Skin and Scuba Diving offers aquatic academics
Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 14:10
When some people think of college classes, English, algebra and other pre-requisites come to mind. Not many would think of scuba diving.
A-State currently offers Skin and Scuba Diving on Tuesday and Thursday nights, taught for 10 years by the father-son team of Terry and Keith Sharp, who also own and operate Jonesboro’s J&T Dive Shop.
The class can be used for a physical education credit and students have the opportunity to gain their scuba diving certification.
“Some students have trips planned. We’ve had students in the past who were planning their honeymoon so they took the class so they could go diving,” Keith said. “There are some that are biology and other majors and they are planning on using the certification in their major somewhere down the line”.
“A lot of people take it as a P.E. credit for fun, because it is a fun class. It probably requires less study time than some of their classes that go toward their majors, so it’s kind of a break for them a little bit, and a lot of them want to be certified so that they can go scuba diving,” Terry added.
One such student is Jodie Gibson, a junior finance and marketing major of Jonesboro.
“My best friend took the class last semester, and it sounded interesting to me even though I’m a business major, so I decided to try it out,” Gibson said. “I really would recommend it to other students because even though it’s an elective it’s a really neat experience, and it’s something you can use the rest of your life.”
The class takes place in and out of the pool, with half the course taking place in a traditional classroom.
“Students learn about pressure and the physics of diving when we’re in the classroom,” Terry said. “In the pool we have them do all the basic skills: clearing mask regulators, assembling equipment and taking it apart, getting comfortable under the water more than anything else.”
“We go over the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) regulation book and what it takes to get certified, all the regulations and safety guidelines and in the pool we do all the hands on stuff,” Daniel Chappell, a senior interdisciplinary studies major of Dexter, Mo., said.
“We also learn a lot about the science behind diving, pressures at certain atmospheres and depths,” Daniel Baum, a senior interdisciplinary studies major of Chicago, said.
Students also have the opportunity to take several trips during the year to some of the scuba diving hot spots, including Florida.
Keith said they plan trips during spring break to Florida to offer a training dive to students, also traveling to freshwater springs near Destin, Fla.
“Some of the students are going to go with me to Mermet Springs next month and do their open water training. It’s in a quarry 180 miles from here,” Terry said.
“We’ll dive around a 727 airplane and some other structures and we go to the Caribbean a few times a year, so there’s a lot of different options to go with scuba diving. It’s just a fun class, if you’re interested in water it’d be a blast for you to learn how to scuba dive”.
“It’s really fun. It sure as heck beats your gen eds and that’s a fact,” Chappell said.
Contact J & T Dive Shop at 935-3289 for more information.