Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

As this semester ends at Utah’s various universities and cap and gowns become stylish, it is with great disappointment that I must announce that Underwater Basket Weaving was not offered at any of Utah’s fine institutions of higher education.

That is the bad news.

The good news is that Utah’s students were able to sign up for, and presumably be graded on, plenty of unusual, mysterious or weird classes.

Of course a list of those classes would be subjective. What is completely normal to one person is bizarre and strange to another (ask my wife). But, assuming I understood the course titles correctly, there are at least a dozen real courses that higher education offered in 2011 that should make all residents and students of the Beehive State proud.

12 Simpsons to South Park
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

University of Utah

You can learn a lot about family, death, politics, religion and sexual and ethnic identity from the animated television shows The Simpsons, South Park, Family Guy and Futurama. Or you could just read a 12-year-old’s Facebook page.

11 Daedalus Project
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

BYU

Imagine you are shipwrecked on an island and have to build a simple airplane to fly 100 miles to safety. If you take this class you will actually learn how to do this — which could come in handy if you get stranded during the Bison roundup on Antelope Island and don’t feel like hiking back across the causeway.

10 Social Dance (Women Only) and Social Dance (Men Only)
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Dixie State College

Maybe these two classes should be combined. Just a suggestion.

9 Rhetoric of Violent Images
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

University of Utah

Hmmm, I wonder what this class is about. Could it be that you look at photographs of terrorism victims one week, victims of domestic violence the next, gang victims the next and so on. Yup.

8 Yurt Camping
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Utah State University

Camping with yurts. Uh, what’s a yurt?

7 Matrix Analysis
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

BYU

This is either an awesome class focusing on the unsurpassed acting skills of Keanu Reeves or something about math. Watch for the final exam where you have to choose whether to swallow a red pill or blue pill.

6 Writing about Pop Music
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Southern Utah University

Learn the special techniques required to write about pop music so that you can have your thoughts published and make millions of dollars.

5 Pleasure of Fine Chocolate
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

University of Utah

A remedial class, no doubt, to help people overcome an aversion to chocolate. Think: “Augustus Gloop immersion therapy.” Mmmmmmmm. Chocolate.

4 Pickleball
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Southern Utah University

Pickleball! Sport of kings! It is like tennis, badminton and ping pong all at the same time and almost as much fun.

3 Paint your own car
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Utah Valley University

Because painting someone else’s car might tick them off.

2 Space Weather: Dangers to the High-Tech World
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Utah State University

From the title alone, I would guess you will learn about space tornadoes, space thunderstorms, space snow and space tsunamis and how dangerous they are to planet High-Tech.

1 Castleology
Illustration by Michael De Groote, Deseret News

Weber State University

Like geology. Except with castles.