From college classes in underwater basket weaving to a course that teaches you to play Starcraft, we count the 10 strangest university courses you can actually take.
10. Elvish, the language of “Lord of the Rings
Shortly after the Lord of the Rings films were released in the mid 2000’s, The University of Wisconsin ran a course in the Elvish language Sindarin. The course was taught by a leading expert in the fictional language originally created by legendary writer J.R.R. Tolkien way back in 1910. The Finnish language was a major source of inspiration for Tolkien who also used elements of Greek, Latin and several ancient Germanic languages when creating the Elvish language, Sindarin.
If you’re not planning on getting a job in Middle Earth then learning Elvish may not be for you. How about Klingon?
Doug Bigham, Assistant Professor of Linguistics at San Diego State University runs a course titled Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond. The course focuses heavily on the language created by Marc Okrand for Star Trek but also studies Dothraki, the language spoken by the nomadic horse-mounted warriors from Essos in Game of Thrones.
9. The Phallus
This class held at The Occidental College in California solely focuses on the iconology of the male genitalia. It looks at the role the phallus has played in society through the ages drawing from the works of Freud as well as newer feminist theories. I can just imagine the student reviews for this class “The course material was interesting enough but I found the lecturer to be a little stiff.”
8. It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Using both fictional and scientific end-of-the-world scenarios, this class run at New York’s Alfred University focusses on the notion of the apocalypse. The class studies film, mythology and literature including the book The World Without Us, which explores what would happen to Earth if humans were suddenly wiped out. The final assessment involves a ‘Design Your Own Apocalypse” project which sees students presenting either a scientific doomsday scenario or writing an end-of-the-world fictional story.
7.The Science of Harry Potter
The class entitled The Science of Harry Potter, run at The Frostburg State University in Maryland was the idea of Physics Professor George Plitnik. The class examines the events portrayed in the popular books by J.K. Rowling, applying real-life physics to the magic including Harry Potter’s favourite pastime – Quidditch.
If you’re not a Harry Potter fan and would prefer to draw on Superheroes for inspiration, then perhaps The University of California has something for you?
The science of Superheroes is a class that focuses on analyzing the abilities of Superheroes through a scientific eye. The course is designed to teach students who may not be strong in science to be able to identify when a scientific principle is being violated or adhered to by studying Superhero films.
6. Tree Climbing
At New York’s Cornell University you can actually take a class in tree climbing! Finally you can satisfy the inner child in you while still getting the education that will make your parents happy. This course aims to teach responsible tree climbing methods for fun, education and research.
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