It’s never very shocking when a story pops up about a piece of creative popular culture being used as the basis of a course at an accredited American university. After all, there are schools that offer courses on “The Simpsons” and “The Wire”, and those are both awesome. So why wouldn’t some colleges offer additional awesome courses? I’ll tell you why – because they open the doors for Twilight classes.
An “Intro to Fiction” course at Ohio State University has Twilight on the syllabus as required reading. Even better, it’s an honors course. But OSU isn’t alone in the sparkling vampires game. Last September, a Yahoo! Article pointed out that at least 7 other universities either had courses specifically about the Twilight series or at least involving the books and films. Among them – the University of Alabama (“The Twilight Saga”), the University of South Carolina (“The Twilight Saga and Religion”) and… Harvard University (“The Vampire in Literature and Film”). Harvard better hope they include Let the Right One In.
So why this sudden fuss about courses that began last fall? Because our American college students are losing their minds. Between the greater public awareness of student loan debts and the realization of sudden independence, college students have reported higher stress levels and lower emotional health, according to a study by the University of California. The responses indicate the worst results in 25 years, as more students are feeling the combined pressure of collegiate studies and a bad economy. Oh kids, always worrying. Thankfully, everything is awesome when college ends.
But some college students just don’t care about anything in general. Another study by some other people from other universities claims that by the end of their sophomore years, 45% of college students have shown no improvements in critical thinking, complex reasoning and… that other thing. Whatever, as long as they remember to wear condoms.
(Banner image via Epicponyz.)
- Twilight is the subject of an increasing number of sparkling college courses. (The Daily What)
- College freshmen finding themselves more stressed out, still drunk. (Bellingham Herald)
- Students aren’t learning… um,uh… stuff in their first two years at college. (The Signal)
- A 51-year old married French father of two is suing GlaxoSmithKline because he claims that the drug Requip – a Parkinson’s treatment drug – has turned him into an addict of gambling and gay pornography. And I liked this movie the first time when it was called Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy. (Fox News)
- Eunice Sanburn gave up her claim as the World’s Oldest Person on Monday when she died at the age of 115. This is great news for 114-year old Besse Cooper, who is the new reigning champ. Here’s to a long reign, Besse! (Gawker)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- That study I mentioned before about college kids not learning also points out that 50% of sophomores are not taking classes that require 20 or more pages of writing, and 32% aren’t taking classes that make them read at least 40 pages each week. That means their only papers are rolling. (Philly.com)
- Children’s book sales were up 4.9% in England from 2008 to 2009, and picture books were up an additional 13% as well. Industry experts attribute this to the Twilight series, which had the five best-selling children’s book titles in 2009. No word yet on where they rank among America’s college students. (BBC)