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The 15 Strangest College Courses In America

Some really bizarre classes that are honestly offered at colleges include "Underwater Basket Weaving", "The Joy Of Garbage", and "Far Side Entomology". The professor who teaches the class "Arguing With Judge Judy" wants us to know,

...this class is “NOT a course about law or “legal reasoning.” It is instead an exploration of logical fallacies that are often presented by defendants and plaintiffs on court television shows like Judge Judy and The People’s Court. Seems right up the alley of most college students, as they are squarely in the demographic of afternoon television programming (which also targets the elderly and unemployed).


From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by redsfaithful.

The Judge Judy class is essentially a Critical Thinking class, they just decided to call it a silly name. My Critical Thinking class has really helped me as I progress through my Poli Sci. major. We didn't watch Judge Judy in class though...instead we read a book that one of our professors had written...
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Exactly, Matt M. I was a philosophy major and had to take a pretty intense critical thinking class myself that had required reading as opposed to required watching. I think that this just lazy and gimmicky, and not at all what what university should be about.
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To tell you the truth, I don't think that American colleges are "dropping all pretense of standards." That's a little strong, don't you think?
The problem is one of "generation."
I am a 30 years old French professor at a University, and I can tell that I relate to my students much better than other older professors.
The new generation in America is an interactive one. If your teacher tells you to read a book without having any interactions with you, or simply comment on the book, it creates a very boring environment that the new generation cannot relate to.
I use a lot of different medias to teach my class, and the response is amazing.
I don't think that the entire class should have films and TV programs within, but it helps to relate to reality!
When I came to American, the thing that really stroke me as a student (back then) was the fact that a lot of materials I was viewing was very esoteric. I mean, I could not relate to the material, and much less try to think where I could apply it in real life!
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I agree with "???" for the most part. I am a fourth year Film Studies major and I am used to seeing courses with gimicky names. The titles are there to get attention.
I have taken a science fiction in film course which involved some Star Trek philosophy. I don't think it is pointless or a sign that standards are gone. There is meaning that one can find in media that reflects the society in which they are created and for which they are created.
My question to ??? is why a class should not have films and television programs in it. If it is about the philosophy in popular science fiction television shows than wouldn't you have to have media included?
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My issue with it is not so much using different ways to teach, but the gimmicky name would make me embarrassed to sign up for the class.

The use of media is not really the problem, it's the media used. Why would I waste my money on a class that's going to make Judge Freakin' Judy a requirement? It's not about relating to reality so much as it is scraping the bottom of the barrel of pop culture to dumb something down for someone. Why not raise the bar and make sitting in a courtroom part of the class requirement, or at the very least, use footage from a real trial, not a show whose main focus is a hardline old bat that hams it up for ratings. Plenty of those are televised.

I will be the first to say that philosophy is not limited to a canon, and it shouldn't be, but that too gets incredibly dumbed down when you attach it to too much pop culture. It's Hollywood, and while some profound statements can be found in Star Trek, the old Twilight Zone, and a few other shows, there are far better places to look that might actually be slightly more high brow and horizon expanding for students. The university is meant to challenge people and make them learn something beyond what comes on TV each day.

I'm glad I'm not in school anymore.
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I have a friend that teaches at a college that shall remain nameless, but I tease her that her course should be called "Concertgoing for the Modern Fangirl."
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I go to Reed. We do have underwater basket weaving, but only as part of Paideia, a week of student-taught classes at the end of winter break. It's really a pretty rigorous school.
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When I was at U Texas in the late 80s, Douglass Parker (the famed Aristophanes scholar and translator) taught a class called "Parageography", the study of imaginary geography. The final assignment of the class was to make up your own fictional world (this could very broadly defined--you could go at it with elaborate maps, or do an in-depth "study" the music or linguistics or economy or whatever).
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Back in 90's at UMBC, I took a class on the show on Ally McBeal. And I too took a class about science fiction philosophy in film and comic books.
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I went to Kent State University and I took 'Cartoon Network's Adult Swim'. It was a class where we watched and analyzed the programs on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. It was rather entertaining. My final paper was on the technology of Futurama. lol
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