Posts Tagged ‘college courses’

11 College Classes in Pop Culture

Categories: College Life

A true liberal arts educations means getting to dip your toes into at least one class that seems completely irrelevant to your education but super fun brain candy.

I took a couple, something on dinosaurs (which, to my surprise, did have more than one lecture simply stating, ‘And then they went extinct’) and one on Harry Potter. And you know what? Those professors know what they’re doing because I actually learned a lot more than I bargained for–a lot of information on how rocks form, which is WAY more exciting than it sounds, and a bunch of themes in British literature that even J.K. Rowling herself is not immune to (probably because she knew what she was doing while she was writing the best books ever).

What’s super neat-o awesome about a liberal arts education is that you can take a class on the metaphysical mechanics of Doc Brown’s time machine in Back to the Future, and you will leave knowing so much more about the world than you could’ve possibly expected. That’s the beauty of the liberal arts; it’s not just black and white. That’s why it’s important to study different mediums to discuss language, philosophy, science and history. Even if one of those fields is your major, there’s a good chance there’ll bee some cross-pollination (see what I did there?) You’ll have to know how to study history if you’re an English major and vice a versa.

So when you’re looking through that course guide, don’t just skip over the flashy pop culture courses because you think you won’t get anything out of them; you most definitely will.

On that note, here are 11 popular culture classes being offered this semester at colleges across the nation. Do any interest you?

1Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America, 1960-1963
Northwestern University
What it’s about: 
Taught and conceived by Professor Michael Allen, this Mad Men class will assign students to watch episodes of the popular TV series, which Allen believes accurately portrays American life in the 1950s-60s. 

2. South Park and Contemporary Social Issues
McDaniel College
What it’s about:
 Dr. Baron (Philosophy) and Dr. Raley (Sociology) of McDaniel College are using South Park–a show which has never shied away from tackling the big social issues from its own point of view–paired with  historical and contemporary texts, theories, and concepts from sociology and philosophy to understand and discuss contemporary social issues.

3. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame
University of South Carolina
What it’s about: Students who take the course with Mathieu Deflem will focus on relevant elements of the societal context of Lady Gaga’s rise to fame, with students better able to engage in scholarly thinking about relevant aspects of popular culture, music, and fame.

4. Zombies in Popular Media
Columbia College Chicago
What it’s about: This course explores the history, significance, and representation of the zombie as a figure in horror and fantasy texts. Instruction follows an intense schedule, using critical theory and source media (literature, comics, and films) to spur discussion and exploration of the figures many incarnations….beware…

5. Wordplay: A Wry Plod From Babel to Scrabble
What it’s about: Professor Joshua Katz teaches this course with the goal to bring together interesting reading, thoughtful scholarship, and hands-on revelry in the exploration of the ludic side of language. Linguistic play is part of many people’s normal experience (think of the daily crossword puzzle and the excitement that surrounds the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee) and yet it is widely considered a trivial pursuit, often childish (Dr. Seuss and counting-out rhymes) but sometimes abstruse (James Joyce and Vladimir Nabokov).

6. “Oh, Look, a Chicken!” Embracing Distraction as a Way of Knowing
Belmont University
What it’s about:This course challenges the general conception that being distracted, i.e. students with A.D.D, infringe on “knowing”. T he course is all about ways of knowing, so it embraces the fact that we are distracted as a culture, why are we distracted, how can we embrace it and how do we get back to the thing that we were doing in the first place

7. What if Harry Potter is Real?
Appalachian State University
What it’s about: 
This course asks questions about the very nature of history. Who decides what history is? Who decides how it is used or mis-used? How does this use or misuse affect us? How can the historical imagination inform literature and fantasy? How can fantasy reshape how we look at history? The Harry Potter novels and films are fertile ground for exploring all of these deeper questions. Wingardium leviosa!

8. The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur
University of Washington
What it’s about: The course explores the philosophical, historical and literary influences of the late rapper and activist, Tupac Shakur.

9. Goldberg’s Canon: Makin’ Whoopi
Bates College
What it’s about:
Simply said, it’s a symposium on the career of Whoopi Goldberg.

10. Philosophy of Star Trek
What it’s about:
Taught by Associate Professor Linda Wetzel, this course will go at light speed discussing topics in metaphysics that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments will be assigned.

11. Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z
What it’s about: The course is taught by Michael Eric Dyson, who wanted to seriously investigate the fuss behind Jay’z rhetorical impact.

