Her Campus recently featured America’s “hardest” college classes, and most of the nominees sounded pretty daunting. Luckily, for every torturous thermodynamics course, there’s an academic counterbalance. Not necessarily an easy course, but one that allows students to blow off some steam. So if you grappled with quantum mechanics last semester, this fall might be a good time to grab your skate key, your rocks glass and your favorite fishing pole. There’s a whole world of knowledge to explore. And seriousness isn’t always a prerequisite…
The Great Outdoors: The History and Culture of Outdoor Recreation
Ready for a final exam on marshmallow toasting and John Candy’s greatest opus? Look no further. This Bard College at Simon’s Rock course involves field trips, L.L. Bean catalogues and “movies that celebrate wilderness recreation.” Here’s hoping it also covers that Brady Bunch episode where Bobby gets lost in the Grand Canyon.
Whiskey: Its History, Culture & Appreciation
Two thumbs up — or two fingers, as it were — for this class, offered as a DeCal course through UC Berkeley’s Celtic Studies department. The syllabus doesn’t say how much weight is given to “appreciation” versus the history and culture components. But since it’s a pass/fail offering, students have a fighting chance for full credit if they can just remember the Johnnie Walker color wheel.
Roller Skating, aka PHED 1137
This Trinity University class meets at The Rollercade, a retro skating rink in San Antonio, Texas. (Although, aren’t all roller skating rinks retro? Is anyone building new roller skating rinks?) Education hasn’t been this dizzying since Tony Danza decided to pick up the chalk.
If you’re bored with this list, it might be because you’re not privy to the larger scheme behind its design. (Read the post backwards, and discover who shot JFK.) Students can tune up their secret-plot radars in Stanford’s conspiracy theory course. Just remember not to use your actual name when you register. They’re watching…
It’s all right there in the name. Bring your graphing calculator and your play clothes. And never fear that a good grade is out of your hands. Because really, how can you stress about school work when you’re wearing a smock? Bravo to this Vanderbilt prof, who’s also planning a differential topography course based on spray-paint graffiti.
Music of The Beatles
Some online courses like ASU’s Beatles survey course are trippy and tricky. The textbook for the course is titled, Who Is the Greatest: Elvis or The Beatles? Which sounds like the sort of argument a group of coeds might resolve before diving into a sleeve of raw cookie dough. Coverage of the psychedelic period doesn’t happen until the second half of the semester. In the meantime, as the syllabus must advise, all you need is love.
James Franco’s class
Formality-wise, Franco hosted this year’s Academy Awards as though we’d all just crashed Tuesday band rehearsal in his parents’ basement. And his latest release, Your Highness, seems an aptly named creation. The squinting, smirking actor-turned-academic is certainly easy on the eyes, if not the grades. It’s hard to imagine his NYU graduate course in directing will be much more rigorous than a 2 a.m. trip to the Waffle House.
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