the schmooze

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

"Gotenyu!" (Oh, my God!) Di tates (the fathers) and di mames (the mothers) of today's "kaledzh (college) student would "plotz" (explode) if they knew what kinds of courses their savings were funding. Kids, hide those transcripts, or you might be yanked out of your academic bubble and placed into a much more "shporevdik" (economical) and "praktish"(practical) 2-year community college.

Way back in 1994, Stephen E. Frank
("Dear Mom and Dad: Today at College I Learned How to Spit Wine in a Spittoon"), wrote, "Today, the path to a college degree is as likely to include a dissertation on Madonna as one on Freud or a lesson on cartooning instead of one on Cezanne, and they're all for credit."


The newspapers report that starting this "friling" (spring) the University of South Carolina will offer a class about Lady Gaga. A longtime USC professor of sociology--and Lady Gaga fan--will teach a course titled, "Lady Gaga and the Sociology of Fame." Yes, Lady Gaga is "barimt" (famous) and perhaps she's even the new Madonna. The instructor, Mathieu Deflem will offer one section of 50 students in the spring but plans on teaching the course next fall with a class size to around 120. Pre-requisites include Sociology 101, or another 300-level sociology course or consent of the instructor.

When I attended NYU (1955-1958), tuition was $25 a credit. My program included courses titled "Economics 101," "Business Math,""Principles of Business Letter Writing," "Introduction to Business" and "Business Statistics." No, I was never offered a course titled, "Going Out of Business - A Calm, Rational Approach." This course was offered by San Jose State University.

According to NYULOCAL, [Rosie Gray, Aug. 18, 2010], the tuition, room and board at NYU in 2010 is well over $50K...and the combined student debt is the highest in the country. The number is an incredible $659 million, more than Oprah Winfrey's yearly pay.

Shown below is a list of actual courses offered at colleges and universities in the U. S.

"(The) Art of Walking" Centre College, Danville, Kentucky

"The Joy of Garbage" Santa Clara University

"Everything You Ever Wanted to Do Once" Hampshire College

"If I'm O.K. And You're O.K., Why Do We Behave As We Do?" Towson State University

"Zombies in Popular Media" Columbia College

"A History of the Pig in America" Xavier University

"From Borscht to Sauerkraut: The Biology and History of Jewish Food" Elderhostel course (Note: The name "Elderhostel" has now been changed to "Explorias.")

"Two Boys From Brooklyn: Mel Brooks and Woody Allen" Elderhostel course

"What do Moses and Elizabeth Taylor Have in Common?" Elderhostel course (Note: The answer: intermarriage!)

"The Adultery Novel--In and Out of Russia" University of Pennsylvania

"The Science of Harry Potter Frostbury State Universty

"Queer Musicology" Univ. of California, Los Angeles

"Philosophy and Star Trek" Georgetown University

"Daytime Serials: Family and Social Roles" Univ. of Wisconsin

"The American Vacation" Univ. of Iowa

"The Horror Film in Context" Bowdoin College

"Comparative History of Organized Crime" Williams College

"The Road Movie" Barnard College (think "Easy Rider" and "Thelma and Louise") "The Art of Sin and the Sin of Art" Rhode Island School of Design

"American Degenerates" Brown University

"Mail Order Brides: Understanding the Philippines in Southeast Asian Context" Johns Hopkins University

"Finding Dates Worth Keeping" University of Sioux Falls

"Tight Waddery, or The good life on a dollar a day" Alfred University

"Finding and Renting an Apartment in New York" New School for Social Research

"American Golf: Aristrocratic Pastime or the People's game?" Carnegie Mellon

"Learning from You Tube" Pitzer College

"Decisions, Decisions, Decisions" Bristol Community College (Note: This course is for people who have a tough time making decisions day in and day out. If you don't know whether you should sign up for this course, you are eligible.)
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe's favorite course title? "How to Write Great Ads That Not Only Your Mother Will Love" The School of Visual Arts, New York City


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

NU, what are you waiting for?  Order the book!

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