Imagine … Fun? Part 2

Elizabeth Rund

Students may come to Kent State expecting to fulfill the requirements for their major. But for some, the college experience involves trying something new — regardless of requirements.

Fun and games.

It’s truly what the Foundations of Recreation and Leisure is all about.

“The class is something different — it handles an aspect of people’s lives we don’t look at very much,” said Mary Parr, associate professor of recreation, parks and tourism management.

Parr divides the Foundations of Recreation and Leisure into three parts.

The first deals with the individual viewpoint of recreation: What is recreation? What is leisure? And what do they mean to us?

The second part of the semester focuses on the cultural perspective and how culture might shape what people do. This section also analyzes “taboo recreation,” which is simply an activity that might build self-esteem but is not socially acceptable, such as spray painting graffiti on the side of a building.

The final part of the semester is spent looking at the history of recreation and how it can be used to solve social problems.

Of course, aside from fun and games, there is a little work involved.

During the first part of the semester, students are asked to keep a “time diary” and to keep track of how much time is being spent on certain activities. At the end of a week, students analyze how they spent their time using concepts from the book.

“It makes you think about what you spend your time on and how you spend your time,” said Kelly McPherson, junior human development and family studies major.Parr said about 25 percent of the students enrolled in Foundations of Recreation and Leisure have majors outside the field of recreation and human development.

“I would recommend this class to someone who isn’t sure what they want to do,” McPherson said.

Overall, the class is about making students think.

“It is an interesting topic to teach,” Parr said. “It gets students thinking about something they take for granted. You can’t work all the time – sometimes you have to do things just for the sake of doing them.”

Contact features correspondent Elizabeth Rund at [email protected].