We’ve all sat through Psych 101 or surfed the web during a dull lecture and wished for more exciting coursework, especially when you’re getting what feels like the same reading responses and multiple choice exams for every course. Ever wanted to watch Mean Girls in place of lecture? Or do arts and crafts in class? Check out these inventive courses and start daydreaming about filling your spring semester schedule with them!
1. Wasting Time on the Internet
This University of Pennsylvania class was made for us! Wasting Time on the Internet, taught by Professor Kenneth Goldsmith, has basically one assignment each class: stare at your computer screen for three hours.
The logic behind letting students surf the Web is that looking at videos of puppies or reading Reddit forums about spring break destinations could open up your unconscious and allow for a better flow of ideas.
At the end of the class, students have to write a large creative work based on all of their thoughts and musings from their time in the course.
2. Queen Bees, Wannabees, and Mean Girls
Colorado College’s course on Mean Girls, arguably every collegiette’s favorite movie, teaches about women and power dynamics. Students will also watch Bridesmaids and Queen Bee in class.
During the course of this two-week mini-class, students will watch films and have discussions based around topics like the Greek influences on Tina Fey’s masterpiece. They’ll also compare and contrast all the films and voice their own ideas about what makes a ‘mean girl.’
3. Psychology of Consciousness
In this Point Park University course, students learn to get in touch with their consciousness through a variety of mediation exercises.
Haleigh Kopinski, a senior who is currently taking this class, says, “We are supposed to meditate on a stone given to us and by the end of the year be able to do the meditations without the stone.” This type of meditation, called shamatha meditation, is extremely relaxing.
“Shamatha meditations are a type of mindfulness meditations,” Haleigh explains. “They deal with focus on posture and breathing. In our class however, we are focusing on a stone. The first day of class every person chose a random stone on a desk. For the rest of the semester, they are to focus and concentrate on that stone during their meditations. For instance, the outline, color or markings on the stone as a focus point in your mind.”
By the end of the semester students should be able to picture every detail about the stone perfectly. “In achieving mindfulness, you will achieve wisdom and insight” she says.
With hectic schedules and the stress of college, this class is an inventive way to take a load off.
4. Springsteen’s American Vision
The only thing better about New Jersey than the shore is Bruce Springsteen, and while you can’t go to the shore for school credit, you can jam with the E Street Band!
This Rutgers University class explores how both rock and roll and Springsteen’s songs defined parts of America. Rutgers has taught other classes on The Boss before, such as one centered around the theology in his lyrics, but this semester’s class looks at how his rock influences culture.
Students are required to listen to several Bruce Springsteen albums like Born to Run, Darkness on the Edge of Town and High Hopes, among others. Although students do have to write traditional response papers, this course is mostly listening-based.
About more than just how to find the perfect Instagram filter and look stylish in photos, the Duke University #Selfie class is all about how the history of portraiture has evolved and what people choose to document from their everyday lives. Students read Freud and watch current TV shows to see how other people think of mundane life and the habit of snapping a pic at every event.
“We’ve discussed the selfie throughout history, what the selfie says about modern culture and our dependency on technology and why selfies taken in serious places such as the 9/11 Memorial or Auschwitz offend people,” says Duke University junior Tessa Deardorff.
6. Feminist Perspectives: Politizing Beyoncé
Rutgers University sure loves their music icons! This course is centered around Queen Bey’s music and her take on feminism.
Nicola Keegan, a senior, says the class “takes a song a week and analyzes it with whatever paired reading we have…usually the reading is that of a famous black feminist or womanist.”
The class has watched Life is But a Dream, the Beyoncé documentary, and read excerpts from Caribbean-American feminist writer Audre Lorde’s essays. This class is one of Rutgers’ most famous courses.
7. The Anthropology of Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion
You may not have gotten your letter to Hogwarts, but at least you can take this Moorpark College course. The Anthropology of Magic, Witchcraft, and Religion looks at how different groups of people use different religious ideas to explain the world, and how people become religious. It also looks at ideas such as magic, and what people think is magic versus religion.
The course has several interactive classes; there’s one where you’re assigned to bring a blindfold to class, and another for which you’ll be asked to come up with your own religion.
=Whether you’re dying to learn the art of the perfect selfie or want to delve deep into Beyoncé’s lyrics, these classes will guarantee that you’re actually excited to go to class—and maybe even wanting to stay. After all, you only wanted a few more selfies in better lighting, right?