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Spring Bulletin

 

 

THE number of college bulletins 


and adult-education come-ons that keep turning up in my mailbox
convinces me that I must be on a special mailing list for
dropouts. Not that I'm complaining; there is something
about a list of extension courses that piques my interest
with a fascination hitherto reserved for a catalogue of
Hong Kong honeymoon accessories, sent to me once by
mistake. Each time I read through the latest bulletin of
extension courses, I make immediate plans to drop every-
thing and return to school. (I was ejected from college
many years ago, the victim of unproved accusations not
unlike those once attached to Yellow Kid Weil.) So far,
however, I am still an uneducated, unextended adult, and I
have fallen into the habit of browsing through an imagi-
nary, handsomely printed course bulletin that is more or
less typical of them all:

 

 

 Summer Session

 


ECONOMIC THEORY:

 A systematic application and critical
evaluation of the basic analytic concepts of economic the-
ory, with an emphasis on money and why it's good. Fixed
coefficient production functions, cost and supply curves,
and nonconvexity comprise the first semester, with the sec-
ond semester concentrating on spending, making change,
and keeping a neat wallet. The Federal Reserve System is
analyzed, and advanced students are coached in the
proper method of filling out a deposit slip. Other topics
include: Inflation and Depression-how to dress for each.
Loans, interest, welching.

 


HISTORY OF EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION:  

Ever since the discovery
of a fossilized eohippus in the men's washroom at Sid-
don's Cafeteria in East Rutherford, New Jersey, it has been
suspected that at one time Europe and America were con-
nected by a strip of land that later sank or became East
Rutherford, New Jersey, or both. This throws a new
perspective on the formation of European society and en-
ables historians to conjecture about why it sprang up in
an area that would have made a much better Asia. Also
studied in the course is the decision to hold the Renais-
sance in Italy.

 


INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY:  

The theory of human behavior. 

Why some men are called "lovely individuals" and
why there are others you just want to pinch. Is there a split
between mind and body, and, if so, which is better to
have? Aggression and rebellion are discussed. (Students
particularly interested in these aspects of psychology are
advised to take one of these Winter Term courses: Intro-
duction to Hostility; Intermediate Hostility; Advanced

Hatred; Theoretical Foundations of Loathing.) Special con-
sideration is given to a study of consciousness as opposed
to unconsciousness, with many helpful hints on how to 201
remain conscious.

 


PSYCHOPATHOLOGY:  

Aimed at understanding obsessions and
phobias, including the fear of being suddenly captured
and stuffed with crabmeat, reluctance to return a volleyball
serve, and the inability to say the word "mackinaw" in the
presence of women. The compulsion to seek out the com-
pany of beavers is analyzed.

 


PHILOSOPHY I:

Everyone from Plato to Camus is read, and
the following topics are covered:
Ethics: The categorical imperative, and six ways to
make it work for you.
Aesthetics: Is art the mirror of life, or what?
Metaphysics: What happens to the soul after death?
How does it manage?
Epistemology: Is knowledge knowable? If not, how do
we know this?
The Absurd: Why existence is often considered silly,
particularly for men who wear brown-and-white shoes.
Manyness and oneness are studied as they relate to other-
ness. (Students achieving oneness will move ahead to
twoness.)

 


PHILOSOPHY XXIX-B:

Introduction to God. Confrontation
with the Creator of the universe through informal lectures
and field trips.

 


THE NEW MATHEMATICS:

 Standard mathematics has recently
been rendered obsolete by the discovery that for years we
have been writing the numeral five backward. This has led
to a reevaluation of counting as a method of getting from

one to ten. Students are taught advanced concepts of
Boolean Algebra, and formerly unsolvable equations are
dealt with by threats of reprisals.

 


FUNDAMENTAL ASTRONOMY:

A detailed study of the universe
and its care and cleaning. The sun, which is made of gas,
can explode at any moment, sending our entire planetary
system hurtling to destruction; students are advised what
the average citizen can do in such a case. They are also
taught to identify various constellations, such as the Big
Dipper, Cygnus the Swan, Sagittarius the Archer, and the
twelve stars that form Lumides the Pants Salesman.

 


MODERN BIOLOGY:

How the body functions, and where it
can usually be found. Blood is analyzed, and it is learned
why it is the best possible thing to have coursing through
one's veins. A frog is dissected by students and its diges-
tive tract is compared with man's, with the frog giving a
good account of itself except on curries.

 


RAPID READING:  

This course will increase reading speed a
little each day until the end of the term, by which time the
student will be required to read The Brothers Karamazov in
fifteen minutes. The method is to scan the page and elimi-
nate everything except pronouns from one's field of vision.
Soon the pronouns are eliminated. Gradually the student is
encouraged to nap. A frog is dissected. Spring comes. Peo-
ple marry and die. Pinkerton does not return.

 


MUSICOLOGYIII:

The Recorder. The student is taught how to
play "Yankee Doodle" on this end-blown wooden flute,
and progresses rapidly to the Brandenburg Concertos.
Then slowly back to "Yankee Doodle."



MUSIC APRECIATON:

In order to "hear" a great piece of
music correctly, one must: (1) know the birthplace of the
composer, (2) be able to tell a rondo from a scherzo, and
back it up with action. Attitude is important. Smiling is
bad form unless the composer has intended the music to
be funny, as in Till Eulenspiegel, which abounds in musical
jokes (although the trombone has the best lines.) The ear,
too, must be trained, for it is our most easily deceived
organ and can be made to think it is a nose by bad place-
ment of stereo speakers. Other topics include: The four-bar
rest and its potential as a political weapon. The Gregorian
Chant: Which monks kept the beat.

 


WRITING FOR THE STAGE:

 All drama is conflict. Character
development is also very important. Also what they say.
Students learn that long, dull speeches are not so effective,
while short, "funny" ones seem to go over well. Simplified
audience psychology is explored: Why is a play about a
lovable old character named Gramps often not as interest-
ing in the theatre as staring at the back of someone's head
and trying to make him turn around? Interesting aspects of
stage history are also examined. For example, before the
invention of italics, stage directions were often mistaken
for dialogue, and great actors frequently found themselves
saying, "John rises, crosses left." This naturally led to em-
barrassment and, on some occasions, dreadful notices. The
phenomenon is analyzed in detail, and students are
guided in avoiding mistakes. Required text: A. F. Shulte's
Shakespeare: Was He Four Women?

 


INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK

A course designed to instruct
the social worker who is interested in going out "in the
field." Topics covered include: how to organize street
gangs into basketball teams, and vice versa; playgrounds
as a means of preventing juvenile crime, and how to get 

potentially homicidal cases to try the sliding pond; dis-
crimination; the broken home; what to do if you are hit
with a bicycle chain.

 


YEATS AND HYGIENE, A COMPARATIVE STUDY:  

The poetry of
William Butler Yeats is analyzed against a background of
proper dental care. (Course open to a limited number of
students.)

 



 





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