The J-Term Game!

With Winter Term registration come and gone, now is an ideal time to play one of my favorite games. Below are ten Winter Term courses. Five are real. Five are fake.

I should preface this by noting that the J-Term Game (©)  should not be construed as a comment on the academic or other value of any of the real courses. Please direct all complaints to my colleague, Arthur Choo.  Answers below: T = True, F = Fake.

1)      “Modern Family” and the Modern Family

In this course, we explore the relationship between the ABC sitcom and the “real,” modern American family.  What can sitcom culture teach us about gender and familial roles in 21st century American life? What is the dialectic between the two?

2)      Experiential Anatomy & Yoga  

Experiential anatomy involves learning about the body through the body. In this anatomy and kinesiology course, we will study the skeletal system the neuro-muscular, endocrine, organ, and circulatory systems.

3)      Dancing in the Dark

An exploration of shadow, movement, and the human form, this course will ask its participants to play with all three concepts in a series of improvisational and “scripted” performances without the benefit of standard lighting.

4)      Arachnophobia, Arachnophilia

For many people arachnids trigger fear, from simple unease to clinical arachnophobia. For others, arachnids evoke admiration and inspiration. We will examine depictions of arachnids and why they elicit such divergent psychological responses.

5)      Giving Meaning to Ordinary Time: Exploring the Jewish Sacred Calendar

Beginning with an overview of the history and evolution of Jewish culture and religion, we will examine the holy days and holidays of Judaism. We will also examine contemporary issues of gender, emerging practices, and the portrayal of religious holidays in pop culture.

6)      Lipids and the Obesity “Epidemic”

The expanding, American waste-band poses a challenge to policy makers, sociologists, and economists alike. In this course, we look at the biological foundations of weight gain. What can science teach us about weight gain, and what implications could this knowledge have for policy makers?

7)      Persuasive Legal Writing

In this intensive reading and writing course, students will practice writing persuasive arguments while analyzing contemporary legal issues. We will acquire a basic understanding of the way disputes are resolved within the U.S. legal system.

8)      How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie’s iconic, self-help book suggests there is an identifiable formula for gaining friends and social authority. Is he right? In this course we adopt the social scientist’s analytical method to explore the validity of what has become a veritable Bible for the 20th century “social climber.”

9)      “Alternative” Music

The very existence of “alternative rock” suggests that we can identify a “conventional  rock.” Exploring the development of rock through the 1980s and 1990s, we will attempt to answer whether such a title makes musical sense. The course will include extended explorations of Nirvana, the Stone Temple Pilots, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

10)   Journeys to the Edge: Mountain Exploration and Adventure

In this course, we will examine the history and culture of mountain exploration and adventure through literature, nonfiction narrative, film, and guest presentations.  Students will trace changing cultural attitudes toward risk, adventure, masculinity, and wildness.


Answers: (1) F (2) T (3) F (4) T (5) T (6) F (7) T (8) F (9) F (10) T.





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