Weekly Whack: The University of Feff's Course Catalog
The University of Feff's Course Catalog
April 20, 1997

This past week I had to register for my fall semester of classes. To me registration is a tiresome process that involves a lot of soul searching, and a lot of bureaucracy. It's like you have to open up a course catalog and pick out your future. The only problem is that there aren't nearly enough courses to choose from to properly do this. Then again, it is not that colleges don't have enough courses to choose from, it's that they don't have enough good ones. I mean colleges try their best to prepare us for the our future, but they just fall a bit short. There are certain things you won't learn in the classroom that you'll have to face head on in the real world. It is for this reason that I came up with a list of courses that should be in more college catalogs to help bridge the gap between college and the real world, along with other courses that just should be there just for the hell of it.

Political Science 128 - Politics Outside the Bubble: A required course for Political Science majors who still hold the idealistic view that they can make a difference. Material covered includes corruption, graft, and crime throughout the history of the American political system. Course taught primarily though lectures, but includes such simulations as: taking bribes from tobacco lobbyists; manipulating the press to meet your needs; and lying in front of an congressional committee. Final project will be to design a domestic policy that will appear to help the poor and middle class, but in reality will only profit a few rich people.

History 143 - History of American File, The Simpsons Seminar: A seminar open to up to fifteen upperclassmen which chronicles the history of the American movie, and applies it to the televison show The Simpsons' vast allusions and references to movies. Class mostly consist of lecture and viewing select movies, and outside research includes watching The Simpsons and keeping a journal.

Philosophy 119 - Convincing Your Parents and Your Job Interviewer That you Didn't Waste Four Years of College: A suggested course for philosophy majors who just won't have the grades to get into a good graduate school, and won't be pursuing a career in a philosophy-related field. Examines different arguments for the existence of a use for a philosophy degree. Explains various ways to convince an interview that a vast knowledge of Nietzsche will be useful in doing secretarial work. Studies how great minds such as Spinoza and Schopenhauer handled the dilemma of making their parents understand that studying philosophy is not a waste of their tuition money.

Computer Science 12 - Programming the Commodore Vic 20: A beginners course for computer science students who have a strong sense of nostalgia. Class lectures will instruct the students on various commands and program structures used in programming the Vic 20. Independent lab projects will include learning how to change the color of the screen using Poke commands, and writing a program that will ask a user to enter a score for a single hole of golf, and then display an appropriate comment based on that score. All students taking this course must purchase their own blank data tapes for storage of all files.

Environmental Sciences 142 - Milking the Most Money Out of the Government That you Possibly Can: A highly recommended upper-level course for any student planning to pursue a career in the environmental sciences. Lectures and readings cover the flexibility of interpreting scientific data, and the gullibility of the American public, and the American government. Students will be instructed on how to be able to confidently exaggerate the importance of a minor environmental problem in order to dictate public opinion. In addition, students will learn how to then use public opinion to earn money from the government. Each student must complete a final project that consists of convincing a minimum of ten students on campus that squirrels are at risk of becoming endangered species.

Music 9 - An Introduction to Writing Compositions for the Kazoo: A intro course for beginning students who have a great love for music, but have no trace of any musical talent whatsoever. Students will first learn basic techniques on how to play the kazoo by studying the various modes of play used by the different schools of kazoo playing. From there students will listen to a multitude of compositions written especially for the kazoo, and gain a ear for the kazoo's place in music. Finally students will be able to combine all of their knowledge of the kazoo, and compose their own musical pieces for the kazoo. The final exam will consist of a concert where all the student written compositions will be preformed.

English 125 - The Cliff Notes Seminar: An advanced seminar for upper-level English majors that traces the history of Cliff Notes in the world of literature. Covers the rise of the Cliff Note, different structures and formats of Cliff Notes, the lives and additional works of selected Cliff Notes authors, and how to get the most out of reading a Cliff Note. Through this seminar students will be able to come to a greater appreciation of the role of Cliff Notes in the literary world. All students in the seminar will be required to demonstrate their knowledge in a final project by writing their own original Cliff Note (although this will require reading an actual book).

Psychology 152 - Coping With Computer Solitaire Addiction: A suggested upper-level psychological course for students who are failing out of school because they can't stop playing solitaire on their computers. Studies the nature, causes, and symptoms of computer solitaire addiction, and discusses the possibility of finding a cure. Material mostly covered through case studies, and hands-on experimentation. Final exam will consist of students sitting in front of a computer for three straight hours without once playing a hand solitaire.

Well I think it's time to close out the course on this Whack, so to conclude for this week, most people really need a course to fully understand The Simpsons; they don't make computers like the Vic 20 anymore; and personally I think Minesweeper is more addictive than solitaire.

Now for this week's special feature, Feff's top ten favorite Cliff Notes in his vast collection:

10. Miller's The Crucible
9. Camus' The Plague
8. Eliot's Middlemarch
7. Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath
6. Wright's Native Son
5. Ellison's Invisible Man
4. Bronte's Wuthering Heights
3. Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment
2. Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club
1. The New Testament