With the last course pre-enroll period of my undergraduate career rapidly approaching, I gotta say, I’m a little sad that this is it for me class-wise. As lame as it sounds, ever since my senior year of high school when I first saw the Cornell Courses of Study–a huge phonebook size text that’s not printed anymore–I’ve gotten excited thinking about the incredible array (literally, thousands!) of scheduling possibilities, and thus enjoy picking classes. Cornell is known, interestingly enough, not only for its breadth of choices, but for the unconventional nature of some of them as well. Where else could you take Understanding Wine and Beer, Tree Climbing, Bizarre Biology of Bugs, or Casino Operations?
I always thought it’d be cool to do a themed semester–taking a group of courses that all have a common and fun theme to them. Unfortunately, because students get wrapped up in schedules that revolve around their major requirements and career goals, I doubt anyone would actually do one of these. If I had 25k to blow and all the time in the world, maybe I would! (If you do try one of these semesters, let me know how it goes.) Let me list some possibilities and provide some commentary, with some inspiration from this thread I stumbled upon while researching. Remember, these are all real Cornell classes–click each title for the description.
The James Bond Schedule:
HADM 4300: Introduction to Wines–Purely to stay classy.
PE 1515: Introduction to Handgun Safety–If it fits, I might actually be taking this next semester.
HIST 2690: History of Terrorism–Self explanatory.
The “I’M NOT READY FOR THE REAL WORLD: SOMEONE TEACH ME PRACTICAL SKILLS” semester:
NS 2470: Food for Contemporary Living—Considering my cooking abilities stop beyond popcorn and microwavable dinners, this might be useful.
HD 3620: Human Bonding–So you know how humans interact (I’ve heard this course is actually very rigorous.)
HADM 3200: Personal Financial Management–Actually, I know a friend that took this and found it useful. Is lesson 1 don’t buy the $200 textbook for the class?
PE 1613: Wilderness Survival Skills–It doesn’t get more pragmatic than this.
FREN 3540: On Paying Attention–I’m guessing this class has a no cell-phone policy.
The Walt Disney World Semester:
PMA 3670: Themed Entertainment: The Technical Perspective–Umm, this course literally teaches you how to make and install amusement park rides….and the “focus is on the specialized entertainment technologies that make these attractions work: audio and lighting design, ride and show control systems, and special effects.”
ENGL 2730: Children’s Literature–It sounds interesting and different enough. I’m not sure if liberal arts majors reading Kant and Shakespeare in other classes take this course as a reprieve, or if it’s still rigorous…
PE 1340: Juggling–or as I’d call it, “how to be a hit at cocktail parties.”
HADM 3350: Restaurant Management–-Because those Disney restaurants get busy, and someone’s gotta know how to manage a hectic place during rush hour.
The Donald Trump semester:
ILRLR 2300: Argumentation and Debate–Though, would the Donald really need to take a class in something he’s a master of?
HADM 4200: Principles of Real Estate–Self explanatory.
HIST 1540: American Capitalism–Why not learn about the system he loves so much?
NBA 6710: Business Ethics–Seems like someone with that much power might find this useful.
The Roger Ebert/Movie Buff “Two Thumbs Up” Schedule:
- COMM 4220: Psychology of Entertainment Media-If I had a fall semester left, I’d love to take this; it covers “what makes a story entertaining, how people mentally process entertainment, what makes things frightening or funny.”
- AMST 2020: Popular Culture in the United States, 1950 to the Present–Awesome. Just awesome.
- BIOPL 2490: Hollywood Biology: Science in Cinema-Watch movies, and discuss the science in them. For someone like me who doesn’t love science, this is the rare biology course that piques my interest.
- FILM 2850: Stardom-It explores “stardom in cinema, television, and new media.”
I could go on, but for the sake of brevity I won’t get carried away. If you have suggestions, comment or get in touch!