Brandon Minster.

Fall registration is starting soon and most of us are beginning to think about what courses we should take. Some of us are excited to graduate this May and be done with course registration for good, but some fools, like me, are managing to graduate in May and still register for classes in the fall.

Looking through the fall offerings, I see a lot of classes in humanities, mathematics, psychology and linguistics. But when I walk around campus I don’t really think, “This place needs more humane mathematicians who can speak psychic languages.”

What if George Mason University offered the courses that the students actually need?
What would the catalog look like?

ANTHROPOLOGY 205: Living with Roommates

Students will begin to understand that roommates are more than the supporting cast of a personal reality TV show. Notions such as “fairness” and “equity” are introduced (proficiency not expected until completion of Anthropology 416: Treating Others as You’d Like to be Treated).

ASTRONOMY 103: The Heliocentric System

The proper model of the solar system is learned, with the sun at its center in lieu of the self. Counseling will be available for students who are just hearing this for the first time.

ECONOMICS 232: The Real World

Students will be informed of the low-paying, soul-stultifying work they will be expected to perform after graduation. Common expectations such as “showing up on time,” “working 40 hours a week” and “not being drunk at your desk” are covered. Weekly seminars will address topics like “Just Because it’s Cool Doesn’t Mean You Should Buy it” and “Caps Tickets Aren’t as Useful for Eating as Food is.”

ENGLISH 117: Sounding Intelligent

Participants will learn that, in terms of speaking, no one is ever “like” something, nor are they ever “all” anything. The verb “to say” will be introduced, along with its conjugated forms. The paucity of situations wherein “that’s what she said” is funny will be analyzed. For students expecting to continue into graduate work, the concept of “speaking without swearing” will be introduced.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY 308: Social Network Oversharing
Students are taught the concept of optimizing shared-information levels.

The idea of “preserving a mystique” is shown to still be relevant. Participants will view each other’s Facebook pages and record which items of information they learned and wished they hadn’t.

PSYCHOLOGY 312: Sexuality and You

Alternative ways of looking at sex — including “sex for procreation” and “sex for love”— are introduced and explained. Widespread concepts such as “sex for popularity,” “sex for self-esteem” and “sex for fighting boredom” are debunked.

SOCIOLOGY 144: Private Discourse in Public

The proper “non-shouting” tone for cell phone conversations will be introduced.

Students will learn that whiling away time on public transportation by discussing how drunk you got last weekend is not optimal behavior.

The notion of “whispering” will be analyzed as a legitimate form of communication in appropriate situations.

WRITING 110: Newspaper Column Endings

Students will be taught the correct way to end their newspaper columns. Abruptly ending a “funny list” is shown to be hack. The need for a “coda” paragraph, wherein the first paragraph is referenced for a sense of closure, will be covered in Writing 112: I’m a Better Columnist than That Guy (available for concurrent enrollment in the fall).