At Britain's University of Leeds, one can study lap dancing and pass it off as research into the "rise, tolerance and integration of sexual consumption and sexual labor displayed through the erotic dance industry."
In the States, course titles like Cyberporn and Society, Alien Sex, and The Phallus are just a few college classes that students can sign up to explore sexuality on their parent's dime.
If marijuana is your thing, there are courses for that, too. In Detroit, Med Grow Cannabis College offers courses on how to grow, use and profit from medicinal marijuana. There's even required reading: "Marijuana Horticulture: The Indoor/Outdoor Medical Grower's Bible" by Jorge Cervantes.
And when you're done with that, how about watching a bunch of TV shows and movies, and playing video games. Only this time, you'll be tested on it. Better study hard too because your future success depends on it, right?
The Simpsons and Philosophy. Zombies in Popular Media. The Science of Harry Potter. Arguing with Judge Judy: Popular "Logic" on TV Judge Shows. The Strategy of StarCraft. The list goes on.
It used to be that sex, drugs and recreation were extracurricular activities. Today, they are part of the actual coursework.
It used to be that, when asked, "What's your major?" U.S. college students would often respond jokingly with "Underwater Basket-Weaving". Today, it's no joke. According to Wikipedia, it's an actual course at UC San Diego and at Reed College. As entertaining or enlightening as these courses may be, these growing trends in our education system beg so many questions.
For one, what are we really teaching the future of the world? Are these classes providing any real value? Are they simply disguised in such ways that are more fun and culturally relevant to young people today? Or are they a complete waste of their parent’s hard-earned money? What does it mean for people earning their college degrees now? Has everyone's diploma just decreased in value because of these classes? Have schools offering such classes become a joke of the education system? Or are these the actual skills required for the new world?
Who knows, perhaps a course in the game Rock, Paper, Scissors could come in handy when negotiating big business contracts.
Words: Chad Rea
Design: Marc Stromberg