Remedial education for dummies

By Kyle Siler

As students, we are presented with a plethora of courses in the calendar from which to choose every semester. The limits of academia know few boundaries, and every semester leaves one facing the daunting task of choosing two to six courses out of the hundreds in the calendar. Of course, what one learns in a matter of weeks is the horrible,regrettable choices one actually made while selecting. Perhaps this is because sometimes courses don’t really reflect the vague summaries given in the calendar or because Professor (insert name of bad prof here) bought their PhD for 20 bucks from one of those diploma mills that constantly send you spam e-mail. Perhaps committing to 8:00 a.m. lectures was much more difficult than it seemed. So, as a public service at AP, we will better elucidate the often generic and misleading course descriptions given in the calendar for a few of our favorite courses.

ANTH 311 – Primate Behavior: Field trips to Max’s and frat parties augment the textbook and provide opportunities for "hands-on" learning.

ANTH 371 – Political Anthropology: Making use of a Canadian case study, examine the endangered Tory species, the exotic but rare New Democrat and the Bloc, poached heavily outside reservations in Quebec. Also to be examined is the Alliance species’ behavioural adaptations which render it increasingly similar to the Liberal species that it cannot defeat, which incidentally now outnumbers blackflies in the Ottawa area.

AMAT 217 – Calculus for Engineers and Scientists: A pivotal first-year course that takes fresh-faced high school kids and turns them into lush, ugly (as determined by the AP survey) engineers. Well, it’s apparently responsible for at least two of the three.

APSY 205 – Becoming an Effective Learner: Preaches to the converted. Begs the question regarding what one does if they are not already an effective learner, and therefore cannot effectively learn how to become an effective learner.

CPSC 585 – Games Programming: Guys, probably not a great class to take if you’re looking to pick up women.

WMST 307 – Contemporary Issues in Feminism: See above.

PHIL 201 – Problems of Philosophy: Learn that one need not be on drugs or mentally ill to spend hours contemplating one’s existence. Find great depth, complexity and uncertainty in the mundane, and become enamoured with things like pieces of wax.

PHIL 329 – Business Ethics: Biggest oxymoron in the calendar.

PHIL 590 – Honours Thesis: Don’t worry if this thesis doesn’t get you into graduate school; McDonald’s and Dominos are always hiring.

Minds and horizons are expanded with the arduous work and dedication needed to derive full value from any course one takes (especially over the roughly forty or so courses it takes to earn a Bachelor’s degree). From the specific knowledge and syllabus of each unique course to more general study and motivational and critical thinking skills, a great deal can be derived from any given course or type of study. With this in mind, the academic counselors at AP have chosen a special course for a few prominent figures that we feel could benefit a great deal from a visit to the U of C for a semester.

Stockwell Day: BIOL 307 – Introduction to Ecology and Evolution: You didn’t think the Gauntlet’s favorite whipping boy would survive this column unscathed, did you?

Everybody has at least one course over their academic career marred by someone who inundates the prof with their intransigent beliefs, leaving you hearing more from them than the person with the PhD that you paid to listen to. In this case, we could be treated to Stock’s creationist dogma, complaining that humans aren’t living with dinosaurs in the textbook.

Eminem, Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg: BOTA 528 – Independent Studies in Botany: A thorough, comprehensive exploration of cannabis and hashish plants. Of course, a few Gauntlet readers (and writers) could likely challenge this course based on extensive prior work and study.

Ralph Klein: ECON 349 – Economics of Social Problems: Thanks to an inopportune pending election and the crisis of skyrocketing energy prices, Ralph is deluging Albertans with a contentious wave of energy refunds. However, this way Ralph figures people will buy him a drink or two to thank him for their apparent windfall.

Jean Chrétien and George W. Bush: LING 201 – Introduction to Linguistics: Amazing how both leaders of North American powers now have marked speech impediments. Asking for a coherent string of words and sentences out of JC or Dubya isn’t too much to ask, or is it?

Paul Martin: POLI 439 – Strategic Studies: After years of trying, maybe Paul can finally find a way to get that senile old autocrat Chrétien’s job.

Eric Lindros: MDCN 410 – Neurosciences: Not that Eric belongs in medical school, but he could be used for the lab part of the course, chronicling the possible development of "Muhammad Ali syndrome" and evidencing the effects of a lifetime of concussions, delusions of grandeur and chronic idiocy.

Britney Spears: MUPH 203 – Women’s Choir: She might as well try to learn to sing while she still can. Sooner or later, salacious choreography and elaborate costumes won’t distract people from the lip-syncing anymore.

Leave a comment