I didn’t make any of this up

I’ve been doing my best to furiously sock away money for when the kid finally escapes high school and can enter the wonderful world of post-secondary education. We talk about where she wants to go. We browse through university websites to see who’s offering things she’s interested. We figure out what she’ll need to pack into her schedule and what kind of marks she’ll need to pull off over the next couple of years to help her get into some of these places.

There are some strange courses and programs being offered at the college and university levels these days. Most, thankfully, are not as bizarre as these:

  1. Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism (Swathmore College, Swathmore PA – a Quaker-founded college). They use the model of the blacks’ struggle in the 1960s (because that worked out so well for them) to“ deconstruct terrorism and build on promising nonviolent procedures to combat today’s terrorism.”
  2. Mail Order Brides: Understanding the Philippines in Southeast Asian Context (Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore Maryland). America’s foremost research university offers this “deep” look into Filipino kinship and gender. Maybe we could take a “ deep” look at helping these women earn a living so they won’t have to sell themselves to creepy white guys.
  3. The Art of Walking (Centre College Danville, Kentucky) From the birthplace of chicken deep-fried with 11 herbs and spices comes a course to help you “appreciate the power of using your feet so that you will become closer to nature and slowly transform your life.” Kewl.
  4. Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular Logic on TV Judge Shows. (University of California, Berkeley). Students are warned that this is not a law course, but rather an “exploration of logical fallacies that are often presented by defendants and plaintiffs on court television shows.” And we need to know this because…?
  5. Far Side Entomology (Oregon State University). Somebody in the field of higher education in Oregon believes that The Far Side comic strip features “a rich universe filled with interesting animals and bugs through which to explore interactions between humans and insects. The anthropomorphism in the cartoons makes an immediate connection between insects and people. Students take those connections farther, connecting to ideas and relationships they wouldn’t have imagined.” Right-o!
  6. The Phallus (Occidental College, Los Angeles, California). This course looks closely at the relationship between “the phallus and the penis, the meaning of the phallus, phallologocentrism, the lesbian phallus, the Jewish phallus, the Latino phallus, and the relation of the phallus and fetishism.” The…..what now? Huh? Um…Eh?

And my personal nightmare favourite from one of my own alma maters

7.  The Oprah Effect (McMaster University, Ontario Canada) They read all the books Oprah recommends and analyze how Oprah has “influenced the literary world and the concept of race and body image in America.” Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!