Your Course Selections for Next Fall

Post by Shannon DeVido for the Laughter Lover series.


image courtesy of Pixabay

Ahh, June. The elusive month of which every kid dreams. It means the beginning of many hamburger and hot dog dinners, blasting the “song of the summer” that you will end up hating by September, and breaking out the Crocodile Mile. (If you don’t remember the Crocodile Mile, it means you’re too young to have enjoyed the greatest slip n’ slide of all time, and I am incredibly sad for you.)However, I have fond memories of June because when I was in college, it was when I would pick out my classes for next year. I would sit with the class offering book for hours, and read about the cool things I could learn. I’m weird; I don’t know what to tell you. I was discussing this tradition with a professor friend of mine. We were talking about how there are so many more options for students now, when she dropped the bomb that UCLA is now offering a Selfie class. Yep. A class on taking a picture of yourself – not sure if there will be a section on duck lips or not. I blame the Kardashians. In fairness, I blame mostly any pop culture phenomenon I don’t understand on the Kardashians, but that’s neither here nor there. In the course catalog, the professor of the Selfie seminar describes the course as a class discussing and debating the societal implications of these images and comparing them to artists painting self portraits. So what you’re saying, sir, is you feel it’s accurate to compare this:

To this??

Ummmmmm…no. Go away. Who let you be a professor?? Seeing as the theater program where I was teaching got dissolved, I decided to think of a few bullshit classes that I can teach, instead of incorporating my years of training into my meticulously designed Acting and Improv classes.

  1. Click-bait: In this class you’ll learn how to design a headline that people can’t resist. We’ll talk about the common pre-fixes, including, “You’ll never believe,” “Get out the tissues,” and “Watch what this guy/lady/hedgehog did.” We’ll deliberate about whether click-bait is an important sales technique or a trap designed by a jerk.
  2. Target: This course aims to breakdown the various layouts of the retail giant, how to use technological advances in order to create a more fruitful trip, and cerebral exercises that will aide students in their quest to leave the store without mindlessly buying unwanted items, in turn preventing the colloquial term “buyers remorse.”
  3. Coke vs. Pepsi: This debate seminar will break down the differences and similarities that have caused such strong attachment to one brand.
  4. Taylor Swift Lyrics: Some of the most profound lyrics have emerged from this pop super star, including the intricate literary references: “Cause you were Romeo – I was a scarlet letter;” the psychological struggles of moving forward after the dismantling of a relationship: “But now I’ll go sit on the floor / Wearing your clothes,” and the high economic pressures of falling in love: “Loving him is like driving a new Maserati down a dead-end street.” An iTunes account will be necessary for the required listening during the class.
  5. Listicles: Three Reasons you should take this class: 1. Who doesn’t love lists? 2. Research your favorite pieces of nostalgia all semester. 3. We’ll discuss the detrimental effects that listicles have on journalism and confer about whether people have time for full articles anymore.
  6. Stars Hollow: In this class we’ll go into depth on each retail and commerce establishment in the legendary town of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. We will talk about their impact on the town and ponder how Luke was able to balance the responsibility of taking orders and also cooking high quality food before he had a constant chef.
  7. Chocolate Chip Ratio: This will be a math focused lecture that delves into the proper proportion of chocolate chips to cookie in an effort to scientifically design the perfect cookie.
  8. Puppies: In an effort to examine captivating images of dogs in their infantile state, this technology class will utilize Google and excavate these embodiments of joy.
  9. Snapchat: This seminar will discuss the fleeting nature of youth and answer the philosophical question “Where does it go?”
  10. Paul Blart Mall Cop: This iconic character has become a voice of a generation. In this film studies class, we will break down his mass appeal and the movie studio’s desire to keep creating this piece of art.

I’m looking forward to seeing all of you in class this fall. Have a great summer!

 

Shannon DeVido is an actress, comedian, singer, and writer. She has performed comedy around the country as a stand up comedian and improv with her longform teams, Hell on Wheels and Axis of Evil, on television (Law and Order: SVU), and Off-Broadway. 


An accomplished singer, she currently performs with her quirky, singer-songwriting duo, Useful Rooster. 


Finally, her popular YouTube channel, Stare at Shannon, breaks the conventional image of disability through comedy. 

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