Ah, the blow-off class. Last week we told you about a new Michigan State course, "Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse – Catastrophes and Human Behavior." In other blow-off class news, today we learned that MIT is offering a bona fide academic certificate in piracy -- as in Captain Morgan's peg-legged swashbuckling buccaneer style of piracy -- through the school's physical education department. In order to obtain the piracy certificate, students have to complete courses in pistol shooting, archery, sailing, and fencing. Fun times.
As Reggie pointed out in his post on MSU's Zombie Apocalypse class, all too often these blow-off joke electives turn into a full-fledged academic nightmares and GPA busters. I can commiserate. Once I ended up taking a torturous elective on storytelling and, within a few weeks, I wished I was having my toenails pulled out with rusty pliers, one-at-a-time. Same thing for a cinematography class that started as one of the easiest courses of my college career before it divulged into marathon three-hour lectures and insane deadlines for multiple 20+ page papers. To make matters worse, the movies in the class were borderline unwatchable. It's hard to comprehend why any human would have wasted their time on analyzing such pieces of sh*t. Anyway, we asked to hear some of your college course horror stories. Here's what two readers sent in:
This poor guy was screwed by a seemingly awesome Colonial American history class:
My buddy and I were sophomores at Kalamazoo College and we needed a filler class for our winter trimester, so we found a history class on "Colonial America." We both consider ourselves to be pretty patriotic dudes and fairly informed when it came to our country's early days. So we get in this class and it turns out to be a bunch of our Bros and a few other feminists, so we thought it would be a breeze. As time went on we began to realize how horrible our decision to enter that class was. Turns out our Prof was also a hardcore feminist and she hated the majority of the Founding Fathers. She even claimed that the ultimate bro, George Washington, was a tranny during my presentation about his role in the founding of our country. Needless to say, my friends and I were less than impressed with this feminazi's take on one of the biggest bros ever to grace the planet. She even went as far as to give me a C- on a paper that went along with my presentation because I didn't do enough research to show that George Washington's sexuality was in question. Needless to say, I dropped the class immediately following her critique on GW and never took another history class again.
Another reader wrote in about learning to love his American Way of War class:
I had to choose freshman seminar for the second half of my first year. Signed up for a 2 credit class "American Way of War." Since it was numbered 101, not 101W, it was not supposed to be writing intensive (ie: as much writing as a math class would require, or so the student handbook told me). On top of that, my school's website said it only met once a week. Great. First week in, I find out that no, that was BS, it met the same amount as any other class (twice a week in this case, but still wtf not what I signed on for). Of course by then all my other options were full and closed, so I was stuck there. I figure whatever, the prof is actually a good Dude (capitalized; yes he often sounded and acted like a more scholarly version of the Jeff Bridges character, awesome). But I noticed that he kept assigning essays. Nothing bad really, but at least 10 pgs every 2 or 3 weeks, WAY the fuck over what was required of even 101W courses. Turns out he meant it to be a writing intensive course, he just didn't get the paperwork in on time, as he told us a week after Add/Drop ended.
Class was pretty demanding, not even taking my initial impression that it was a joke into account.
Still, it was pretty damn interesting all in all, and he was way chill about deadlines if you talked to him at all, since apparently he was lousy at keeping them too.
Since everyone has great higher education horror story, we'd love to make this a semi-regular feature around here. Write it down and send it to us here.