The dozen weirdest classes at Utah's universities

Published: Monday, April 18 2011 4:00 p.m. MDT

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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.
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PC Jones
La Verkin, UT

"A yurt is a portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia. A yurt is... more home-like in shape and build, with thicker walls than that of a tent. They are popular amongst nomads."

Thank you, Wikipedia!

Waltham, MA

Matrix Analysis is weird? This author must have really been desperate to include a math course simply because a movie has a similar name.

Provo, UT


Some funny stuff. I had a nice laugh.

Richfield, Utah

I think the social dance class at dixie state is combined they just have separate registration so they get an even number of men and women

Michael De Groote

@PC Jones 4:21 p.m.
Hmmmm, when I looked at Wikipedia it said "A yurt is a large furry green bigfoot-like creature known for humming Slim Whitman's song 'Indian Love Call' in dark Nordic forests. They are popular amongst mermaids and taste good with cheddar."
I think the Wikipedia page you quoted has clearly been vandalized to be something ridiculous. "a portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure?" Ha, ha, ha, that's hilarious. "nomads in the steppes of Central Asia?" I can't believe you were taken in by something so obviously made up.

@Come-on-you-Yanks 5:40 p.m.
Yes, I was desperate. But let's leave my high school dating life out of this, ok?

@I M LDS 2 6:08 p.m.
Thanks, Mom.

@michaelc 6:29 p.m.
Just like Dancing With the Stars (Or is that Dances With Wolves, I always get them mixed up).

Mesa, AZ

Great. Just when we thought all the "Footloose" myths had been dispelled, here comes Dixie State with #10.

Michael De Groote

@Nachtmerrie_in_Brugge | 3:16 a.m.
You are as wise as Solomon to bring the classic movie into the debate:
"See, this is our time to dance. It is our way of celebrating life. It's the way it was in the beginning. It's the way it's always been. It's the way it should be now." -Ren in "Footloose"

Iowa City, IA

I tried signing up for "Extraterrestrial Life" one summer at the U, but it got canceled by the faculty in charge---the day of the forst class---because there wasn't enough people wanting to take the class. Those in attendance that day= ~100. We were cheesed.

Mountain View, CA

The #2 Space Weather class is a completely legitimate subject for anyone designing satellites. Solar wind and other "weather" items have huge effects on objects in space. Perhaps the subject is only weird, because you know nothing about it.

Port Alice, B.C.

In my BYU days, as my kids tell me back in the middle ages, I took a Religion class from a well know church author. It was Essentials in Church History. We called it Essentials on Church Mysteries. A class where Brother A expands at great length on things the Lord didn't say much about.

West Valley, UT

Personally I enjoy analyzing the Matrix movies. I did a term paper on them for my religious studies class at the University. My classmates were amused, to say the least, but if you stop and actually consider the storyline and characters you find a striking resemblance to the New Testament.

Michael De Groote

@MiP 10:13 a.m.
I love your story about the "Extraterrestrial Life" class. Especially the "We were cheesed" part. One definition of the slang use of "cheesed" is "stoned to the point of stupefaction." Which, if what you say is true, are you SURE there were really 100 people there? ;-)

@Foxtrot 3:29 p.m.
If there is solar wind, then that must mean there are solar tornadoes. And if there are solar tornadoes they must be dangerous not only to planet High Tech, but also any helium-filled designer satellites floating in the sky. (See, I understand more about this than you thought, eh?)

@BobP 3:48 p.m.
You say he was a "well know church author," but then you say his name is "Brother A." I never heard of him (and I used to work at Deseret Book, so I would know). There is no "Brother A" that is well known. "A" is too short to be a real name. You made this up.

DeltaFoxtrot 3:56 p.m.
Neo in the Matrix is actually based on Peter Pan. Which explains their choice of the actor.

Orem, UT

"# 5 - Pleasure of Fine Chocolate"

I could take this class. It might even be worth going to the U of U for, since BYU seems to either know nothing about or suppresses everything to do with pleasure.

Gillette, WY

I don't laugh out loud reading the DesNews online very often but I sure did on this one. Clever and just plain FUNNY!! Thanks for the laugh this morning Michael!

  • 9:24 a.m. April 20, 2011
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West Valley, UT


Pan you say? I hadn't considered it. My analysis was focused on Neo representing Christ, gifted man of common birth come to save humanity. Morpheus as John the Baptist, preparing the way. Trinity as Mary Magdelen and the secondary characters filling in the roles of various disciples. The Oracle being Jehova, The Architect being Satan and the Agents and Sentinels representing sin.

Brother Don
Chandler, AZ

My comment was UNapproved?? HUMMMMMM
Oh well, cussing and swearing was a class I saw a a local divinity school here in AZ. They studied the history of cussing.

Weirdly titled classes, my weirdest class was English class at NAU. The teacher was a pervert!I spoke up one time when he gave glory to the dipping of the cross in body fluids as completed by an artist Maplethorpe (now deceased and regretting his art work more than certain world leaders their tyranny). That class had a boring, innocuous name but it was, by far, the weirdest class I ever took.

salt lake city, UT

You left out "The art and science of brewing" and "Victorian Murders" Westminster College.

Weston Jurney
West Jordan, UT

Oddly enough, Social Dance for men and Social Dance for women ARE the same class. Having them enroll in separate sections makes it easier to keep the numbers balanced so that everybody gets to dance with a partner.


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