Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

The Craziest College Classes of Fall 2012

When it comes to academia, your day-to-day class schedule has an unfailing way of coloring your otherwise fabulous life 50 shades of Pretty Freakin’ Bleak. We sympathize with you, we really do. We’ve compiled a list of the craziest college classes of Fall 2012 so you can live vicariously through the FIT students getting class credit for learning how to differentiate between quartz and real deal diamond. Isn’t it about time you took an elective?

“Just Friends: I Don’t Love You Like That” – Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Doesn’t this course title sound like the next mediocre romantic comedy starring Jennifer Aniston and Bradley Cooper you might plan your next girls’ night out around? “I Don’t Love You Like That, opening this weekend at a Cineplex near you. Grab your popcorn. Grab your boyfriend who we promise would rather buy you tampons than see this film.”

In reality, it’s a first year seminar at Harvard concentrating on the nature of friendship and its role throughout history, from platonic love to the contemporary concept of “friend zoning.” As a first year seminar, it’s only open to freshmen, which means if you’re still getting the “I just wanna be friends” talk from guys sophomore year, you are apparently completely out of luck. Sorry, girl.

“Pet Nutrition” – University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario, Canada)

Now here’s a course we could have used when we were killing off goldfish every other week during our childhood. Nutrition is something humans spend an inordinate amount of time per day ruminating on, but when it comes to Fido, it’s kind of like, “Oh crap, I dropped that tofu cube on the floor. Whatever, the dog will get it.” Furthermore, since Garfield started going YOLO over lasagna in 1978, cats worldwide have tossed up their paws in resignation and surrendered to the prefix their species seemed inevitably prone to procure: fat. But University of Guelph is having none of this. In Pet Nutrition, veterinary students learn the nutrient requirements, feed formulation, and nutritional idiosyncrasies for dogs, cats, and exotic pets, so you can finally discover the dietary requirements of the macaque you want to adopt.

“Basic Bookbinding” – Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, New York)

Bookbinding may seem like an obsolete trade of monks and Mennonites alone, but upon witnessing Lauren Conrad’s recent first-degree book murder, this ancient practice has received the greatest PR boost in its entire several thousand-year history (Can you say enterprising? This is more compelling than anything that ever happened on The Hills!). In this course, students learn bookbinding through traditional methods like sewing and accordion folding—invaluable skills when an unpredictable girl with an X-Acto knife between her polished fingers is threatening to chop all your books up under the pretense of a “crafty creation.”

“Thinking about Video Games” – Bard College (Annandale on Hudson, New York)

Our first reaction to the title of this class was that perhaps it was simply a comical euphemism for the idle lives of lazy college students. As in, “Oh yeah, this semester I’m taking Economic Theory II, Early Victorian Literature, Themes in Northern Art, and ‘Thinking About Video Games’, wink wink, nudge nudge.” But oh, how wrong we were. Bard College has in fact created a course on the very topic of many an adolescent boy’s academic demise: video games (and the time spent thinking about them). The syllabus details a semester-long analysis of computer gaming through philosophy, history, cultural theory, and art, including a look into the nature of games and their function in society. If you’ve ever cursed your boyfriend for skipping out on a hangout to beat “this really, really intense level in COD”, maybe it’s time to forgive, forget, and take back that one time you threw a controller at his head and called him a failure.
“Dead White Men” – Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota)

Does this course title not summarize what every college student, past, present, and future has studied and will ever study? We’re all just one big generation of people raised on the teachings of what some dead guy and his contemporaries said and taught long ago but which remains forever preserved in the bindings of millions of textbooks the world over. The German Studies department of Macalester College cuts to the core of this universal truth in “Dead White Men,” which narrows in on the teachings of particularly prominent dead white German men such as Hegel, Kant, Marx, and Adorno as an introduction to the study of critical theory. Sounds invigorating.

