September 19, 2011

College is so awesome.

Here's how great higher education can be: Kate Miltner attended the prestigious London School of Economics. And she’s handed in her dissertation to get a Master’s degree from the prestigious university.

Her paper’s learned topic: Internet memes. Specifically, lolcats. If that sounds silly, here’s how Miltner describes the work she’ll be doing for ad companies as translating “brands' needs into results-focused digital strategies."

In other words, trying to come up with the next lolcat or Old Spice Guy.

Of course, Miltner was doing independent study for her degree. But there are also plenty of readymade university courses available to undergrads:

—How to Watch Television
 Montclair State

You’re doing it wrong.
—Joy of Garbage
 Santa Clara University

—Theory and History of Video Games

Historical, cultural and formal perspectives on video games, tracing their emergence as new medium, big business, and social force.”
—Fly Fishing
 Montana State

MS also offers courses in pocket billiards, bowling fundamentals, or Skiing, Snowboarding and Telemarking.
—Physics for Future Presidents
 UC Berkeley

Special topics for future leaders include spy satellites, medical imaging, nuclear weapons and energy conservation.
—Zombies in Popular Media
 Columbia College Chicago

“…final projects foster thoughtful connections between student disciplines and the figure of the zombie.”
—Cyborg Anthropology
 Lewis & Clark College

Cultural practices surrounding the production and consumption of technoscientific and biomedical knowledge.”
—Tightwaddery, or the Good Life on a Dollar a Day 
Alfred University

—The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur
 University of Washington

Explores the philosophical, historical and literary influences of the late rapper and activist, Tupac Shakur.”
—“Oh, Look, a Chicken!” Embracing Distraction as a Way of Knowing
 Belmont University
From the catalog description:
"This course will pursue ways of knowing through embracing [little ants, carrying a morsel of food across the table] what it means to be a distracted [I could sure enjoy a peanut butter sandwich right now] learner as well as [OMG--I get to go to the beach this summer] developing an awareness [I need to trim my fingernails] of one’s senses. The instructor teaches in the school of music, [do I hear water dripping?] so there will be an element related to that woven [spiders are amazing] into the course. [oh, it's the fish tank behind me] Those registering for this section may even learn to juggle [I'll be right down, I just have to finish this...what was I working on?]."

Gilmore Girls screenshot from here. Undergraduate courses drawn from mental floss.

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