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Sitcom meets the classroom in new LBSU course

The new class will apply concepts from the popular television show “The Golden Girls.”

Long Beach State now offers a class based on the hit television show

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Long Beach State now offers a class based on the hit television show "The Golden Girls."

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Online media binging may finally pay off for Long Beach State students as the university is set to offer a class based on the popular 1980s sitcom “The Golden Girls” this spring.

The curriculum will focus on the social effects of aging, applying concepts from the Emmy Award winning show based on four elderly friends. The class, FCS 490 and 590, will be co-taught by “The Golden Girls” enthusiasts Long Wang and Maria Claver and will be a combination of undergraduate and graduate students.

“I discovered that we had a mutual admiration more like obsession with the show,” said Maria Claver, director of the Gerontology program. “I had been scheming to create a class about women and aging using ‘The Golden Girls’ as a springboard for several years. Since joining the faculty in 2007, our program had not offered a class about women and aging.”

According to Claver, the 20-seat class will begin every meeting by watching an episode from the show to compliment the readings and inspire discussion. Claver described the class as “ahead of its time” in regards to aging women, engaging in “sensitive” topics of sexuallity and addiction.   

Claver added that the class will satisfy requirements for the gerontology minor, bachelor’s and graduate degrees, but students for all majors are welcomed to take the course.  

“We invite faculty from across campus, Osher Lifelong Institute members and community partners to participate as well,” she said.

The university has offered a cinema-based analysis class before that placed an emphasis on the “Harry Potter” franchise; however, the class was cancelled after a two-year stint.

LBSU students had differing views on the new class.

“I think that’s pretty cool that they would have a class on the show,” said Nancy Manzo, a junior health services major. “I can see how it would be beneficial to the subject. I love that show.”

“It doesn’t offer value for myself and other STEM majors,” said Yoseph Dawit, a graduate student.

According to Claver, the class is still open for students to enroll for spring semester. FCS 490 meets Wednesdays 6-8:45 p.m.

1 Comment

One Response to “Sitcom meets the classroom in new LBSU course”

  1. Maria Claver on January 29th, 2019 10:46 am

    Thank you for a great write up about our class! I wanted to address the comment made by graduate student Yoseph Dawit. Although this particular course focuses on biopsychosocial aspects of aging, particularly for women, the field of gerontology has many intersections with the STEM fields and we’d LOVE to chat with faculty and students from those fields to develop a course that focuses on those intersections. If Yoseph happens to see this comment and would like to help us start that brainstorming, please contact me at [email protected]!!

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