Don’t forget to find the fun courses

Annie Clarkson - Editorial Page Editor

Annie Clarkson – Editorial Page Editor

Annie Clarkson

It’s time to start planning for next semester. Why is course selection so hard? You want to make every minute and every dollar count toward the ultimate goals, a degree and a career, but there’s so much more to consider.

Unless your entire schedule is planned out for the next four years, you might look for at least one fun and easy class per semester. While my advisor is wonderful and has my best interests at heart, the best advice comes from the seniors. They can provide invaluable information on the great professors and good classes.

Other considerations include the dreaded 8 a.m. class, or the mid-morning class where there is no parking space within a mile of the building, or back-to-back classes on the opposite sides of campus.

Recently, Kyle Tucker wrote a “perspective” for The Chart regarding intersession classes. The class he described, watching and analyzing movies, sounded interesting.

It got me thinking about what class I would like to see offered at Southern. Considering tuition costs and time investment, why can’t all the classes be fun and useful?

Several websites publish the most bizarre college courses offered across the country. At the top of nearly every list is Occidental College’s course called “The Phallus”. Students at the University of Pennsylvania can choose “Adultery Novel”. Johns Hopkins University offers a course in “Mail Order Brides”. UC-Berkeley offers a history of San Francisco called “Sex Change City.” The University of Wisconsin offers a class on the significance of soap operas. Carnegie Mellon students can study the history of golf.

Georgetown University offers a philosophy course on Star Trek, claiming that Star Trek is very philosophical. I wonder if they beam you into the classroom. Oddly enough, Indiana University also offers a course called “Star Trek and Religion”, suggesting that some Star Trek themes are “hostile to religion”. Duke University students can study “Campus Culture and Drinking”. California’s Pitzer College has a class called “Learning from YouTube”.

Note that all of these colleges are highly reputable.

I explicitly am not calling for any of the above to be added to the summer or fall curriculum at Southern. I suspect that the rapid growth of internet courses will facilitate some creativity in future course offerings.

I’m actually quite satisfied with what Southern has to offer, although maybe a course in money management during recession or extreme weather survival would be appropriate. (Speaking of which, who among us isn’t hoping for another ice storm right before finals this May?)

In the meantime, as I’ve decided against a transfer to Berkeley, can some of you seniors please give me some advice for next semester?