Barry Smith: CMC classes everyone must take
I think the Colorado Mountain College’s Aspen campus is one of the fine treasures of this treasure-filled area. But as I flipped through the pages of the new fall CMC catalog, I noticed there were some important classes not being offered.
English As a Second Language, “Understanding Sarcasm”
For even the most advanced non-native English speaker, sarcasm can present a problem.
Did your boss REALLY mean that you’re doing a great job, or was that sarcasm? When someone says, “Yeah, right!” what exactly do they mean? And what about when someone compliments your shoes?
These intricacies, plus more, will be taught in a hostile, confusing environment.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Hyperbole
Fine Arts, “Cake Handwriting Analysis”
Sure, the icing on the cake spells out “Happy Birthday,” but is there some hidden anger in those loopy “Y’s?” A little jealously in that oddly crossed “T?” A plot to poison you revealed in the overall slantyness of the seemingly congratulatory message?
Probably so. Find out what your family REALLY thinks about you before your next bite of dessert.
Fine Arts, “Art Depreciation”
Stuck for something cutting to say when you see a piece of art that sucks? Tired of having to depend on the old standby, “A 2-year-old could have done that!”
This class will touch on the fundamentals of form, composition, media and presentation, giving you just enough vocabulary to awaken your jealous, internal critic.
NOTE: Requires college-level reading ability and junior high-level mocking ability.
Photography, “Embracing the
Excuse me, would you mind taking a picture of us? Thank you so much. Oh, my God, everybody crowd in, he’s going to take our picture!
It’s all automatic, just push that button. The big button. It’s not working? Oh, I didn’t turn it on. Sorry. Here.
OK, everybody … cheese! It didn’t flash. Did it make a beeping sound? Oh, that’s right, I forgot, you have to push the button down halfway at first. Sorry. Here, try again …
Prerequisites: A realization that you do the same thing when you’re on vacation.
Humanities, “Pretending to Understand Poetry”
This course further explores the elusive world of poetry and how to make it work for you. Learn the subtle nuances of using phrases like “subtle nuances.” Learn when to say “iambic pentameter” and how to pronounce “onomatopoeia.”
Prerequisites: Using Poetry to Get Laid 101
Communications, “Introduction to Introductions”
Introducing the latest introductory-level communications course, “Introduction to Introductions.” This course introduces several new methods of introducing yourself, both at gatherings and one on one. Highly recommended for those who don’t know everyone yet.
Prerequisites: Intermediate Level Chitchat Skills
Computers, “How to SPAM”
Deep down, you know that the world needs a bigger penis. And who better to provide it than you?
You may have thought you would be forever on the receiving end of SPAM, but this one-day, noncredit course will teach you how to make a fortune irritating others. No spelling or grammar skills required.
Occupations, “Elvis Impersonator Impersonation”
Geared toward the younger student who has no idea who Elvis is, and in fact thinks “Elvis Impersonator” is one word. This class is required for a degree in Dead Celebrity Impersonating, and credits are transferable.
Emergency Medical Services, “CPR for the Soul”
This course offers an overview of holistic emergency medicine, from soothing words to offer someone who’s choking (“Just relax … breathe in deep blue calm, breathe out chicken bone …”) to appropriate chants for healing compound fractures (“Owwwwwww …”). Students should bring a rigid distrust of Western Medicine to the first class.
Advanced mathematical techniques that you struggled your way through in high school and promptly forgot because you never had occasion to use them in the real world.
Prerequisites: Long Division Refresher
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The past sneaks up on us in the strangest of ways, and I don’t mean bounty hunters flashing those “Wanted: Dead or Alive” posters in our faces.