Our dream course listings: Classes we want to see

Registration for fall semester is coming up, and people are talking. What class should I take? Have you taken this one? Do you have to go? Are there papers? So many questions, so many requirements that need to be filled, but sometimes you look at the course listings and you come across gems, like the Kanye class and the “Game of Thrones” class. We find ourselves as student, smack dab in the middle of our college career, wanting to make sure that we suck the marrow out of our college experience. We want to spread our horizons and explore boundaries outside of our intended major. The requirements in the College of Arts & Sciences are meant to fulfill that broadening need, but there still are sometimes a lack of options that we’re actually interested in—and a lack of space in our schedules. Not to say that we don’t go to an amazing school with so many options, but things can always be better, right? Here, the Scene staff presents our dream classes that might one day grace the webpages of WebSTAC.

Stand-Up Comedy

As an avid watcher of Netflix stand-up comedy specials, I feel a deep connection to the craft. Not to say I would be any good at stand-up, but I’ve reached a point where I’ve invested so much time into watching it, that I might as well try it. It’s that feeling when you’re watching your ninth hour of the Winter Olympics and you think, “Wait, I should TOTALLY go to the local ice rink and try my hand at figure skating—I’m just so knowledgeable now.” There’s actually a stand-up class offered through University College, but I really want this course here, in Arts & Sciences. I want it to be more accessible. And above all, I want to find out how funny I really am. Am I kidding myself? If I am, then I really need to know that sooner rather than later. Or, do I actually possess humor that could be enjoyed by a normal in-person live audience? It’s like you have to try something now, or you’ll forever be kicking yourself when you’re 50 years old as you tell all the young folks, “You know I could’ve been a stand-up comedian back in my day,” and they just say “Sure Grandma, I’m sure you could have,” as they roll their eyes and talk about how much of a bore you are while they’re in the care on the ride home. I don’t want to be that grandma. I want Washington University to offer this class.
—Katy Hutson, Senior Scene Editor

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 12.25.06 AMIllustration by Josh Zucker

Taxonomy

Yes, I know this class sounds boring and/or lame. And honestly, to the majority of people, it probably would be. But, as the increasingly desperate articles and job postings I read keep saying, the scientific community is severely lacking in trained taxonomists. Labs and universities are funding new, exciting, cutting-edge research—and that’s great. But we can’t forget all of the stuff we’ve already learned, either, and taxonomy (note: not to be confused with taxidermy. One is the classification of organisms based on shared characters; the other is stuffing them like Kendall from the “Bachelor”) is one of those things that you can’t just learn out of a book. So, Wash. U., let’s be part of the solution, not the problem.
—Hanusia Higgins, Senior Scene Editor

Burrito Class

The burrito is the ultimate food delivery system. It is a concert of ingredients—complementary, yet distinct—nestled in a warm corn or flour blanket. When eating a burrito, you never end up with a wet tomato in your lap (looking at you, sandwiches). This winning formula has many interpretations: Bean and cheese burrito, carne asada burrito, Mission burrito, Seoul Taco burrito, poncho burrito, Juarez burrito, breakfast burrito, wraps (fight me) and cannolis (radical burrito anarchy). Eating a single burrito is also an infinitely customizable experience. Bite to the left, you get a little more rice. Bite to the right; get a little more meat. Take your first bite in the middle of the burrito, and you go to jail. Basically, I want to learn how to make burritos.
—Aaron Brezel, Managing Editor

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 12.25.26 AMIllustration by Josh Zucker

Introduction to Trains

Rail is the future, but not in America. Our infrastructure is incredibly out of date, and what we have is almost completely privately owned with little government oversight. All this is to say that we need to educate ourselves about trains. An introduction to trains course could include things such as the science behind the incredible efficiency of trains, the benefits of public transportation and the importance of maintaining transportation infrastructure. Our country is years behind in the train sciences; so, we might as well start doing our part to promote trains in the world around us.
—Josh Zucker, Staff Writer

Screen Shot 2018-03-08 at 12.24.40 AMIllustration by Josh Zucker

Trendy art

In my four or so years on Instagram, I have gone through several “explore page” phases. First, it was nail art. Then, the lattes. After that, cakes. Now, I’ve graduated to obscure pottery painting. I have little artistic talent myself, but I’m sure there’s a teacher in the Sam Fox School of Art and Design who could fix that. Just think of how prestigious my resume and LinkedIn page would look if they said “Aidan Strassmann: Manicurist, barista, cake boss, ceramicist.” Who cares if I have to abandon the last three years of blood, sweat and tears; I will not stop until I find my four-pronged dream job as a trend-specific artist.
—Aidan Strassman, Managing Editor

How to meme

You know that joke (actually, I think it’s a meme) about wanting to be a meme-ologist? Well, I went through a meme phase of my own for a while sophomore year, shortly after the Wash. U. meme page was created. I wanted to make POPULAR MEMES. I got really into making those regionally themed starter packs. And honestly, I’m over memes now. It’s probably been a good six months since I last tagged a friend in one on Facebook. But maybe my short-lived meme dream could be revived with a course teaching the ins and outs of creating an everlasting viral moment because all I’ve ever wanted to is to start a cultural movement with a shoddily Photoshopped image. Here’s to memeing!
—Ella Chochrek, Editor-in-Chief