It's Late September And I Really Should Be Back In School
Occasionally, Frodo's creative juices are fueled by fact, not fiction, so be not surprised that what follows is based on truth, albeit slightly askance for communicative effectiveness. Note also that Frodo has purposely avoided multiple outrageous entries from any one source. In sum, Frodo will add an editorial comment, or two, thereby adding a level of credence to the subject identified herein.
At both the University of California at San Diego and at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, there is a course entitled "Underwater Basket Weaving." The myth, it seems, is true, and the course does involve the dipping of reeds or stalks of plants underwater while fabricating bowls, pitchers, and other utile instruments. The course description does not state if full-body immersion is optional, or required.
At Centre College in Kentucky, there is a course in Philosophy called "The Art of Walking." Despite the implication that George W. Bush could only take half-credit while chewing gum, the course actually stems from Immanuel Kant's "Critique of Judgment," and is taught while the class wanders through the fields and forests surrounding this rural Nirvana.
At the University of Wisconsin, as part of the Women's Studies Program, Frodo was unsurprised to discover "Daytime Serials: Family and Social Roles." Frodo was disappointed to learn that the course centers on the viewer, rather than to provide him with an answer to what eventually happened to Luke and Laura?
Columbia College in Chicago, with which Frodo has absolutely no familiarity, provided the impetus to Frodo to embark on this research when he stumbled on their listing for "Zombies in Popular Media." Frodo thought, at first, that the course might include segments on Campbell Brown, any of the CNBC Financial Reporters, or any "journalist" who covered the first term of the Bush White House. In actuality, there is a segment on voodoo in Haiti, as well as the presence of Zombies in popular video games.
Friend Merry will go ballistic when the discovery is made that Frostburg State University in Maryland teaches "The Science of Harry Potter." Frodo notes that it is an Honors Course for non-Science majors, and that there is no required lab. Questions such as the "possibility of an actual flying broomstick," designed to meet transportation challenges in the twenty-first century, Frodo assumes, are postulated.
Frodo could not resist taking note of the course at SUNY (Buffalo) entitled "Cyberporn and Society," although he notes that there are several schools with something similar in the curriculum (Frodo, called it "dating" in his day). What particularly elevated his interest (pun intended) was the audio-visual participation (they watch movies). Actually, this is so very understandable. What, pray tell, other than shovel snow, does one do in Buffalo?
Appropriate it is that Frodo gives special notice to the University of Iowa, homeplace of the Iowa Caucuses, which propelled President Obama on his quest, for their Honors Class, known simply as "Tolkien." Perhaps Frodo will be invited as a guest speaker someday, along with all in the Circle.
What struck Frodo about the expansiveness of curricula, is that there was not a single reference of significance in any Southern school. Oh sure, swimming and diving stuff in Florida, but Frodo was looking for some reference to Flannery O'Connor and how difficult it is to find a good man. Is Frodo alone when he wonders what Skip thought about when Willie Morris left for Harper's? Do people in North Carolina truly see themselves as a bastion of freedom, surrounded by States filled with Visigoths?
The final editorial comment herein is that all of the reference is to non-science offerings. The bias, the assumption, is that all science and math is useful, assumes Frodo.
"Well, exxxcuuuse me," says Frodo, "but of all the courses presented to me at the College of the Shire, or in the trek that followed in the City of Orleans, there is only one course to which I can point and say that I have never used it, still don't understand it, and to this day have absolutely no interest in its hypotheticals."
"Oh, and what Sir Frodo, would that happen to be?"
"Algebra," said he.
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