Posts Tagged ‘College Life’
I took a couple, something on dinosaurs (which, to my surprise, did have more than one lecture simply stating, ‘And then they went extinct’) and one on Harry Potter. And you know what? Those professors know what they’re doing because I actually learned a lot more than I bargained for–a lot of information on how rocks form, which is WAY more exciting than it sounds, and a bunch of themes in British literature that even J.K. Rowling herself is not immune to (probably because she knew what she was doing while she was writing the best books ever).
What’s super neat-o awesome about a liberal arts education is that you can take a class on the metaphysical mechanics of Doc Brown’s time machine in Back to the Future, and you will leave knowing so much more about the world than you could’ve possibly expected. That’s the beauty of the liberal arts; it’s not just black and white. That’s why it’s important to study different mediums to discuss language, philosophy, science and history. Even if one of those fields is your major, there’s a good chance there’ll bee some cross-pollination (see what I did there?) You’ll have to know how to study history if you’re an English major and vice a versa.
So when you’re looking through that course guide, don’t just skip over the flashy pop culture courses because you think you won’t get anything out of them; you most definitely will.
On that note, here are 11 popular culture classes being offered this semester at colleges across the nation. Do any interest you?
1. Consumerism and Social Change in Mad Men America, 1960-1963
What it’s about: Taught and conceived by Professor Michael Allen, this Mad Men class will assign students to watch episodes of the popular TV series, which Allen believes accurately portrays American life in the 1950s-60s.
2. South Park and Contemporary Social Issues
What it’s about: Dr. Baron (Philosophy) and Dr. Raley (Sociology) of McDaniel College are using South Park–a show which has never shied away from tackling the big social issues from its own point of view–paired with historical and contemporary texts, theories, and concepts from sociology and philosophy to understand and discuss contemporary social issues.
3. Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame
University of South Carolina
What it’s about: Students who take the course with Mathieu Deflem will focus on relevant elements of the societal context of Lady Gaga’s rise to fame, with students better able to engage in scholarly thinking about relevant aspects of popular culture, music, and fame.
4. Zombies in Popular Media
Columbia College Chicago
What it’s about: This course explores the history, significance, and representation of the zombie as a figure in horror and fantasy texts. Instruction follows an intense schedule, using critical theory and source media (literature, comics, and films) to spur discussion and exploration of the figures many incarnations….beware…
5. Wordplay: A Wry Plod From Babel to Scrabble
What it’s about: Professor Joshua Katz teaches this course with the goal to bring together interesting reading, thoughtful scholarship, and hands-on revelry in the exploration of the ludic side of language. Linguistic play is part of many people’s normal experience (think of the daily crossword puzzle and the excitement that surrounds the annual Scripps National Spelling Bee) and yet it is widely considered a trivial pursuit, often childish (Dr. Seuss and counting-out rhymes) but sometimes abstruse (James Joyce and Vladimir Nabokov).
6. “Oh, Look, a Chicken!” Embracing Distraction as a Way of Knowing
What it’s about:This course challenges the general conception that being distracted, i.e. students with A.D.D, infringe on “knowing”. T he course is all about ways of knowing, so it embraces the fact that we are distracted as a culture, why are we distracted, how can we embrace it and how do we get back to the thing that we were doing in the first place
7. What if Harry Potter is Real?
Appalachian State University
What it’s about: This course asks questions about the very nature of history. Who decides what history is? Who decides how it is used or mis-used? How does this use or misuse affect us? How can the historical imagination inform literature and fantasy? How can fantasy reshape how we look at history? The Harry Potter novels and films are fertile ground for exploring all of these deeper questions. Wingardium leviosa!
8. The Textual Appeal of Tupac Shakur
University of Washington
What it’s about: The course explores the philosophical, historical and literary influences of the late rapper and activist, Tupac Shakur.
9. Goldberg’s Canon: Makin’ Whoopi
What it’s about: Simply said, it’s a symposium on the career of Whoopi Goldberg.
