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Baseball course a hit at Maine college

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,793 Senior Member
edited October 2008 in College Life
"The course title refers to Boston's zealous fan base, of course, but it isn't just about the Red Sox. Instead, it takes a big-picture look at major league baseball and its place in American history and culture."

How do we parents feel about spending tuition dollars for courses like this?

International Herald Tribune
Post edited by Dave_Berry on
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Replies to: Baseball course a hit at Maine college

  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    This is not new. The late Harvard history professor William Gienapp offered a highly popular course on the history of baseball. At Yale, anthopology professor William Kelly is an expert on Japanese baseball. Gienapp was known to be extremely rigorous, not one to coddle students or to be an easy grader. Kelly has turned out a whole generation of anthropology Ph.D.s

    I would not mind my S taking such a course.
  • Lafalum84Lafalum84 Registered User Posts: 7,532 Senior Member
    Since it's open only to freshmen, it sounds like one of the Freshman Seminar type classes that are increasingly common at LACs. My son's LAC required all freshmen to take a first semester seminar, the topics ranged from War and Peace in the Modern World to Non-Western Religions to Poetry to Baseball. The subject matter isn't the main point of the seminar; teaching kids how to be a college student is. They focus on class discussion, how to use the college's library and writing center, etc. The college tries to come up with a wide variety of topics so that there's something for everyone. My S actually tried to sign up for the "Baseball" one but it was full, so he got his second choice.

    I don't have a problem with the course at all. Everyone needs electives, and a course that gets you to look at an everyday thing in new and deeper ways is a good thing, in my opinion.
  • ZamzamZamzam Registered User Posts: 854 Member
    My college offers Writing Seminars similar to what Lafalum's describing. We don't have one on baseball specifically, but we do have on on Bob Dylan's lyrics.

    However, at least your son isn't majoring in The Cultural Effects of the Chinese Tea Ritual. I saw that on a diploma at work and was informed that yes, it was real. (My opinion of "create your own major" is very similar to those "create your own adventure" books... very, very low.)

    Of course, I got flak from my stepmother about taking a dance class in college, so I'm not really an objective observer of frivolous courses.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    ^^I would not mind taking a class on the Cultural Effects of the Chinese Tea Ritual" but I have never heard of a diploma on the topic! Wow! How many classes would that involve?
  • csleslie51csleslie51 Registered User Posts: 1,172 Senior Member
    These were all offered as part of the college colloquium program for freshman at Willamette. Wish something like this had been available back when I was in school.
    # Ancient Greece and Rome in the Movies
    # The Art and Science of the Human Body
    # Beer, Wine, and Whiskey: Society under the Influence
    # Beyond the Bubble: Experience Salem
    # Bloomsbury and Modernism
    # Changing Times: The Music and Lyrics of Bob Dylan
    # Comic Books and Graphic Novels
    # Engaging Art: The Operettas of Gilbert and Sullivan
    # Freedom and Necessity
    # The Geography of Food
    # Irish Music, Culture, and Revolution
    # Jerusalem
    # Journeys across the Pacific: From Asia to America
    # Juggernauts of Popular Culture: The Internet and Consumerism
    # Karl Marx: Is He Still Worth Reading?
    # Laughter in the Darkness: The Drama of Samuel Beckett
    # Living Mathematics: The Greatest Discoveries of the Last 30 Years
    # Making the Grade: Motivation and Academic Success
    # The Manhattan Project: Studies in Science and Lessons for Mankind
    # Maps
    # Music, Identity, and Place
    # Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy: How Biology Informs Aesthetics
    # Pandemic!
    # Picturing Christ's Passion: From the Catacombs to Mel Gibson and Beyond
    # Pursuing Happiness: Choice or Chance?
    # Reading and Writing the Wild: Nature and Civilization
    # Revolution as a Vocation
    # The (R)evolution of Almod
  • SunnyktSunnykt Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    help me with which university is better UNF or FIU as soon as possible please thanks
  • amorris525amorris525 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I am currently in a baseball class at Lafayette College. It is a Freshman Seminar Class. Lafalum is right, so far we have learned how to use the library, discussed important baseball topics, and we will contine to talk about race issues in baseball, including reading Jackie Robinson's biography. It has been informative to me, a baseball fan, learning about baseball history and how it has affected America and how America has affected baseball. It is a nice change of pace from the normal class.
  • thatgirltoothatgirltoo Registered User Posts: 429 Member
    A few of those classes listed by csleslie51 sound like science classes for humanities students, who might shy away from the traditional biology, chemistry, and physics classes. We have a few of those at Cal, such as the highly popular "Physics for Future Presidents" class, or the "Drugs & The Brain" class.

    We also have a lot of very popular, undergrad student led (but faculty supported) classes that are good for 1-4 Pass/No Pass credits that are very similar to the list above. Some of the classes are OK to use as credit towards a major or minor, but most of them are only good for elective credits. The one I'm taking this semester is called "James Bond: Politics, Pop Culture, Hero." We have to write bi-monthly response papers and one longer end-of-semester essay, read one book every two weeks, and participate in discussions. It is easily my favorite class this semester. I think the idea is that the other classes at Cal are so tough that someone decided we needed a way to de-compress or de-stress, but the name is shortened from "Democratic Education at Cal" - DeCal.

    I'll bet that the "Geography of Food" class listed above is a tough course that encompasses issues such as development, poverty, equality, and imports/exports (some countries import a lot of their food [expensive] while they export almost everything they grow to more affluent countries all under the pretext of free trade).
  • churningchurning Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    My son would love that class as he is currently a Sports Management major. But I'm guessing they would have something similar at his school.
  • COlsen573COlsen573 Registered User Posts: 881 Member
    why do people waste their time and money on such useless courses
  • Tccc061990Tccc061990 Registered User Posts: 168 Junior Member
    COlsen573, useless is a very loose term. although i'm not a baseball fan, i would love to find out more about the social consequences of such a fervent fanbase, all tied in to baseball. everyone has their passions. why not let them learn more about them? i for one would love to take a class about the history of soccer. if anything, universities should have MORE classes like these, as some students are so caught up in major requirements that they forget about broadening their learning to other less traditional subjects.
  • DogwoodDogwood Registered User Posts: 495 Member
    Red Sox Nation is taking over the mindset of the world. Be afraid, be very afraid :)
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    Nonsense. Red Sox nation is right now probably in semi-mourning. :(

    But the history of baseball can be used as a way of studying American social and cultural history, sports architecture, the economics of sports, the impact of TV on sports, and a whole host of quite serious topics in history. Those who think of history as a series of kings, queens, presidents, battles and treaties are stuck somewhere in the early 20th century.
  • Lafalum84Lafalum84 Registered User Posts: 7,532 Senior Member
    No marite, we won't be in mourning until after the LA series.
  • DogwoodDogwood Registered User Posts: 495 Member
    Nonsense my foot (and a foot with a beautiful red sock on it!!). You people have little faith. The boys of Tito will rise up and lay claim to the trophy for another year. (Please let me live with my fantasy for a little bit:) )
    ...and this is from a woman who sat at Fenway Park until after midnight Friday night, in all that rain, hoping for a miracle.
    All in all, I think a course like the one offered, would be a pretty interesting one to take.
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