Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Like a Pro: These Classes Are Real


This is my second piece to be published by TNH and it can be found in today's paper. I am already outlining my piece for next week. It will be more like one of my blog posts, highly opinionated, about UNH and possible controversial. Shots will be taken. (Both alcohol and the finger pointing kind.)
Last week, while I was demolishing my roommate in the video game NHL ‘09, he happened to mention the class at UNH known as “Coolest Game? Hockey and History.” He must have felt the need to distract me of my verbal abuse directed at his inability to press buttons. That night I grabbed my UNH course catalog to see what other amusing courses our university has to offer.

The best one I found was a 400-level Social Work class called “You’ve Got Your Troubles, I’ve Got Mine.” I think they could simplify the title to something like “The Hills.” With the help of Google, I decided to do some research to find the weirdest college courses from around the country.

I present to you the New Hampshirite’s top 10 strangest college courses in America:
10) Tie: “The Science of Superheroes” from the University of California at Irvine and “The Science of Harry Potter” from Frostburg University. The reason I decided to combine these two courses is that they are both physics classes that examine similar topics such as the physics of human flight and magic. I have one question, who wins in a fight, Harry Potter or Superman?
9) “The Art of Walking” from Center College located in Danville, Kentucky. This class is about how walking has become a lost mode of transportation in a world full of cars and other means of transportation. This class would have ranked higher, but it is only offered to students who stay over winter break.
8) Tie: “How Does the Song Go? The Grateful Dead as a Window into American Culture” straight from our friends at UMass and “Red Sox Nation: Baseball and American Culture” from Bates College in Maine. I grouped these two classes together because they both use awesome things, The Red Sox and The Grateful Dead, to examine American culture in ways only thought before by hippies and Bostonians. If only these courses could be combined and taught by Dennis Eckersley, or even better former Red Sox pitcher and hippie Bill “The Spaceman” Lee.
7) “Cyberfeminism” from Colgate University in New York. This class discuses feminism and how it has related to the emergence of new technologies over the past 25 years. If I understand that correctly, I guess it means that women gaining the right to vote correlates with Steve Jobs attempting to take over the world.
6) “Mail-Order Brides: Understanding the Philippines in Southeast Asian Context” from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. As we all know, the only way to understand Philippine culture is to study mail-order brides.
5) “The Strategy of Star Craft” from University of California at Berkeley. This class is designed around the strategy of the video game Star Craft and how it relates to actual warfare strategies. I feel as though Call of Duty may have been more appropriate.
4) “Learning from YouTube,” from Pitzer College in California, is designed to allow students to learn what society is reflecting in YouTube and the media’s role in society. I think I get it: Charlie the Unicorn represents President Obama, and Candy Mountain is health care.
3) “Maple Syrup” from Alfred College in New York. In this class you learn everything about maple syrup, including how to make it. I feel like this is something you can learn in five minutes on Wikipedia. (Also Youtube.)
2) “Sex, Rugs, Salt & Coal” from Cornell University in New York. According to Cornell’s website this class is said to approach and answer questions such as: Is prostitution really “the oldest profession?” Why are “oriental” rugs collector’s items? How did we come to keep saltshakers on our dinner tables? When did coal start replacing wood as a fuel source? I have a simpler, and cheaper way to answer these questions: Google.
1) “Zombies in Popular Media” from Columbia College in Chicago. This course explores the history, significance, and representation of the zombie as a figure in horror and fantasy texts. Unless “Dawn of the Dead” comes true, I do not understand how this can relate to any type of real issue.
I know most of these classes are taken just to fill up a schedule, but imagine the following situation:
“Dude, I can’t go to that party tonight. I have so much homework. I got to watch five YouTube videos, read three zombie comic books, beat level three of Star Craft, listen to the Grateful Dead for an hour, and watch the Sox game.”
Okay, that sounded a lot like my Saturday night.
I feel as though if I took any of these classes my parents would start up the old “we’re not paying for your college education so you can learn about zombies” speech. I hate that one.

Stay classy, not UMassy.

6 comments:

  1. The history of ice hockey class is a good amount of research and writing, i thought it'd be a joke.
    Other UNH classes that sound like a joke: Germs, Making Babies, and Dogs and Dragons.

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  2. I've always been intrigued by that class name, making babies...

    next class, The Art of Breast Feeding

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  3. yo dude

    history of hockey is mad research and writing and shit. not fun

    Making babies is the shit

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  4. Yeah, I have heard that hockey is pretty tough, its just more of the class titles I was looking at. Same goes for the other classes I listed above, some of them are actually pretty challenging.

    I wasn't really going after "joke" classes, just ones with highly comical names... plus everyone on campus has heard of making babies.

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  5. "sounded like my saturday night" had me cracking up.

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  6. Suprisingly, I'm a UNH student and my LITERARY ANALYSIS CLASS, the one you have to take and pass to be an english major, is teaching some pretty crazy shit. I seriously have to read a Zombie comic book called Dead Eyes Open for class tomorrow. This is no joke.

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