I never managed to earn a college degree, but I believe that the experiences I had after dropping out of college were far more valuable than anything I could have learned in a classroom.However, I’m a big fan of continued and higher education, which is why I always get excited when the new catalog from my local community college shows up in my mailbox. I usually sign up for a class or two each quarter, as some of them seem to have been created just for me. Here are a few I’m considering for the fall session:ACCOUNTING”Accounting For The Narcoleptic”ACC-215Does the sight of a spreadsheet cause your eyes to roll back in your head? Does Quicken cause your pulse to do anything but? This course is designed with the financially immature in mind, and moves at a pleasant beginner’s pace. The first class involves the teacher merely saying the word “accrual” aloud, followed by a homework-free week to recover.A working knowledge of the numbers 1 through 6 is required. COMMUNICATIONS”Rationalization”COM-313Emphasis: How to hide your insecurity over having never earned a college degree. This course will assist you in convincing others that the experiences you had after dropping out of college were far more valuable than anything you could have learned in a classroom. Prerequisite: Ability to state (without bursting into tears over your early failures and inability to finish what you start) that despite being a college drop-out, you are a graduate of the “College of Life.” ART”Devil Horn/Beard Drawing”ART-206This course explores and nurtures the universal need to “enhance” newspaper/magazine/textbook photographs with the classic devil goatee and horns. Also covered will be blacked-out tooth, eye patch, arrow through the head and text bubble saying, “I suck.” Text required.COMPUTERS “Cover Your Tracks”CPU-301 This workshop introduces students to the frightening reality that in the virtual world “deleted” doesn’t always mean “gone.” Whether it’s Internet porn or Internet porn you wish to leave no trace of, this hands-on experience will show you how to keep your Internet activity undiscovered by your spouse, employer or congregation. Basic keystroking skills required.”Buying Crap Online”CPU-153This course will introduce you to the thrill of buying crap you don’t need from the comfort of your desk chair. Topics include where to find used and bargain crap, the safest ways to pay for the crap and how to discover crap you didn’t even know existed, then buy it. Bring a credit card and a burning desire for some crap. PHOTOGRAPHY”Portraiture”PHO-202Emphasis: The one-handed self-portrait. The first one-handed self-portrait is believed to have been taken approximately 12 minutes after the n see Barry on following page– continued from previous pagecamera was invented. This course explores this classic form as it applies to the age of digital photography, where holding your camera at arm’s length and taking a blurry, poorly framed shot of you and your drunken friend’s heads all pressed together is no longer considered a waste of “film.” Includes field trip.HUMANITIES”World Religions”REL-215An open-minded overview of the freaky, backward, screwed-up things that people other than you believe. Possible field trip to local houses of “worship” for instructor-led pointing and laughing. Materials: Students must be sin-free and provide own stones.MATH”Practical Calculus”CAL-103As if! This course explores the fact that nobody really knows what calculus is, what it is used for or who uses it. When was the last time you needed to know what a derivative was? Or an indefinite integral? Sure, maybe if you’re, like, an engineer or something, but they have computers to figure that stuff out for you now. Prerequisite: Practical Algebra, Practical Analytic Geometry.FOREIGN LANGUAGE”Eventual Spanish”LAN-01For the student who thinks he should really get around to learning Spanish some day. The class will explore the different ways of explaining that some day, probably soon, you will sign up for a Spanish class, because you really think that communication is the key to harmony, and you are all for harmony, and despite the abundance of Spanish classes you haven’t gotten around to it just yet, but you will, because you really think you should. Prerequisite: Pre-Spanish – “I Understand More Than I Speak.”Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is barry@Irrelativity.com, and his very own Web page is at http://www.Irrelativity.com
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold amounts of suffering and disruption, and we’ll probably tell those stories for the rest of our lives.