10. Philosophy of Star Trek
What it’s about: Taught by Associate Professor Linda Wetzel, this course will go at light speed discussing topics in metaphysics that come up again and again in Star Trek. In conjunction with watching Star Trek, excerpts from the writings of great philosophers, extract key concepts and arguments will be assigned.
11. Sociology of Hip Hop: Jay-Z
What it’s about: The course is taught by Michael Eric Dyson, who wanted to seriously investigate the fuss behind Jay’z rhetorical impact.
Do any of these classes pique your interest? What class would you want taught?
I bet you all the spare change on my desk that when you get to college, you will come across at least five of the seven stereotypes I’m about to explore.
Nobody likes to be grouped into a stereotype, but sometimes, the truth just speaks for itself, and definitely in the case of a college campus. I’m not sure if it’s something in the soft serve of the dorm cafeterias or what, but there’s something about a college campus that universally produces these stereotypes in sleeper cells who, before entering college, showed little to no sign of the following stereotypes until after they fully move into their dorms and say ‘goodbye’ to their parents:
1. Library Sleepover Guy/Girl
This character is the one who strangely prefers the claustrophobic space under a desk in the university library over the down comfortable and padded mattress of their own bed. Why would this be? Good question, and it’s fairly difficult to answer, coming from a pro-bed disposition, but I believe it has something to do with the cozy atmosphere of a library, especially if you’ve been in there for hours. The soft whispers, the fall-leaf crinkle of pages turning, the hypnotic melody of your peers typing term papers, the asbestos in the walls, you know. It’s certainly enough to get you to doze off–not to mention that you’ve been in there for 29 hours already and have just gone mad and are confusing the library for your bedroom.
2. Guy Who says “Work hard; play hard” Way Too Often
This phrase should’ve burnt out with the 80s, but unfortunately, it’s going strong among a small population. This person likes to, well, work hard, and then play hard. They’re usually the ones somehow able to function with a level 5 hangover. Allowing them to, you know, workhardplayhard.
3. Mr./Ms. Moocher
Whether it’s another precious Diet Coke from your mini fridge, or notes from American Culture 101, there is always somebody willing to catch a free ride. Sure, one Diet Coke is nothing. But soon, the Diet Cokes add up and eventually you’re basically helping your friend slide through class without lifting a finger–or buying the text book! Did that metaphor get mixed up? You get it.
4. The Unexpected Party Animal
This person was on 24-hour patrol by their parents before shipping off to college. The freedom is often jarring and catapults this usually in-bed-by-9pm type into crazy party animal behaviors. Don’t worry though, they’ll get the balance sooner or later.
5. Wait, They’ve Found Signs of Life Outside the Greek Bubble?
What’s most interesting is that even though nobody’s born into the Greek system, a certain group of people completely disregard the life they led before going Greek and treat non-Greek people as if they’re lost puppies without homes. Let them live in their little dream worlds. It’s cute and stupid. But mostly cute. And also stupid.
6. The Unassuming Genius
This is the best one. You’ll be asking a homework question to yourself out loud, like “Wait, so what’s the dif between diamond and graphite?” And your roommate who happens to be watching Real Housewives of Orange County because that’s what she does ALL day, says, “They are chemically identical–completely carbon-based– but their bonding patterns, graphite being held together like sheets, and diamond created from 4 incredibly strong covalent bonds result in completely different materials. The graphite in your pencil is writing this all down because the sheets can slide off easily since they’re only held be weaker Van der Waal bonds,” she says without looking away from the television. Kinda nice to have on tap.
7. Person Who Thinks That They’re the Only One in a Hard Class with A Lot of Work
This stereotype cannot get it through their heads that they are not the only ones on campus to be in a class that requires some hard work. It’s really annoying, but usually these types have a bunch of other redeeming qualities you can concentrate on. Usually.
Any stereotypes we’re missing? What would you be considered on campus?
Here’s a story my mom told me:
Bobby and Betty Ann were THE COUPLE. Like, all of CutiePatootieville just thought that they were the bee’s knees and would be together forever. Senior year of high school was flying by, and Bobby and Betty had to decide what their next move would be.
See, Bobby wanted to be an astronaut. And there was only one school in the entire nation that offered a bachelors in astronaut.
