Good Stuff

The Top 11 “WTF” College Course Offerings This Fall

ELVISH? REALLY? By Mande Wilkes || (That headlines makes it sound like this post belongs on BuzzFeed, I know. Trust me, I’m rolling my eyes at myself on that one. Alas).  I refuse to call it a college fund, the savings account I keep for my two-year old. Partly this is so he…


PicMandeHeadshotBy Mande Wilkes || (That headlines makes it sound like this post belongs on BuzzFeed, I know. Trust me, I’m rolling my eyes at myself on that one. Alas). 

I refuse to call it a college fund, the savings account I keep for my two-year old. Partly this is so he internalizes the fact that he’s at liberty to continue with school, or not, depending on his proclivities.  The other reason I don’t call it a college fund is because I’m convinced that in another decade and a half, the smart kids will be the ones not going to college … by then, a degree will be so standard that it’ll be blasé, inconsequential, overdone.

Of course, that means that those who don’t go to college – the smart ones – will miss out on some exceedingly entertaining, if absolutely purposeless, course offerings.

When I was in college a decade ago, the most pointless class I took was … I don’t know, Drama 101, maybe? It was easy (not unlike too many co-eds themselves, unfortunately) and it imparted absolutely zero in the way of career skills.

By today’s standards, though, Drama 101 might as well be a survey class of Greek philosophers.

Seriously, take a look at some current college courses (and at some of the nation’s “top” universities, no less!):

1. Mail Order Brides: Understanding the Philippines in Southeastern Asian Context (Johns Hopkins University)

2. The American Vacation (University of Iowa)

3. Philosophy and Star Trek (Georgetown University)

4. The Simpsons and Philosophy (University of California – Berkelely)

5. Arguing With Judge Judy: Popular Logic on TV Judge Shows (University of California – Berkeley)

6. UFOs in American Society (Temple University)

7. Introduction to Wines (Cornell University)

8. How to Win a Beauty Pageant: Race, Gender, Culture, & U.S. National Identity (Oberlin College)

9. Elvish: The Language of the Lord of the Rings (University of Wisconsin)

10. Tree Climbing (Cornell University)

11. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame (University of South Carolina)

Honestly, I’d probably like to enroll in all of these classes. They seem like fun! But do I think it’s prudent to go into debt for a degree that involves “fun” pursuits with no discernible avenue of use?


It goes without saying that the problem with higher education in America is not insufficient funding, but way too much funding.  When professors are encouraged to dream up eccentric class topics, and when students are encouraged to go into debt matriculating into these classes, it’s safe to say the entire system is over-saturated with resources.

Mande Wilkes is a wife, mother, businesswoman, author, etc. residing on the South Carolina coast with her family.  You can read more of her work in The (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) Sun News.

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The Colonel August 20, 2014 at 8:26 am

Ooookay, and the point to this is?

Here you want a few good ones from closer to home?

Topic: Tarantino – 82615 – FILM 511 – 001 (a class about the films of Quentin Tarantino – you know, the guy who made Inglorious Basterds)

Topic: Hong Kong Action Cinema – 92534 – FILM 598 – 001 (A masters level course that literally does nothing but watch kung fu movies)

Topic: Aural Skills I – 87029 – MUSC 117 – 004 (A class about listening to music, isn’t that what we called break time?)

Topic: Overcoming Odds in Sport – 86757 – AFAM 398 – 002 (a class in African American studies program – not sure if it is about gambling on basketball or increasing the odds that you’ll get a multimillion dollar contract with Cleveland)

Topic: Exotic Southerners – 83736 – SOST 298 – 001 (Apparently this is an introduction to Big T/Grand Tango)

Topic: Southern Foodways – 84502 – SOST 405 – 001 (We had a masters level course on this the other day discussing Will’s post on BarBQue)

Smirks August 20, 2014 at 8:32 am

Ehh, the first two of yours might be worth it for a budding film critic or maaaybe someone thinking they’re going to stumble their way into the movie making industry. The third I would imagine being some type of music major’s class or something, but it’s taught at MUSC? #4 must be a bullshit elective for athletes to keep their GPA up. The last two are pretty funny.

