Innovations like OpenCourseware have made college-level courses increasingly available online, for free, which is a huge step in providing accessible and affordable education to a large number of people. Even our own UC Berkeley is contemplating offering these classes. While a great number are “legit” courses, some are just completely hilarious, and you begin to wonder how they came to be offered in the first place. Here are four silly courses that fall under this category: _____________________________________________________________

bubbles

1) The Amazing World of Bubbles, CalTech

Normal human interactions with bubbles involve baths and innocent childhood outdoor activities, but apparently they have a secret world we civilians aren’t privy to. Did you know bubbles can harness energy that can be used in scientific pursuits? Nether did we. They’re practically a superpower.

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teach

2) Why Teach Art?, The Open University

This course just seems so meta. It’s not an art class. It’s not a class about teaching art. It’s a class about why teaching art is a beneficial pursuit to the educational world. It’s obviously very important, but someone is teaching a class about why people should teach art so that they’ll be interested in taking classes about teaching art so that they can one day teach art. So many layers, it’s almost “Inception.”

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3) Vegetable Gardening and Lawn Care, Utah State University

vegetable garden

Vegetable gardening is a noble pursuit (and also our grandmother’s favorite hobby). But instead of giving your grandmother a call or reading the back of seed packets to absorb the knowledge, you can now take a college course about it! At first, it seems out of place in a university setting, but growing your own vegetables is a great way to save money while stocking up on your greens: two things college students are usually in dire need of.

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schedule

4) Airline Schedule Planning, MIT

This is clearly a legit and serious course, but the only reason it’s included in this list is that, at first, we thought it covered neat tips for planning your air travel. For a college course, we thought that was pretty nifty and kind of an interesting topic to spend an entire semester on. But this isn’t the case, which is a shame, ’cause we would have really appreciated a course like that.

Images sources: (from top to bottom) 1) nick see, 2) boomcha7, 3) Downing Street, 4) shell belle, under Creative Commons.


Typing

For all you Android users lusting for the ability to send texts from your computer, the Mighty Text Android app and web app are a fantastic solution. You no longer have to lust for an iMessage like situation. Sure you could set up Google Voice, but it’s a hassle. You either have to get a new number or port your number to Google. Mighty Text only takes seconds to set up and it changes your life.

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Arriving late to class — we’ve all done it at one time or another.

For those of us who’ve perfected the art of scanning the lecture room for the nearest empty seats in 0.27 seconds, it’s a way of life. For those of us who have never felt comfortable with the concept of “Berkeley Time,” it’s a rare occurrence.

Everyone has a different style of arriving late, however. Three common variations of lateness include the “Half-Awake Stumble,” the “You Can’t See Me,” and “I-am-too-cool-to-be-on-time” styles — and we’re going to write some tips on how you can execute these arrivals in style.

sleeping

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040Don’t you love when you’re just sitting there spacing out in chemistry lecture and a cat jumps up onto a desk? We do.

Freshman Sandon Griffin, the owner of the cat, proceeded to take out his spray bottle to give his kitten water and feed it. “He’s 9 weeks old so I thought he was too young to leave at home,” said Griffin. If you were wondering, the cat’s name is Mr. McGrizz.

This wasn’t the only strange item the Clog observed in lecture halls today. read more »


michaelpollan

Why, yes, of course I'd like a side of charcoal with my burger.

So you missed your opportunity to sign up for Michael Pollan‘s new colloquium-style two-unit class this fall, Edible Education 101: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement. It filled up in minutes. Maybe your stupid smartphone stopped working, or you accidentally spilled some nonfat vegan, gluten-free almond milk, carefully hand-squeezed by grass-fed, humanely raised orphans, across your keyboard.

We understand. We’ve been binge-eating Cheeseboard pizzas and Ici ice cream by the coneful since that fateful day to forget the void that was to be filled with inspiring talks about “organic agriculture, school lunch reform, food safety, animal welfare, read more »


operaglassesDon’t worry, not the school kind of class. In case you were too busy (or maybe lazy, we don’t judge) to make it all the way into San Francisco for the free concert on July 24, there’s something a lot closer to home for you.

On Aug. 5 and 6, the Berkeley Summer Symphony will perform in Hertz Concert Hall from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are technically free, but if you want to reach deep into your lamentably shallow college student pockets to support the always-in-need arts, the suggested donation is $10.

The Summer Symphony will play a Beethoven Overture, two Mussorgsky pieces, and another piece by Berlioz. The Symphony consists mostly of students, though it does have members from all over the Bay Area. If you still don’t feel classy enough from simply going to see the Symphony, maybe try bringing a pair of opera glasses and talking in an English accent.

Image Source: Alpha six under Creative Commons
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