Betty Ann wanted to be a crocodile hunter–don’t let the polka-dot purple dress or the rosy red cheeks fool you–Betty was a beast when it came to Australian wetlands. But, there was only one school in the entire nation that offered that degree and it was NOT the same school that offered Bobby’s dream.
So the couple compromised and went to State where they were both so unfulfilled that they broke up, individually wound up in prison for robbing banks (what a crazy coincidence!), and to this day dream about space and crocodiles–just look at their tattoos!
Anywho, that’s a true story. People warn against following your high school sweetheart to college all the time, and people ignore it alll the time.
So, I thought it’d be the best idea ever to draw out the pros and cons of this situation. If you have others, please leave a comment in the field below!
Going off to college is akin to moving into an alien civilization on Mars. There are new maps to figure out, new people to remember, a totally new academic language to translate…I can go on forever. Having your dude/dudette there to commiserate with you and/or hold your hand while growing accustom to the Martian culture can be very helpful in your transition.
He/She can introduce you to knew people
“Betty, meet Betty. Isn’t that funny? You two have the same name! You’ll probably wind up being best friends!”
Sometimes having your Bobby introduce you to a couple people winds up being so much easier than actually doing the bulk of the work yourself!
Avoid the long distance relationship
Sure, Skype is amazing. But, when you need that shoulder to cry on, you will destroy your computer if you get too much salty water on it.
If your boyfriend/girlfriend has already gone to college a year ahead of you, then they are basically a gold mine of information. Use them!!!
Getting to be with your boyfriend/girlfriend
Living in their shadow
Getting to college after your boyfriend/girlfriend has been there a school year often means that you’ll be following them around like a puppy dog for an undisclosed amount of time. Unless you’re comfortable constantly standing behind your boyfriend/girlfriend’s shoulder nodding your head as if you’re included in the conversation with his friend that you’re actually not included in, then be weary of a life in the shadows.
Not making decisions based on your needs
Following your sweetheart to college illustrates how much you are willing to sacrifice for that person. It could lead to making choices that actually hurt your goals and dreams.
Straying from academics
If you follow your sweetheart to college, they obviously take a priority in your life. Maybe even ahead of why you’re at college in the first place.
Being in a relationship from high school to college with the same person can stunt your growth as an individual. A little single life where you make your own decisions for your future will make you stronger to stand on your own.
Today’s question is inspired by National Hazing Prevention Week:
47% of students come to college already
having experienced hazing.
Why are students willing to be hazed,
and how can it be prevented?
Leave your answer in the comments below or tweet at @Cappex to chime in (we’ll post your answer below).
Without your usual network of chicken soup providers not around you, getting to know your university’s health services before you’re actually in dire need, is a smart idea. Take a visit to the university’s student health services facility so you can, for one thing, know where exactly it’s located on campus, and also how it works.
Here’s a list, according to the Princeton Review, of the top ten colleges with the best health services:
1. University of California – Los Angeles
Quick fact: Located near Hollywood, the UCLA campus has been featured in countless films including Legally Blonde, Old School, The Nutty Professor, Erin Brockovich, and American Pie 2.
2. Whitman College
Quick fact: Whitman College is located in Walla Walla, Washington, which is kinda super really fun to say.
3. West Point
Quick fact: The entire central campus is a national landmark and home to tons of historic sites, buildings, and monuments.
4. University of Texas Austin
Quick fact: Austin has the largest urban bat population in America. So watch out for vampires [insert spooky noises].
5. Pennsylvania State University
Quick fact: The university’s total enrollment in 2009-10 was approximately 94,300 across its 24 campuses.
6. Georgia Institute of Technology
Quick fact: The educational institution was founded in 1885 as the Georgia School of Technology as part of Reconstruction plans to build an industrial economy in the post-Civil War Southern United States.
7. University of Pittsburgh
Quick fact: Founded as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787, Pitt is among a select group of universities and colleges established in the 18th century in the United States.
8. Susquehanna University
Quick fact: Nearly 20 percent of the undergraduate student population is active in Greek life on campus.
