May 17, 2023, 05:55AM

The Blueprint for Bateman University

A college where the customer is always right.

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If you’re like roughly 50 percent of your peers, you’ve probably tried to sit on Zoom through a big intro-level lecture class. And if you’re like anyone else who has ever gone to one of those big lecture classes—the instructors included—you’ve probably found yourself saying, “My goodness, what a snoozefest!” There are no two ways around it: College is even more boring than the extended editions of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy or the final five seasons of Game of Thrones.

However, there’s no reason that it has to be so awful. In fact, if yours truly were running the show, your undergraduate experience would be every bit as fun as those portrayed by cutie-pie thirtysomething actors in American Pie 2, American Pie Presents Band Camp, and American Pie Presents Beta House. What follows, then, is a point-by-point breakdown of how I’d make school cool even for those who aren’t tools and fools.

Classes: Ugh, talk about a pain in the neck. There’s nothing worse than waking up at the crack of noon at some point in March, logging on to the new version of your school’s shitty Blackboard service—which hasn’t had an interface update in decades and therefore runs like an old jalopy on even the best gaming PC—and discovering that you’re enrolled in a whole bunch of nonsense classes. U.S. history? English literature? Calculus? The “classics,” whatever those are (classic episodes of The Simpsons, maybe, like the one about the monorail that put Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook on the map)? Who has time for all that when you’ve got a Vanderpump Rules party to attend and several thousand scalps to take during a marathon session of Fortnite: Expensive MCU Skins Edition? Well, this new super-school is going to scrap the fusty old crap and replace it with course offerings that will ensure you get your $170,000-of-student-loans-worth of entertainment. How does a loaded spring schedule of “Miniseries of the Week I: She-Hulk: Attorney at Law,’” “Introduction to March Madness, Intersectionality, and Bracketology,” “Cool internship where you work an email job for free,” “Health and Physical Education: Advanced Gender Training for Autoandrophiles and Autogynephiles,” and “Spring Break Study Abroad: Overproduced Elites World Tour” strike you? Even if you love these courses, attendance will be both optional and strongly discouraged.

Tests: Here’s another aspect of college that’s nothing but unpleasant. Let’s take a typical exam question: What year did the American Revolution begin? Now, unless you’re a Jeopardy! egghead or perhaps an unfairly “on-the-spot” pundit getting mugged by the mainstream media because you don’t know the meaning of words like “woke,” “based,” “frens,” or “RETVN,” you’re not going to want to take a stab at answering that. In fact, you’d probably prefer to run as far away from that brainteaser as possible. Years of scientific research that I just made up indicate that tests—or any current means of gauging progress in a class, for that matter—aren’t the least bit fair. Every question, including the one I included in this paragraph, is laden with so much unconscious bias and Eurocentric thinking that it’s impossible to arrive at a “correct” answer; facts themselves are fights! In place of these tests, I’m going to have instructors offer Nap Ministry-branded “nap-ins” during which they cruise over to your pad and sleep with you as an act of resistance against the workaday world.

Instructors: Man, don’t get us started on those instructors! Why would anyone pay top dollar to listen to a bunch of grizzled 1960s fossils and marble-mouthed millennial up-and-comers whisper tedious monologues about Foucault, rhizomes, orientalism, standpoint epistemology, and aporias? If you’re shelling out $170,000, you should expect to see someone who could give Bachelor Brad, Bodega Bro, or—at a minimum—disgraced former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards a run for their money in the looks department. To remedy this problem, I’ll add a “hot or not” field on the student evaluation forms. If the instructors don’t measure up, they’re out the door. Oh, and the remaining teachers—Bachelor Brad levels of hot or not—should boast well-honed, joke-free comedy “bits” that put them on par with legendary anti-yuksters like Hannah Gadbsy and Brendon Schaub.

Food: In order to better meet the dietary needs of undergraduates on the freshman-15 hardgaining plan, I intend to include only restaurants serving $5 pepperoni pizzas on the meal plan. Vast amounts of Mountain Dew (and its neon-colored variants) and Cheetos will be dispensed during the remaining classes in the hopes of keeping the students (i.e., paying customers) awake.

Housing: All students over 21 will be housed in small, filthy and dimly-lit apartments located above pubs and speakeasies in neighborhoods that are either coming back or going to seed (the better to come back, naturally). This part of the plan—which is logical, given young people’s need to “get frosty” and “smashfaced” while simultaneously addressing the record-low number of driver’s licenses being issued to “kids these days”—will also afford students easy access to the “hair of the dog” necessary for rapid hangover recovery.

Study abroad: As noted earlier, study abroad programs will continue, but only in locations where narcotic use and prostitution have been decriminalized, bathing suits can be worn outdoors year-round, and the sexual norms are best described as “open but not problematic.”

Although traditionalists might cavil at this bold plan, I’d respond by arguing that Bateman University is merely adjusting the means provided by an institution of higher learning to meet the ends of rapacious, distractible consumers. As proven by University of Phoenix, Western Governors University, and other prestigious online schools that you can “hack” to get a “real bachelor’s degree in under 6 months,” the customer’s always right. And so are you, regardless of whether you answered “1066,” “1488” or “1941” to that question about the American Revolution.


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