Unusual classes

When I began college, I wanted to be either a veterinarian or a journalist, so during my first semester I enrolled in the introductory animal sciences class. I looked forward to learning about dogs, cats, and birds, and I hoped that we would get to interact with a few animals. On the first day of class, the students sitting around me wore Wrangler jeans and cowboy boots and discussed the sheep they had raised in 4-H. The syllabus showed two weeks devoted to cows, a week for pigs, a week for horses, and so on. This wasn’t what I had hoped for.

I dutifully began trying to memorize the annual milk production for various breeds of cow and the cuts of meat from a pig. For our weekly lab, we met at the university’s barnyards on the south side of campus. That’s where college really got interesting. I learned how to milk a cow and how to safely hold a chicken. I watched in panic as the teacher demonstrated how to dock the tail of a lamb and how to artificially inseminate a pig. This really wasn’t what I had hoped for.

Eack week, I brought back some story to horrify all of my friends who had grown up in the suburbs. And I brought back some really smelly clothes. They smelled so bad that my roommate (also a suburbanite) asked me to leave them in the dorm hallway rather than my hamper. I complied.

That course gave me a big shove into journalism, but I’m still glad that I took it. When I began working at the newspaper, I learned that the copy editors kept a file with 20 questions that all new hires answered. Among the questions was one about unusual college courses taken. Reading those answers was fascinating because colleges offer such a smorgasbord of choices. I couldn’t help but feel that writing down “Animal Sciences 100” in no way captured the folly of that class.

What’s the strangest college course you took? The most interesting?

One thought on “Unusual classes

  1. I took a class where we programmed a robot (really just an eye and an arm) to solve the Tower of Hanoi problem. That was interesting, but not too far fetched. I did take a comparative literature class once. We just read books and talked about them. That was strange.

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