9. University of Georgia
Quick fact: As a member of the Southeastern Conference, the University of Georgia Bulldogs have won thirty-seven national championships and 130 conference championships.
10. University of Florida
Quick fact: The university is the sixth largest single-campus university in the United States by student population.
Do college students pay enough attention to their health? What’s your opinion? Leave a comment below!
Sometimes, fraternities and sororities on campus are seen as important aspects of campus culture. Other times, they’re selective clubs that promote negative activities on campus.
Recently, two major universities took action to deal with what they perceived were the problems with Greek life on their college campuses. The University of South Carolina put a freeze on fraternity rush. The decision came after a student drank so much at a fraternity recruitment party that he became unresponsive and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
At Princeton University, officials recently banned students from participating in freshman rush beginning in fall 2012. The decision was made because of the school’s beliefs that social and residential life should revolve around the residential colleges, eating clubs, and shared experiences of the undergraduates living and dining on campus. Other officials at the school find that fraternities and sororities contribue to a sense of social exclusivity and privilege among students.
Are there more negatives to Greek life than positives? Here some pros and cons:
Pros to Greek life
- friendship–it’s an easy way to meet some of your best friends for life
- academics–often times a big purpose of the fraternity/sorority community is to encourage and develop high scholastic achievement among its members
- social life–planned mixers, parties, etc.
- community service opportunities
- networking–the Kappa Fig Newton could connect you with your dream job
Cons to Greek life
- dues — Greek life gets expensive!
- stigma–unfortunately, people tend to stereotype people in the Greek system
- drama–living with a small community of boys/girls can become a bit much, and a little misunderstanding could lead to a big fall out
- hazing–it’s technically not allowed, but depending where you go, it still happens
Do you agree with these university officials on their stances against Greek life? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below!
“When I was your age, we had to walk 5 miles in sheets of freezing rain, up and down mountains, and past the hungry gazes of wild bears just to get to school! Now you have your iPhones, and Internets, and hover crafts! What’s the matter with you kids?”
[youtube width="300" height="243"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wCXr_6wgns[/youtube]
Sure, things have changed since Great Uncle Wilfred went to school. For one thing, even your parents probably didn’t have Internet at their disposal when they were your age, let alone any kind of smartphone. If you have the technology at your fingers tips, why not take advantage of it? There are some especially great back to school iOS apps that would be super helpful for college students.
Here’s our list of 7 (almost all free) back to school apps:
1. Amazon Student
What it does: Amazon Student helps you save money on textbooks by allowing you to compare the prices of your campus bookstore with Amazon’s. When you’re done with the books, you can use the app to help sell it back with free shipping for students!
What it does: New to campus? The AroundMe app locates the nearest banks, hospitals, gas stations, taxi companies, restaurants, etc.
3. Dictionary & Thesaurus
What it does: Much better than toting around a big tome or even your laptop, having access to a dictionary and thesaurus wherever you go is key. Plus, you will never be lost for words, or, words for words.
4. Documents to Go
What it does: Realize you wrote “Ass Water” instead of “Add Water” to your lab report? With Docs to Go you can edit and share Word (.doc and .docx), PowerPoint, and PDFs! Fret no more!
5. Free Graphing Calculator
Cost: free (graphing calculator)
What it does: With this app, save your $100 from buying a Ti83. Just download this app and graph away my child, graph away!
6. Grades 2
What it does: Sometimes teachers, actually, a lot of times, teachers don’t let you know what your grade for the semester’s looking like. This little app helps you calculate what your grade will be, and it even let’s you know what grade you’ll need on certain assignments to get that elusive A.
What it does: Even your most interesting lectures aren’t safe from your need to party on Thursday night leaving you with barely any sleep. So if you’re worried about falling asleep in class, this app is a lifesaver! It records your lectures and includes a time-stamped function that links pictures you take on the board with that part of the lecture.
And remember, if you’re still looking for scholarships in college you can sign in to Cappex’s mobile site from you r phone! Just go to Cappex.com and take
Do you have any favorite apps? Leave a comment below!
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