The Colonel August 20, 2014 at 8:42 am

I actually took this one:

Human Sexual Behavior – 80209 – PSYC 300 – 001
Face-to-Face Instruction Instructional Method
Since it’s face to face instruction, they apparently skip some of the more popular human sexual behaviors in favor of the missionary position…

Bible Thumper August 20, 2014 at 10:15 am

Is there a Lab that goes with that.

The Colonel August 20, 2014 at 11:10 am

Sadly no.

A couple of years ago I was walking through one of the lecture buildings and stumbled across two young men ogling some of the girls in a classroom.

Being an inquisitive smartass, I asked what they were doing, one of them replied that the were “…checking out some of the fine young ladies in the “sex class”..” I asked “sex class”? The same kid replied “oh yes sir, this is the human sexuality psych class”.

An attractive coed gave us the stink eye because we were blocking the door so we moved off to exit the building.

As we walked, the quiet one said to his pal “…we ought to take that class next semester, there were some fine looking girls in there”. His partner agreed that they should.

I started to point out that those girls wouldn’t be in the class next semester but I figured what the heck, let the fantasize…

Squishy123 August 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm

Where you went, girls were only limited to one year’s class? There wouldn’t be any to replace them?

The Colonel August 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Stay with me here Squishy – the girls in the fall class didn’t take it the spring semester, they were supposed to go out and experiment on their own, kind of a self study (that was covered in the course as I remember…)

CorruptionInColumbia August 20, 2014 at 8:29 am

I think I’m in love!!!!! She hit on something I have said for years, regarding the hype about how you MUST have a college education or you will be doomed to life on skid row for all of your adult days on this Earth. Yes, I believe that right now, a lot of the “smart” kids, rather than condemning themselves to a life time of student loan payments, with little or no prospect of a good job to help pay off those student loans, will be learning a trade, attending a vocational or technical school, instead.

Mande, YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!

Norma Scok August 20, 2014 at 9:50 am

Gonna be hard to take the EIT without the degree.

CorruptionInColumbia August 20, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Obviously, there will be some areas of endeavor, such as the medical field, chemical engineering, and the like, where a degree will be necessary and advisable.

shifty henry August 20, 2014 at 9:53 am

Suggested practical courses

1- How to Strengthen Your Character Without
Actually Going to Jail

2- You, Too, Can Become Catnip to Women

3- Why Girls Go Wrong – And Where to Find Them

4- How to Ball Without a Chain

5- How to Stave Off Premature Jubilation

Smirks August 20, 2014 at 8:38 am

I figured #1 would be telling us how to order a bride.

#3 and #4 sound like fun. Not enough of a nerd to do #9 though, but I’m not surprised it’s there. Don’t they have courses to learn Klingon?

#7 doesn’t seem that bad. Lots of places do beer/wine tasting classes, although I don’t think most count for college credit. There are worse electives, though.

USC shows up on the list, but you have to at least give them props for not going with Miley Cyrus.

Go Cocks August 20, 2014 at 10:40 am

I took intro to wines at Cornell University. It was a pretty good course. Understand that it is offered by the Hotel School at Cornell and students typically go on to positions at major hospitality related business. A fraternity brother eventually became head of North American sales at Diageo Brands, a woman that I was friends with became a senior executive at The Palm Restaurant Group, etc. Knowing about wines was a rather important topic for them. I guess Mandy drinks wine out of a box so the topic is less important to her.

E Norma Scok August 20, 2014 at 10:51 am

I was thinking that I’d actually like to know more about wine, but won’t spend any time now learning it. Its kind o one of those things you won’t use all the time, but when you need to, its important (like shell scripting in Unix).

J Mande Wilkes August 20, 2014 at 11:35 am

“Mandy” doesn’t care for wine, preferring filthy-dirty martinis.

Go Cocks August 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Good riposte! Diageo sells Gordon’s and Tanqueray gin as well as Smirnoff and Ketel One vodka so be glad that people like my friend at Diageo know something about spirits beyond simply consuming them. Every once in a while, book learning actually has a place in our world.

Nölff August 20, 2014 at 8:49 am

I used to work work with a lady who said her brother taught Klignon (actual language) at UGA. I thought it was a bit far fetched.

