In an unsurprising turn of events, changes have recently been made to the Neighborhoods system. More department-specific requirements will be added to the curriculum, which currently requires students to take classes in the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and arts. Students will now have to take one Neighborhood class in the theater, English, and chemistry departments in order to provide the illusion of a somewhat more well-rounded liberal arts education.
The proposed English Neighborhood class is called “Talking Like an Intellectual.” In this class, students will learn to apply the vocabulary words they learned for the SAT in their everyday life, alienating potential friends but impressing potential employers.
Despite the lack of actual writing assignments in the class, some students believe that students will still benefit from it. “I, for one, strongly advocate for the institution of the aforementioned English language course into the Neighborhoods general education system,” said Nathaniel McWordsworth ’18, an English major. After McWordsworth attempted to turn the conversation to The Great Gatsby for the third time, I refused to continue with the interview.
A class in the Department of Theatre and Dance will also be required under the new Neighborhoods system. The first option for students looking to fulfill this requirement is a class titled “Making The Whole World Your Stage,” which will be available to the class of 2021 starting in Spring 2018. The syllabus is broken up into four different sections, including racing to get off the book, projecting in every conversation, discussing high school productions, and Being Extra™.
Stephen Actorson ’20, a theater major, worked as a student consultant for this new class. “The skills associated with theater are so important, but they can be difficult to master through a single general education class,” Actorson says. “If you’re not really into theater, ‘Making The Whole World Your Stage’ is the perfect way to at least learn how to act like a theater kid even if you can’t act like a theater kid.”
“Using Jokes to Remind People You Know Science,” the third new required Neighborhood class, will officially be under the chemistry department but will feature guest lecturers from the biology, physics, and mathematics departments. The chemistry department, which, according to Dr. Jonathan Punathan has been pushing for a class focusing on chemistry jokes for over a decade, is overjoyed. “Science puns are basically part of all of our lives at this point,” he said. Leaning in, he whispered, “My ex-wife and I got matching cation and anion tattoos before the divorce.”
He continued, “People think that if you get a science joke, you must really understand a certain topic,” he said. “However, if you just memorize a few jokes to tell at dinner parties, people will still think you know what you’re talking about even if you don’t. This class will teach students how to seem impressive without being all that impressive at all!”
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