I came across a snippet in while reading Freakonomics a few months I could not resist sharing with JohnnyMac. JohnnyMac is a University of Georgia alum.
Freakonomics references a college course called "Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball" and included a portion of the final exam. Of the twenty total questions on the final, two included were How many halves are in a college basketball game as well as How many points does a three-point shot count for during a game. Various other similarly advanced level brainteasers rounded out the remainder of the exam. The class was offered at U. of Georgia and taught by Jim Harrick, Jr., the son of the basketball coach at the time, Jim Harrick, Sr.
The class was comprised primarly of student athletes. Oh, and everyone got an A.
Perhaps my surprise is ill founded. I went to a school in which the only "blow off" class I could take was "Human Sexuality". This class had a wait list and while I knew it would potentially reflect poorly on my transcripts as they would be submitted to law schools across the nation, I had to take it, didn't I? And it wasn't necessarily easy but oh, the homework.
But I promise you we didn't take exams with options like Identify slang terms for the hoo ha. Our professor actually expected us to learn something. So while this class may not have shouted erudite, it did have components of value.
But the History of Basketball with elementary level questions on exams? Ridiculous. Do other colleges and universities actually offer such? Well school is back in session. AND OH, indeed they do. Thanks to some easy research, a flip through Cal Berkeley's fall class schedule, and some insight from Mental Floss and OnlineColleges.net, I found more than I wanted to know. Its a long list.
According to a study done by Phyllis Schlafly, in 1914 most universities and colleges were in sesson 50 days more per year than now. And at that time, all colleges and universities required writing and composition. How many require it now? 12%. Same with Math.
Colleges and universities are not requiring math and language arts? Are you serious? Is that why a young lady working at a retail store could not count my change back to me when her system went down. She could mentally subtract 11.77 from the $20 I gave her? What is this?
Young Adult Wasteland.Duplications of Jeff Spicoli.
Please advise how the following will prepare anyone for an actual job. These are actual college/university course offerings:
Oprah Winfrey: The Tycoon (U of Illinois at Champagne)
Zombies in Popular Culture (Columbia College: Chicago)
Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll in Ancient Egypt (Johns Hopkins)
Science of Superheros: (UC Irvine)
Joy of Garbage (Santa Clara U)
The Simpsons and Philosophy (Cal Berkeley)
Getting Dressed (Princeton) By the way, you are at PRINCETON for *@&^@! sake. Do you need a class on how to get dressed?
Arguing with Judge Judy (Cal Berkeley)
Elvish: The language from Lord of the Rings (U of Wisconsin-Madison)
Philosophy of The Matrix movie (Ohio State)
Life and Times of Lil' Kim (Syracuse U). * STOP IT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY.
Cyberporn and Society (State University of New York at Buffalo)
Daytime Soaps: Family and Social Roles (U of Wisconsin)
Philosophy of The Watchmen comics (U of Alabama)
Naked or Nude (U of Chicago) *Replenishing the porn/stripper industry are we, U of Chicago?
Hypertext, Internet Writing (Vanderbilt)
Mail Order Brides, Understanding the Phillipines (Johns Hopkins)
The Phallus (Occidental College)
Sex, Drugs, Salt, Coal (Cornell)
Learning from YouTube (Pitzer College)
Joe Paterno, A Study (Penn State) * oh, you MUST be joking. A study about the Football Coach? Who is still there? Hope everyone likes him.
Porn, Blasephmy, Proganda (U of Melbourne)
Politics in Bruce Springsteen's Lyrics (State University of New York Potsdam)
The Unbearable Whiteness of Barbie (Occidental College: LA)
Vampires, Blood and Empire (U of Pittsburgh)
Changing Times, Music and Lyrics of Bob Dylan (Willamette)
Underwater Basket Weaving (NOT KIDDING): UC San Diego
Science of Harry Potter (Frostburg State)
Beer Appreciation (North Dakota State)
Alien Sex (U of Rochester) *For the love of all things holy, University of Rochester. What is wrong with you?
Monsters (Western Washington U)
Madness, Sexuality and Subversion in Victorian Literature (U of Edinburgh. Which also teaches a course on Fairies. )
Philosophy of South Park (U of Delaware)
Art of Walking (Centre College)
Myth and Science Fiction: The Matrix, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings (Centre College)
The Future is LOST: A seminar on TV show as cultural phenomen (Tufts)
The Far Side Entomology: A study of the cartoon series (Oregon State)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, A Study (U of Maine in Farmington)
History of the Dirty Picture (Rhode Island College of Design)
Philosophy and Star Trek (Georgetown)
Wow...and to think all I got was lousy Sex Education.