By Catherine Morgan
Photo courtesy of Creative Sustainability.
As college students get through the grind of their required general education and prerequisite courses, it becomes easy to forget that learning is supposed to be fun. College is the time to experience new things and develop intellectually. Sometimes students need to take a course that is not related to their major–or the real world at all–but has the potential to teach them something fresh and exciting.
Here are some unusual college courses that might make you want to transfer:
“Monsters, from Folklore to Reality”
This honors seminar sheds light on the philosophy of what makes something a monster and delves into historical accounts of monsters from around the world. Students can expect to go on trips to haunted houses and build their own monster. The course investigates all types of monsters, from the ones in your nightmares to the real “monsters” of society: human beings.
“Tattoos in American Popular Culture”
Ever wonder what a stranger’s tattoo means? This course analyzes the meanings of tattoos and how they are depicted in popular culture. Plan on relating tattoos to topics like race, class, gender, sexuality, and belonging in the US.
Take a break from the stuffy classroom setting and get outdoors! This physically demanding course will make you a tree climbing pro. Learn about what types of trees are best for climbing, basic climbing techniques, and how to incorporate ropes and knots into your practice. Instructors put a strong emphasis on team building so bring your friends (or look forward to making new ones).
“Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular ‘Logic’ on TV Judge Shows”
University of California, Berkeley
Students will view popular TV judge shows and examine the litigants’ illogical arguments that do little to make a good case. Classes consist of discussions on logic and why some people just cannot seem to make a good argument.
“The American Vacation”
University of Iowa
Vacationing has evolved over time from an “upper class only” activity to something that working and middle class people can enjoy. “The American Vacation” will examine traveling trends related to socioeconomic class, race, gender, and age.
“Wasting Time on the Internet”
University of Pennsylvania
Be prepared to spend a lot of time wasting time on the internet in class and getting away with it–but don’t expect it to stop there. Students are required to turn their aimless internet browsing into compelling pieces of literature by framing a Twitter feed into a short story or a Facebook page into a biography. The class promotes the idea that “wasting” time on the internet can actually be purposeful.
To hear University of Pennsylvania’s Professor Kenneth Goldsmith talk about ‘Wasting Time on the Internet’ (and other ways he incorporates an unconventional approach to using technology in his writing classes), tune into BTR’s own Third Eye Weekly.