Seizing Opportunities II: Breadth

by Jake Sporrer

This semester’s episode of “Seizing Opportunities” features the Engineering Honors Requirements. As a part of the requirements, engineers are required to show sufficient breadth in their studies. While only one of the following activities actually counts for anything, I think that sharing how I branched out might help people find ways that they might want to inject some breadth into their lives.

Sporrer 1

How I imagine I look dancing

In order to fill in the breadth section, I decided to take Dance 160 this semester. It is a pass/fail ballroom dance class. The requirements are almost nonexistent, and there is plenty of fun to be had. It’s a great way to break up the day, and I now find myself trying to figure out which style of dance I would use for each song I hear. I got to showcase my skills to a friend of mine from Puerto Rico that suggested that I need to “work on the Latin hip motion.” Apparently, I’m still a nerd at heart or my hips do lie. Either way, Dance 160 is a fun time and I would suggest it to anyone that is willing to mess up in front of another person.

Sporrer 4

Sheng doing yoga vs. Jake doing yoga

The second adventure I have taken is to attend yoga classes. A friend of mine invited me and I have been going ever since. I am one of the less flexible people in the world. I could never pass the darn physical fitness test in high school, but yoga has been flexiblizing me up. Yoga is fun because it is a workout and a way to relax at the same time. I would say it is the first time I have enjoyed non-competitive physical activity. I have suggested yoga to so many of my friends that some days, more than half the yoga class is people that invited me or that I invited. If you ever find yourself in need of physical or mental balance, yoga is the place for you. Anna and I will see you next Wednesday where Sheng will ask us all to do impossible things. It’ll be great.

Sporrer 2

Model Jake vs. Regular Jake

The 3rd point of breadth in my studies came about because I made the fortunate decision to blindly support a friend. He started working for a magazine on campus and asked me if I had 2 minutes free one Tuesday. I went to the journalism building, got a photo taken, and that is the story of how I became a Sir Magazine fashion model. I got to be in a photo shoot, wear some pretty fly clothes, and next week I’ll be in some sort of fashion show. I just do whatever they tell me, but so far it has been a fun time to be a living mannequin. I now get to say things like “I’ll talk to my stylist” and “I can’t meet tonight, I’ve got a shoot”, which is pretty neat.

This semester has shown me the value of the breadth requirement, if not to my career, then to my well-being. I would suggest looking outside your field of study to see what the other 25,000 Iowa State students are up to. Most of them are pretty cool people that care a lot about something. It can be fun to try something even if it won’t make it onto the ‘activities and awards’ section of your scholarship applications. It is also easier than it seems. I have probably spent a total of less than 30 hours this entire semester on yoga and modelling combined. The message of this issue of “Seizing Opportunities” is to find something that seems like it could be silly or fun, and give it a shot. You’re only a 20 something for a little while. Here is the obligatory photo of Uncle Ron being a good role model for adults and children alike by showing breadth of hat choices.

Sporrer 3

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