Do any of these classes pique your interest? What class would you want taught?

10 Biggest Bookworm Colleges

bookThere are ton of moving parts that go into a college search, and one of the most important things to figure out when you’re choosing a college is how you’d fit in to the college culture.

The Princeton Review recently published which colleges and universities had the most studious student bodies. So if you think you’re a bookworm who would fit in with the other kids at the library, check out these ten most studious schools:

1. Harvey Mudd College
Fun fact:
Students at Harvey Mudd are encouraged to take classes for academic credit at the other four Claremont colleges-Pitzer College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Claremont Graduate College and Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences.

2. MIT
Fun fact:
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States.

3. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Fun fact: The College currently awards the half-tuition Olin Scholarship to each admitted student.

4. Harvard University
Fun fact: Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States.

5. Princeton University
Fun fact:
Princeton has been associated with 33 Nobel Laureates, 17 National Medal of Science winners, and three National Humanities Medal winners.

6. United States Military Academy, West Point
Fun fact:
Candidates for admission must both apply directly to the academy and receive a nomination, usually from a congressman.

7. Davidson College
Fun fact:
Both the town and college were named after Brigadier General William Lee Davidson, a Revolutionary War commander.

8. Haverford College
Fun fact:
Although the College no longer has a formal religious affiliation, the Quaker philosophy still influences campus life such as its Honor Code, which allows for students to schedule their own final exams.

9. University of Chicago
Fun fact:
The University of Chicago is said to look the most like the fictional magic school Hogwarts.

10. California Institute of Technology
Fun fact:
Caltech has a strong tradition of practical jokes and pranks, but similarly to Haverford, student life is governed by an honor code which allows faculty to assign take-home examinations.

Would you want to go to one of these “bookish” schools? Leave a comment!

10 Largest Colleges in the U.S.

campusWhen deciding on a college, college-bound students have a cornucopia of factors to pick and choose from–the programs it offers, the location, the professors, the campus, the sports–there are just so many elements!

One of the most important factors that often gets overlooked, or is just misunderstood like your 8th grade goth self, is school size.  The size of an enrollment class completely changes the culture of a school. Going to a university with 300 people in your freshman class is far different from going to a college with 10,000 people in your class. So if you’re looking for that big school atmosphere, today, we’re giving you a list of the ten universities with the largest undergraduate enrollment:

1. University of Central Florida
Enrollment – 45,398
Fun fact – UCF was founded with the goal to educate current and future students for promising space-age careers in engineering, electronics and other technological professions, thus serving as a support system for the nearby Kennedy Space Center. 3….2…..1…take off!

2. Ohio State University
Enrollment – 41,348
Fun fact – OSU was among the first group of public universities to raise a $1 billion endowment in 1999.

3. Arizona State University
Enrollment – 41, 256
Fun fact –To ensure college access to all Arizona residents, ASU has relatively liberal admission standards. Admission is ensured to Arizona residents in the top 25% of their high-school class with at a weighted secondary GPA of 2.5 GPA, or anyone with 24 credits of community college work with a 2.0 GPA minimum.

4. Rutgers University
Enrollment – 38,902
Fun fact – Rutgers is one of the nine Colonial colleges founded before the American Revolution. “Education is coming; education is coming!” – Paul Revere’s cousin.

5. Texas A&M University
Enrollment – 38,810
Fun fact –Texas A&M’s original mission was to educate males in farming and military technique. Because everybody knows, if you can plant a seed, you can grow an army.

6. Pennsylvania State University
Enrollment – 38,630
Fun fact – The 22,000+ student section at home football games is the largest concentrated student section in the nation…which is either a dream come true or your biggest headache.

7. University of Texas at Austin
Enrollment – 38,168
Fun fact – To show your UT pride, just show the Hook’em Horns hand signal to show you’re a Texas Longhorn. Make sure not to show it off in the wrong neighborhood though.

8. University of South Florida
Enrollment – 36,595
Fun fact – USF is also one of the nation’s top centers for the advancement in research of treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s disease.

9. Michigan State University
Enrollment – 36,389
Fun fact – East Lansing is pretty much all college town, with 60.2% of the population between the ages of 15 and 24

10. University of Florida
Enrollment – 33,628
Fun fact – Approximately 5,200 undergraduate students (or approximately 15%) are members of either a sorority or fraternity.

What’s your take? Is a big school right for you? Leave a comment!

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