruin Plaza

Get your groove on in front of the Bruin Bear at the Salsa Society’s weekly street salsa events. Every Thursday at 6 p.m., the club starts off with two hours of lessons, followed by two-and-a-half hours of social dancing to show off the new moves learned that night. Just picture it: the sassy sound of the maracas, the swing of your hips to the Latin beat and the romantic glow of the moon. Plus, the sexual tension you’ll feel with your dance partner will be undeniable.

4. Outside your midterm

Who knew that professors actually had our romantic interests in mind during one of the most stressful times of the quarter? Dopamine, the chemical that floods our brains when we are in love, might increase during times of sleeplessness. When are college students most likely to suffer from constant sleeplessness? During midterms, of course! If you can muster up enough energy, try inviting that cutie from your discussion to a celebratory ice cream run this weekend.

5. Tinder

Finally, for those don’t do well with the whole “human interaction” thing, there is always Tinder. As much as people poke fun at the popular dating app, a surprisingly large number of people you know have probably made accounts. Who doesn’t love the instant satisfaction of receiving a new match? If you put in the time and effort, trust me, it is possible to find a gem in a sea of awkwardly too-close profile pictures and bios with filled with cheesy clichés. Bonus: You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your bed for this one.


Have any luck finding a last-minute date? Tell us about it in the comments or tweet us at @dbmojo!

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