“Friends with Benefits?” – Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Good news: if you missed the opportunity to learn all about friend-zoning as a romantically-disinclined Harvard freshman, you’ve got sophomore, junior, and senior year to learn all about why that guy you dig so hard is still refusing to commit and booty-calling you at 2 a.m. every Friday through Sunday. Chicken and egg debate: do you think Harvard named this course after the Mila Kunis/Justin Timberlake 2011 cinematic romp, or did the producers of Friends with Benefits starring Mila and JT go to Harvard? This is a super important question sure to be addressed in this Fall 2012 sociology offering, as well as the actual course curriculum of readings by Plato, Montaigne, Bray, Marcus, Sedgwick, and Foucault on friendship, sexual relationships, and the interrelationship of the two.

“Space Operations” – United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland)

Here’s a question: is a child really a child if that child doesn’t at some point want nothing more in life than to be an astronaut? The answer is probably yes, but those studying “Space Operations” at the United States Naval Academy might argue otherwise, trained as they are by the end of the semester on such casual aeronautic intricacies as how to “get information to and from space in a usable format,” “translate mission objectives and requirements in a viable missions operations concept,” and “investigate the relationship between mission operations and other space mission elements.” Just your casual mid-week class on how to go about traveling to outer space, whatever. “Wanna get McDonald’s after Space class Tuesday?” Someone in Annapolis is seriously saying this right now.

“Urban American & Serial Television: Watching The Wire” – Middlebury College (Middlebury, Vermont)

Has The Wire become the Miami Vice of the 21st century? So it would appear, given its cult status among those who count themselves diehard fans. Personally, we’d be more excited if Middlebury College’s Film and Media Culture department presented a semester-long critical analysis on character feuds in The Real Housewives of New Jersey, but perhaps that kind of strays into the domain of Child Psychology. Digression aside, this “time-intensive course” for Fall 2012 highlights The Wire’s social contexts and aesthetic practices over the course of five seasons. That’s a lot of mandatory TV-watching. We’re in.
“Apocalypse and Armageddon: Envisioning the Endtime” — Wellesley College (Wellesley, Massachusetts)

Just when college was getting you down, Wellesley College has introduced a fall semester offering on the end of the world. How timely. Then again, if the exam happens post-December 21st, and we assume the 2012 apocalypse actually takes place, there’s one less exam to worry about, at least? Described as “a study in historical, religious, and cultural contexts of selected literary texts, social movements, and films which envision the endtime,” “Apocalypse and Armageddon” is exactly the course to clarify what exactly is up with all that Mayan calendar, end-the-of-world crap. Spoiler: it’s all a sham—the course seems awesome, though, and mandatory screenings include contemporary sci-fi flicks The Happening and 2012. We’re all for compulsory movies.

“Anatomy for Toy Designers” – Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, New York)

Given that human anatomy is apparently a strong concern for the child toy designers seeking an education at Fashion Institute of Technology, we can only assume that no FIT graduate ever has been associated with producing the kind of toys we remember playing with as children. If Barbie were a real person, she would have a neck too long to hold up her head and hips too slim to birth a child! Bratz dolls didn’t have discernible noses! Stacked up against the dimensions and attributes of a real human, these dolls are sparkly Frankensteins for the 21st-century kid (batteries not included). The course’s stated intentions are to familiarize the burgeoning toy designer with a basic conception of the aesthetics of human anatomy to produce accurately proportioned dolls and puppets.

“Baseball in Japan” – Vassar College (Poughkeepsie, New York)

Is it ignorant of us to admit that we didn’t really realize this was a thing? Baseball is America’s national pastime, no? Half the country practically runs based on a schedule of when the next game is on TV. Where else could this game thrive apart from the place of its origin, where a father and son playing catch could practically stand in place of the flag as the image of the nation? In fact, the Asian Studies department at Vassar College believes that we can learn something about Japan through its unique baseball practice and “peculiar variant of the sport.” Through a filter of baseball, this course seeks to examine “the problems of cultural representation, translation, and authenticity, and the challenges of studying a foreign culture.” Sounds like a home run to us.

Does your college offer a crazy class we missed? Leave a comment!