Cornell Themed Semesters: Who Wants to do one of these with Me?

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:

Math 1350: The Art of Secret Writing–This course teaches cryptology and how to crack codes; it doesn’t get cooler or more Bond-esque than that.

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.


NS 2470: Food for Contemporary LivingConsidering 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:

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!

5 thoughts on “Cornell Themed Semesters: Who Wants to do one of these with Me?

  1. Teresa

    I can vouch for AMST 2020! It was a wonderful and really engaging class taught by a great professor. Let me know if you want to hear more about it!

  2. Grace Tan

    The Eigen-stuff Schedule

    CHEM 3890 – Physical Chemistry I (quantum mechanics – involves wavefunctions, which have eigenfunctions and eigenvalues)
    MATH 2940 – Linear Algebra (matrices have eigenvectors and eigenvalues)
    ENGRD 2190 – Mass and Energy Balances

    So the last class doesn’t really fit, but I needed it there because, oh wait, that is my schedule this semester.

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