On Campus
Aug 21, 2008, 08:12AM

Super Smash Brothers Theory, And Other Courses Worth Spending $40K A Year On

The American higher education system has done an astoundingly good job convincing parents to spend thousands of dollars on an experience that only marginally prepares their children for an adult life of making money and acquiring useful knowledge. Here are some amazing scam classes taught in the name of education.

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Universities everywhere base their entire business model on forcing you to take half a dozen completely useless classes for each one that will actually help you get smarter and find a job.

As a result, post-secondary education can be a mine field of dubious courses peddling the equivalent of academic snake oil, and some of them get downright ridiculous:

1. Super Smash Brothers Melee Theory and Practice

Taught at Oberlin College

Most pseudo-classes like this come with a course description that tries to play up the supposed academic value. Here they've tried to tell us the course covers "controversial issues concerning video games." However the extra $3 course fee for wear and tear on the controller pretty much gives away the real purpose. The only controversy being discussed in that class is whether to tell your parents that this is how you are blowing your college fund that they put off kidney surgery for.

Amazingly this course has 2.5 hours of class time a week, which is probably about 40 hours less than most of the students would normally play video games. Half of the course time is dedicated to time outside regular class time to practice and refine skills, time that may otherwise be wasted learning things that might actually lead to employment or sex.

2. Stupidity

Taught at Occidental College

Occidental College is a liberal arts college in LA. The Princeton Review has it on its list of The Best 361 Colleges, otherwise known as The List of All the Colleges in the U.S.

The course is supposedly an examination of stupidity "... ranging from the presidency to Beevis (sic) and Butthead (sic)." They don't name the president but we're going to guess it's not Lincoln. Also, right away we're doubting the quality of a course that wants to teach you about stupidity but manages to spell Beavis and Butt-Head wrong. These guys may know stupidity, but apparently they don't know Google.

The description slaps together a bunch of absurd academic jargon to try to legitimize the whole operation, with phrases like "Stupidity is neither ignorance nor organicity, but rather, a corollary of knowing..." or our other favorite, "Stupidity is always the name of the Other, and it is the sign of the feminine." Is there some kind of college course random word generator they use for these things?


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