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12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered

 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered The Horror Film in Context (Bowdoin)

I love scary movies – especially bad ones (Chopping Mall, anyone?) That’s why I wish Bowdoin’s course “The Horror Film in Context” was offered as a graduate class at Iowa State.

It’s not about the psyche of Freddy and Jason, however – students taking the class can expect to discuss why society is infatuated with horror movies and death in general.

 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered Simpsons and Philosophy (Cal-Berkeley)

I’m sure my husband is considering enrolling at the University of California at Berkeley as we speak, just to take “Simpsons and Philosophy.” You’ll need to know more than Simpsons trivia – the class takes an in-depth look at how the long-running cartoon depicts social issues such as racism and politics. Passing the class, which includes writing a 22-minute show for the final exam, earns students two credits.

3 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered Maple Syrup – The Real Thing (Alfred)

Chances are you probably don’t spend too much brain power pondering maple syrup, besides wondering whether it’s most delicious on French toast or pancakes. Alfred University in New York is changing that for all students who take the course “Maple Syrup – The Real Thing.” It covers every aspect of the sweet breakfast topping, from production to products to, yes, recipes.

4 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered The Science of Harry Potter (Frostburg State)

Another course near and dear to my heart is “The Science of Harry Potter,” offered at Frostburg State University in Maryland. This class combines the fantastical with the physical by asking if some of the seemingly impossible things in the popular series could actually be plausible.

Think about it: if there is a possibility that an invisibility cloak or a flying broomstick could actually exist, wouldn’t you want to know?

5 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered Oprah Winfrey – The Tycoon (U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Oprah is conquering the world. The talk show, the book club, the magazine… and now, history class? The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offered “History 298: Oprah Winfrey – the Tycoon” in its class schedule several years ago. Like many of the other courses on this list, the class was more than meets the eye. Although it appears to be about the famous talk show queen, the class uses Oprah’s cultural rise to study race, class and gender issues.

6 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered Far Side Entomology (Oregon State)

I took an entomology class during my undergrad and found it much more interesting than I thought I would. Imagine how enthralled I would have been with Oregon State’s “Far Side Entomology,” which used Gary Larson’s Far Side cartoons to study insects. Larson’s tactic of giving his insects human qualities make them more relatable, which in turn gave students research ideas and questions they may have not otherwise thought of. Before you commence transfer proceedings, know that this class is no longer offered.

7 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered History of Electronic Dance Music (UCLA)

Do you still love C+C Music Factory? Get pumped to Deee-Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart” while driving? Then the UCLA’s “History of Electronic Dance Music” would probably be a cakewalk for you. According to the syllabus, “Class lectures will deal with the historical narratives told about the music, musical form and technique in dance music, the political and cultural implications of the relentless hedonism of the dance floor, the influence of chemicals and technology on music production and consumption, and the aesthetic possibilities and pitfalls when popular music is no longer synonymous with popular song.”

8 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered The Future is Lost: TV Series as Cultural Phenomenon (Tufts)

If, like me, you’re desperately jonesing for more Lost, go ahead and enroll at Tufts University, the home of a 13-week Lost seminar. Be prepared to talk about more than Jack’s propensity for crying and Sawyer’s offensive nicknames for the other Lostaways, though. Topics include thematic complexity, mechanical complexity, literary references and philosophies. The course culminates with students pitching an idea for a television series to the rest of their classmates.

9 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered Goldberg’s Canon: Makin’ Whoopi (Bates)

If you’re excited about Whoopi Goldberg’s The View debut, it’s too bad you missed out on Bates College’s “Goldberg’s Canon: Makin’ Whoopi,” the only course anywhere (that I could find) dedicated to the former Caryn Johnson. As far as I can tell, the last time the class was offered was the 2003-04 school year, so anyone wanting to discuss her “controversial persona as an antagonistic public figure” (so says the syllabus) is out of luck for now.

10 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered Muppet Magic: Jim Henson’s Art (UC-Santa Cruz)

For some reason, I feel like the ratio of  readers who grew up watching and learning from Sesame Street is probably high. Thus, by my theory, most of us would be thrilled to count Theater Arts 80L, “Muppet Magic: Jim Henson’s Art” at the University of California Santa Cruz as part of our course load. The class studies how Muppets have changed television, film and art since Jim Henson created them.

11 12 College Classes We Wish Our Schools Had Offered Getting Dressed (Princeton)

Seriously, some days getting dressed takes a lot more effort than it should. Enter Princeton’s “Getting Dressed” class, a freshmen-only course that lets students discuss controversial topics such as jeans, baseball caps, tattoos, flip-flops and Chuck Taylors. It’s more complicated than just figuring out what to wear in the morning, though. The class discussed how people use fashion to do everything from study history to assess character. Although it doesn’t appear that the class is offered any longer, Princeton does offer other interesting-sounding freshmen seminars, including “Google and Ye Shall Find?” and “Good to be Shifty: American Swindlers.”

Biblical Model for Home and Family (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary)

A real controversy exists around the “Biblical Model for Home and Family” course at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. The class, for females only, teaches cooking, sewing, and says that wives should submit graciously to their husbands. OK, what I said at the beginning of this article was wrong: I’d much rather sit through “Research Methods and Theory” than learn how to “submit graciously.”


  1. As the unemployment driven (GRD) great republican depression, fueled by rising oil prices and asinine government decisions closes over the foreclosed and polluted landscape of a desolate ignorant and backwards America headed for third world status, its people already starving in the streets and without shelter, the great Gurus of the Uber-class protect their job security once again by offering nothing at a great price to the starving masses! Post GRD, in the “Post-materialist meritocracy”, the people who sat in cushioned chairs and offered up this drivel to the hungry people will no longer enjoy imported intoxicants, big cars and bigger houses. Post revolution, they too will scratch in the humanured, composted veggie plot beside their shanty on the outskirts of town, just down from the rows of foreclosed McMansions and rusting SUV’s, and in great wonderment, ask how to grow a simple survival garden, how to sew a patch, how to iron a shirt, how to make dirty water drinkable, how to get by on few calories, how to cook dogs, rats and cats. Their Arrogance and sense of entitlement still raging in their souls, they will beg third world peoples for loans to relive the pain the third world folks know all too well, as the third world folks study Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics and Languages, and absorb all they need for a very different survival, an ecologically sound, and renewable survival based on sustainability. America is one small nuclear accident away from total disaster, and heading to a third world existence of drugged, drunken, irresponsible breeding and is out of control. They don’t even realize the value of education, or the essentials of study, and “Play-Student” for a few years after a free ride to a doubtful high school diploma, to get a piece of paper that at one time entitled them to a free ride in industry, but is no longer worth the paper it is written on and as a symbol of their fallen Empire illustrates the futility the GRD brings. The party is over America, Duck and Cover!

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