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/ November 28, 2012
Not Sure What You’re Taking Next Semester? Try A Fun Elective

On a Wednesday in the middle of registration week, you’re either finished navigating NYU bureaucracy or about to encounter it. If you’re a freshman or sophomore, chances are you’ve been checking the status of your desired classes since registration began on Monday. And, as they keep turning to waitlists, you keep turning to the alternate schedules your advisor asked you to make, and to which you prayed you wouldn’t have to resort.

Whether you’re a senior who’s gotten all her first choices or a freshman who plans to “put away” all his requirements in the spring, you could probably use some space in your schedule for a fun elective.

Here’s a sample of some of the wildest electives from various NYU schools:

Puppetry in NY (H95.0015), 4 credits: A Tisch Open Arts course, the curriculum for Puppetry in New York is divided in two. The class begins as expected, with an overview of puppetry history and emphasis “on foundational elements.” Later in the semester, New York becomes “the campus” – as NYU bulletins are fond of saying – as students observe and critique puppet shows. Theory before practice, as it were.

Economics of Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll, 4 credits: It turns out that Stern kids do know to have fun. Well, at least they know how to study it. This course is your teacher’s answer to “When will we ever use this?” The class’s self-described takeaway is about how economics “can be used to help understand almost every aspect of human behavior, ranging from drug addition and prostitution to obesity and suicide.”

This professor is the kind whose syllabus is on his website and whose only required textbook is his own. Though you could probably learn most of the class by reading the book, you might also have a hard time finding another class that explores the economics of sex.

Lyrics on Lockdown (CLI-UG 1443), 4 credits: “Lyrics on Lockdown” is a special course even for Gallatin. Though it meets only on Wednesdays, students must also commit to Saturdays spent on Riker’s Island, which is the name of the city’s main jail complex, as well as the island on which it rests. Lyrics on Lockdown is a community-oriented class, and very much suited for those interested in public service, literacy, and populations in America that notoriously suffer from lack of attention.

Acting Medieval Lit (FREN-UA 868), 4 credits: CAS departments are misleading: Though listed as a language course, Acting Medieval Lit is French only in that some of the epic tales its students read were originally written in the language. (Old French, that is).

Coming from a relatively predictable semester in Written Contemporary French, I stumbled into Acting Medieval Lit with the idea that it was the same course as Acting French (also an elective option). Instead, our first class was spent circling our teacher and obeying her (English) commands to act like “an angry queen,” a “sad queen,” and an abashed lion.

The class was full of Tisch seniors who arrived with talent and left to pursue undoubtedly successful careers in LA. But Evelyn “Tammie” Vitz is a fantastic and understanding teacher with a true love of medieval literature. She wants to watch your efforts to bring ballads to the stage, which, as with Shakespeare’s plays, was their original function.

We can’t wait to meet the puppets!

[image via]