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#35 Riding on the High Horse of College Modules

August 29, 2008

As a response to Ashley Herzog‘s article (but not quite), I don’t quite understand why some college students take the modules they do. I get it that if a module exists, there is bound to be some sort of demand out there for it to happen. But what I don’t get is that how they would spend 2 hours in lecture every week and not to mention tens of thousands of dollars in tuition fees (up to nearly $30, 000 PER YEAR! in some colleges) to study something utterly useless/abstract/irrelevant or simply random and apparently purpose-less towards their future careers.

It is imperative to have fun in college. One cannot stress this enough. Too many who have graduated lamented about not having enough fun and you surely do not want to end up like any one of them. It’s just too sad. Go out there, rock out, have a blast. But then again, should we do it for the modules we take? Is it uneconomical, ill-advised or just plain dumb to take some obscure/abstract/airy-fairy/let’s-vent-our-own-opinion-here! courses that you’ll eventually get not much from except for some fun times, heated discussions and an easy A grade?

I am a strong advocator for the Ministry of F-U-N. Life goes on whether you enjoy it or not, and especially for our precious three to four years in college, which WILL pass by in the blink of en eye. But I would not recommend having fun at the expense of your education, because fun is fun and education is education and “having fun in school” does not equate to “education is fun”. By now if you’re not confused, good. In other words, IMHO, I don’t approve of taking courses that “don’t matter”, and I speak from experience.

What would you consider as courses that don’t matter? If you find that learning the intricacies of Cyberfeminism (Cornell University), Getting Dressed (Princeton), Queer Musicology (UCLA) and Taking Marx Seriously (Amherst College) is important, good luck to you. Everyone has their own different standards of evaluating what’s good for them, and call me old-fashioned, but I shall stick to what is considered more conservatively and academically inclined.

Why do people take this kind of courses?!!

Obviously, #1 factor: they think it’s fun. I would do “Lesbian Pulp Fiction” anyday, but I won’t. Are you kidding me? I will not have that kind of course on my transcript — it’s like getting a Hello Kitty tattoo on your forearm. (Social suicide if you want to live amongst .) Fun in this case will murder your grades, slaughter your sanity, crucify your credibility as a college student, if it doesn’t kill you first.

Next, they think it’s cool. You’re suddenly popular at the lunch table because you’re the only dude stupid eclectic enough to burn your tuition fees learning about something along the lines of Psychology Behind the Making of Horror Films , which makes for cool lunchtime talk but no real substance unless you’re going to direct a brand-new trilogy of Psycho with a Freudian twist.

And come on, the As are easier than a horny college freshman. Or are they? I’m sure if you watched enough Days of Our Lives and Beverly Hills 90210, you’ll ace Daytime Serials: Family and Social Roles.

I have to add a disclaimer here though, I’m not discouraging anyone from enjoying some of the less conventional modules provided by some of the top world-class universities out there. But since I do have a choice, I would rather stick to concrete stuff like American History, Politics of the Middle East and Contemporary European Art for now. At least, it would come in handy when you need to prove and salvage your intelligence at those stuffy sophisticated dinners or the occasional company cocktail mixer. And if you must, pique that curiosity by sitting in on a lecture or two, and you’ll be glad that you didn’t take the class.

One Comment leave one →
  1. college1s4suckers permalink
    August 29, 2008 5:45 PM

    I think it’s imperative for people to have fun…period. You don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a college vacation to do that.

    And you certainly don’t need to spend a butt-load of money to learn about queer music, feminism, or how to dress yourself. That’s lame. Are students so wrapped up in campus life that they rely on their college “institution” to have fun, socialize, and learn about modern culture? Geez! Some people really need to spend more time outside of their campus’ Starbucks.

    Who’s going to tell these people how to have fun –and what music to listen to when they graduate?

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