The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday January 20th

Pit Talk

All the weird classes that make general education classes what they are

I thought getting my literary arts gen ed would be easy — I was very wrong.

On the first day of class last semester, I walked into my 8 a.m. Intro to Performance Studies class to see the teacher was doing yoga in the middle of the floor as everyone watched in an uncomfortable silence.

As I start to plan my classes for my last year at UNC, I like to reflect on all the classes that got me to where I am today — and I’m not talking about your average Econ 101.

I’m talking about the weird classes, the what-the-heck-am-I-doing-here classes and the classes that have no relevance to real life whatsoever.

I’ve become oddly attached to these misfit classes, even that 8 a.m. performance studies class (which I like to call “the dramatic arm flailing class”). They may be close to my heart now, but at the time when I was taking them, I wasn’t a happy camper.

I did a lot of weird things in that performance class, but I’ll try to keep a long story short.

Imagine getting up at 7 a.m. to put on clown makeup (I’m talking red cheeks and everything), walking across campus in said makeup carrying two large garbage bags full of balloons, getting to class early to put on your pink tutu and hot pink wig and then performing in front of a room full of strangers who your classmates bribed to be there with free coffee and who have no idea what the frick they got themselves into.

Yes, this actually happened.

Not all the weird classes I took were that bad. Take Medieval and Early Modern Music, for example. If you like jamming out to 12th century monastic chants — or if you still need a world before 1750 credit — this is the class for you.

I got to listen to monks sing all in Latin and attend a live performance of UNC’s Baroque Ensemble. Also, I got to write my final paper on sexual innuendos 12th century nuns inserted into their music. Scandalous, I know.

Sometimes the most useless classes are the most enjoyable ones. You don’t have to worry about remembering everything for the future, but you end up remembering most of it anyway.

In fact, I can’t un-see some of the things I saw in my Sci-fi Fantasy literature class — like Harrison Ford being chased by a creepy shirtless guy in “Blade Runner.”

Required reading for this class included “A Handmaid’s Tale” (to keep up with the sexy nun theme,) “The Last Castle” (a book that went out of print for good reason) and “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” (which never answered the question).

For the final, I had to write a well thought out essay (citing evidence from the readings) on “which is more human, androids or zombies?”

For the record, I picked androids, and one of my arguments was that androids don’t eat people. I got an A.

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