JOHN WESLEY UNIVERSITY
CM 414: Discipleship Development of the Family
The course’s name reads like a fitting title for a dark comedy about the overly religious childhoods of too many Southern kids. Fade from black: a living room scene. The kid, at 3, on her preacher pop’s knee, trying to remember all the disciples’ names for applause and Goldfish crackers. Company aghast at how she smashes the crackers into her mouth as soon as she says “…and Matthias!” (For those who came up sans “discipleship development,” that’s the apostle who replaced Judas.) Could it be Freudian repetition compulsion that Laurel students will probably snack on Goldfish while writing term papers for this class?. Translation: If you take this class, be prepared for some later-in-life “Twilight Zone” level food voodoo.
ED 215: Developing a Philosophy of Christian School Education
This class aims to snag college kids and whip them into shape as philosophizing teachers-in-training. Sounds great, except that the “special attention given to the Christian school movement” isn’t likely to delve into the historical fact that most Christian schools in the South emerged suspiciously close to court-ordered school integration? Just saying. Otherwise, more colleges should pick up on the idea of schooling teachers in philosophy. As the life of Socrates shows, a little intellectual humility goes a long way — if it doesn’t kill you first.
TH 239: Holiness Prior to John Wesley
Holiness provides a semester-long education in the writings and practices of holy (white) men who influenced minister/theologian John Wesley. Some figures probably include Thomas à Kempis — penman of such aphorisms as “fight like a man” and “habit is overcome by habit” — and Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zanzendorf, a Moravian guy. Someone should relay the following saying of Wesley’s to the hapless student who finds herself daydreaming in this course: “Beware you be not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge!”
NC A&T UNIVERSITY
PHYS 490: Space Radiation
How do you teach a course on space radiation? What do the field trips look like? Is there a space shuttle kept underneath the school like the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning? What secrets does NC A&T have on their grounds that the public is unaware of? Guess one should take the course to find out.
POLI314: Southern Politics
Yes! Because obviously there are a whole set of rules for the south that doesn’t apply to the rest of the world. Wouldn’t you just love to be the fly on the wall during one of this courses lectures?
ENGL 223: Taboos, Experiments and the Other: Modern Drama
While the title seems almost erotic, this class at Salem College consists of studying some of the most significant playwrights between 1870s and 1990s who stretched the perceived boundaries of theater. Students will have a chance to explore how these playwrights experimented with the dramatic art form to address social issues of their time.
ENGL 299: Shakespeare Meets Manga
Not sure who asked for it, but it’s been done; Shakespeare has been adapted to manga for all of you anime heads out there. Some of the things the course will discuss are the parallels of Shakespeare’s use of cross-dressing and how it relates to kabuki theater and then incorporated into manga. This class, while walking that thin line of comic relief, requires teacher approval for enrollment.
ENGL 245: Hayao Miyazaki: Anime Master Storyteller and His Influences
Its official, Salem college has been taken over by nerds and we love you for it. There is no arguing that Hayao Miyazaki was a grand storytelling but one mustn’t forget that he is a God amongst Gods in the world of anime. According to the Salem catalog, the “course will analyze Miyazaki’s major animated feature films and explore his literary, filmic and cultural influences to understand the stories he tells, and how and why he tells them.”
RCO 150 Experimental Course: The Cultural History of Tea in Japan
Experimental, indeed. This class — which sounds more like a two-hour lecture than a full-on course — “traces the development of tea and the tea ceremony, chanoyu, in Japan following a history of tea written by one of Japan’s contemporary tea masters, Sen Sōshitsu XV.” Sounds like those of us not enrolled as Spartans could just buy the book.
ATY 300: The Culture of Baseball
In the immortal words of “Summer Heights High,” “Public school is so random.” I’d never expect to find a class all about baseball culture, let alone in the anthropology department, let alone at a public institution. But this class actually sounds amazing: Ritual, superstition, racism, language, immigration — the history and culture of baseball provides a familiar lens to examine and contextualize socio-cultural experience.” The class incorporates baseball abroad too, including the Caribbean, Japan and Mexico.
ATY 477: Zooarchaeology
Don’t read too fast and mistake this for zoology: this is the much more interesting crossroads of the study of animals and archeology. A whole anthropology class dedicated to animal bones! Hopefully this covers dinosaur bones as well, because there’s no independent course on the subject at UNCG. That would be a grave oversight.
CPS 540: Social Entrepreneurship: Justice and a Green Environment
This Conflict & Peace Studies class looks at social entrepreneurship as a way to affect change around environmental sustainability. UNCG offers a handful of entrepreneurship classes that go beyond the predictable, including ENT 455: Entrepreneurial Career Strategies for Dance & Performing Artists that addresses founding and sustaining an arts-based business.