Halfvast Conspirator August 20, 2014 at 9:04 am

Is that Klignon Clyburn?

Toyota Kawaski August 20, 2014 at 8:51 am

ah yes more POS articles from a Myrtle Manor Goat.

jimlewisowb August 20, 2014 at 9:01 am

Pardon the Interruption, but I thought you were weaning off blogging

Seems like since the Borden Lady started whacking on us you have replanted your luscious lips back on willie which I’m sure he finds pleasuring

Since you are on the academics there was a noble experiment down in the Lowcountry a few years back. For a variety of social economical reasons there was an acute shortage of fishing worms – bait farms were few and far between

The local Tech School implemented a crash course in bait farming. For the first three months you would be an apprentice baiter. If you completed the three months you would move up to journeyman baiter for an additional six months.

For those who completed successfully the one year course they would become Master Baiters

You’re welcome

GrandTango August 20, 2014 at 2:43 pm

I entered that course and was voted the most likely to be a big jerkoff.

TontoBubbaGoldstein August 20, 2014 at 9:02 am

Does Number 1 offer co-op/internship in Angeles City?

*Asks innocently*

:) August 20, 2014 at 9:34 am

Once again the comment section provides more entertainment than the article.

shifty henry August 20, 2014 at 10:34 am

Miss Mande is always welcome in my world…

E Norma Scok August 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

You are on hard up old dude.

Same ol' Same ol' August 20, 2014 at 12:11 pm

She’s welcome in mine, too… even if she did give us the old “heave ho” just yesterday. You’re forgiven, Mande.

E Norma Scok August 20, 2014 at 9:54 am

I was thinking just the other day that I wish I had taken some type of communications class, maybe something that involved negotiating. Somewhere between a philosophy / logic class and public speaking. Something like “Schmoozing and manipulating for your own personal benefit 101”.
THAT would be useful.

Manray August 20, 2014 at 11:08 am

There was an outrageous column in the Washington Post yesterday by a fellow, Sunil Dutta, said to be a “professor of homeland security” at Colorado Tech. So now “homeland security” is a field of academic endeavor? Here’s a link. The Fitsnews audience may find it as offensive as I:

The Colonel August 20, 2014 at 11:12 am

There are several universities offering degrees (undergrad and grad) in Homeland Security/Emergency Management.

Buz Martin August 20, 2014 at 11:29 am

Glad you stopped writing for FITSNews, Mande. Very much enjoying the fruits of the presence of your continued absence.

Nice Tits August 20, 2014 at 11:51 am

Now wail a minute.
Mandy wrote this ” It was easy (not unlike too many co-eds themselves, unfortunately)….
“Unfortunately”? WTF.
Mandy? The real Mandy?

J Mande Wilkes August 20, 2014 at 11:56 am

I’m cheeky, and I often write like a tart, but I’m a huge opponent of “casual sex.”

E Norma Scok August 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

^^^Has never uttered the words “I’m not usually like this. You don’t think I am do you? Seriously. I NEVER do this.”

shifty henry August 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm

from the album “”Private Waters in the Great Divide”
— Kid Creole and the Coconuts

CorruptionInColumbia August 20, 2014 at 11:58 pm

Mande, you disappoint me, now. I enjoy casual sex much more in jeans and a t-shirt than formal sex, where you have to wear a tuxedo.

Squishy123 August 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

I thought Mandy was boycotting this blog.

Thomas August 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm

Ahhh, Drama 101. I was in a coed dorm, made lots of friends “upstairs” my frosh year. Anyway, Organic Chemistry 101 and International Relations 201 etc was kicking my butt. I took Drama 101 for an easy A. Turned out to be a “reading” and “acting” course. Shoot, not enough time with all night Risk games subsidized with Jack Daniels Sour Mash (a shot on double rolls) and all. Well, a couple of gals “upstairs” in the same Drama class heard my supplications. They signed for me on the class attendance sheet which was passed around while we had class in the auditorium, took notes for me, and told me about the three tests we had. I went to class four times and got an A. Got a B in Organic Chemistry and turned in my two term papers for International Relations. All and all, a good semester.


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