Group Commentary: Entertaining, enlightening electives

Might as well make fourth-year burnout fun.

MLCS 399: Hip Hop Culture (Rap class)

If you’re looking for a class where you can show off your mad rap skills or put that part of your brain that stores unnecessary song lyrics to the test, look no further. MLCS 399: Special Topics: Hip Hop Culture will have you sailing to that easy A faster than Busta Rhymes can drop a verse. This course has no prerequisites, no final exam, one textbook filled with lyrics from The Sugarhill Gang to Eminem, and no obligatory alternative stage name (although it is preferred).

What’s required in this course? An interest in rap music from the ‘80s until present, an understanding of 2Pac’s T.H.U.G. L.I.F.E., and motivation to analyze lyrics by The Wu-Tang Clan. The goal of the course is to learn about Edmonton’s hip hop scene and collaboratively write a book that showcases the findings.

So don’t let the 300-level fool you, this MLCS class is a fun and easy way to shed some light on your favourite rap songs. Unfortunately, you may be hard-pressed to find this class offered on Beartracks since Dr. Michael MacDonald left us to join the McEwan rivalry, but let’s hope someone will step up and teach this course again. — Ashton Mucha

Human Ecology 211 (Sex class)

This is the sex-ed class that the school boards didn’t want you to have. Instead of a very Catholic grade 7 teacher, you get a very funny sex therapist (Shaniff Esmail) who shamelessly illuminates your mind with sex as a physiological characteristic, as a component of identity and as an act.

There are humorous topics — toys, for example — but also more serious topics like desire disorders and mental illnesses. Something for everyone. The class isn’t hard as long as you can memorize a few things and get to class at 8:30 a.m. Get an A in this, because at some point you’re going to need to know the difference between a NuvaRing and a glowstick. -Jamie Sarkonak

Comparative Literature 242: Science Fiction (SciFi class)

I am going to recommend a course that would assuredly, and accurately, have gotten me called a nerd in grade school. 

It might seem odd to study sci-fi in the same fashion as the classic literary canon, but although you might not find a Firefly DVD collection on an Oxford professor’s bookshelf, popular sci-fi is by no means outside the scope of this course.

CLit 242 examines the entire genre of sci-fi, from its early beginnings to modern-day film and television. You’ll learn what H.G. Wells thought the year 802701 might look like, what Jules Verne thought might be at the centre of Earth and what humanity might be like if gender didn’t exist. You’ll take a trip through the various phases of 20th century sci-fi, such as cyperpunk, steampunk and new wave, and watch films like Blade Runner and Total Recall.

200-level comp lit courses are not what I would call easy 4.0s, but if you have an interest in literature or science fiction, this one is well worth taking. CLit 242 is a perfect choice for geeks like me who went to see The Force Awakens twice on opening night and know the answer to life, the universe and everything. — Riley Samson

ASL 111/112 (Sign language class)

I know how to talk with my hands now, that’s pretty neat. — Zach Borutski

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