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Semester sweeps 

If pre-requisites didn’t matter, you could build a lineup of classes so awesome it’d compete with your regularly scheduled programming.

Orange you glad you can take SOCI 3505: Prisons and Punishment at SMU?
  • Orange you glad you can take SOCI 3505: Prisons and Punishment at SMU?

Like sands through the hourglass, your summer slipped away quickly. Just when you were getting into it, it was gone. If you're lamenting all of those hours you spent (wasted) in front of the television or your computer screen instead of frolicking in the sun, don't. (Or, maybe do, but this might help you feel better.)

Our city's post-secondary institutions can teach you endless types of cool things. You can study offshoots of history, biology, engineering, literature, carpentry, theatre, fine art and all the nerdery in between—but there are some niche courses you may not have ever thought to look for. Thanks to some careful academic timetable surfing, here's a lineup of super cool courses that (in a dream world, free of pre-requisites and crazy tuition) could help you classify all of your TV watching as summer school in sweats.

Are you a whiz kid who's prematurely mourning the loss of Breaking Bad as you devour its final season? You might want to follow your senses to a class like Dalhousie's CHEM 4601: Principles of Biomolecular and Drug Molecule Design. Sure, that intimidating mouthful of a chemistry class is probably aiming to prepare you for a future in mixing chemicals for healing purposes, but what about the science behind Heisenberg's blue meth?

Maybe you've been getting choked up to episodes of Planet Earth (cause who doesn't?). Did you know Dalhousie has an entire program called Environment, Sustainability and Society? Canada's FIRST college of sustainability is about experiential, interdisciplinary learning, and tackling complex issues like climate change, sustainable energy and urbanization from the angles of a variety of disciplines. ESS' intro course is co-taught by experts like an architect, historian, biologist and more.

Wondering whether Don Draper will hit his actual rock bottom in the next season of Mad Men? Exercise your thinker and gain some true life skills in Dal's PHL 2090: How To Win An Argument where reason is the name of the game. If you could come out of that class half as convincing as Don in a pitch (and just a fraction as handsome), I'd say it's money well spent.

Want to hang out with your fangs out? If you're into vampires (why are they always so sexy?) but in more than just a "True Blood is so awesome," way the University of King's College offers up an eerily awesome course called The Vampire: Modernity and the Undead. Required readings for this Contemporary Studies course include Bram Stoker's Dracula and Anne Rice's Interview With a Vampire but it'll dig in to folklore, philosophy, poetry and film, too.

Let your mind wander back to Taystee, Crazy Eyes and Daya over at Saint Mary's in SOCI 3505: Prisons and Punishment. While Orange is the New Black likely isn't on the syllabus (but if it is, cool!) you can still try and wrap your head around various penal systems in the Western world and focus in on "problem populations."

If you're still scratching your head over what could have been for Arrested Development's George Michael if Fakeblock was really a thing, SMU also offers a major in entrepreneurship. You'll need a whole whack of business classes to earn one, including third-year management class (MGMT 3389) Structuring the Start-up, a course many of the Bluths could have benefitted from.

Lots of people get sucked into Netflix binges, using a couple of rainy days and late nights to watch entire seasons of television. For some reason The X-Files is brings out addict qualities in people, and if you're one of them SMU's intro astronomy course Life in the Universe might be your jam. Put on your Mulder or Scully cap and explore the planets and galaxies pondering UFOs and the origin of life here on earth.

Oh my god The Killing is so good. Linden and Holder forever! It's pretty dark to think about how enjoyable a show about humans doing incredibly heinous things to other humans is. Mount Saint Vincent University's pretty much famous RELS 2201: Evil explores not just completely wicked people, but evil as a cultural phenomenon. This religious studies course analyzes representations of evil not only in religion, but myth, literature and popular culture.

Admit it, you've only ever watched an episode of The Voice because Shakira is awesome. It's a good enough reason, I guess, but if thinking about music through the scope of reality television isn't quite enough, geek out about things like rock and roll history, gender and the industry, protest music and tons more in MSVU'S CULS 2202: Music and Culture. Bonus, your prof is Michael McGuire (AKA spoken word artist, MC and doctor of hip-hop Hermitofthewoods).

Speaking of music shows, perhaps Nashville is more your thing. If you enjoy watching Rayna, Juliette and all the other country crossover wannabes fight for fame, or if your own sights are set on stardom (or helping someone else achieve it) Nova Scotia Community College's waterfront campus can teach you the ins and outs of the biz. Practical courses (especially in music mecca, Halifax) like BART 1000: Intro to the Music Industry and BART 2010: The Business of Live Performance, which tackles the marketing and logistics of touring, whether you're the agent, the booker or the star of the show.

OK, we know Game of Thrones is enthralling, unpredictable and intense but guys, have you ever stopped to think about (and look closely at) the intricate costuming? Those collars, the embroidery, every little embellishment! If it's hard for you to concentrate on anything other than the rad, fashionable and authentic-looking wearable art on GoT, check out the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design's Textile and Fashion department for classes like TEXL 2300: Fibre, Fabric, Fashion where you'll tackle non-traditional clothes and original designs.

But maybe you're thinking, while this cobbled together fantasy timetable is great, when it comes to these TV shows you could do way better. If you dream of a Sunday night slot of AMC or making a festival-worthy film of your own, peruse the Centre for Arts and Technology's course offerings for diplomas and classes on Screenwriting, Video and Film Production, Documentaries, Post-Production and 3D Animation.

Now peel off those house pants and wipe the chip crumbs off your chest, it's time to turn off and hit the books. Save that X-Files marathon for the weekend before your first assignment's due.

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In Print This Week

Vol 26, No 38
February 14, 2019

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