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Bateman: The Moustache College of America

By Oliver Bateman

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If you’re like at least 25 percent of your peers, you’ve probably tried to sit through a big lecture class. And if you’re like anyone else who has ever gone to one of those big lecture classes — instructors included — you’ve probably found yourself saying, “My goodness, what a snoozefest!” If you’re like at least 25 percent of your peers, you’ve probably tried to sit through a big lecture class. And if you’re like anyone else who has ever gone to one of those big lecture classes — instructors included — you’ve probably found yourself saying, “My goodness, what a snoozefest!” Yep, there are no two ways around it: College is even more boring than the extended edition, almost-nine-hour-long Director’s Cut of “Blade Runner.”

However, there’s no reason that it has to be so awful. In fact, if we were running the show, your undergraduate experiences would be every bit as fun as those portrayed by award-winning actors in “American Pie 2,” “American Pie Presents Band Camp” and “American Pie Presents Beta House.” What follows, then, is a point-by-point breakdown of how we’d make school cool even for folks who aren’t tools and fools.

Classes. Ugh, talk about a pain in the neck. There’s nothing worse than waking up at the crack of noon at some point in March, logging on to the new version of my.pitt.edu and discovering that you’re enrolled in a whole bunch of nonsense classes. U.S. history? English literature? Calculus? Who has time for all that when you’ve got a “Dancing with the Stars” party to attend and several thousands scalps to take during a marathon session of “Call of Duty 98: Innocent Civilian Abattoir”? Well, our super-school is going to scrap this fusty old crap and replace it with course offerings that will ensure you get your $70,000-of-student-loans-worth of entertainment. How does a loaded spring schedule of “Movie of the Week I: ‘Transformers,’” “Introduction to March Madness and Bracketology,” “Cool internship with the Pittsburgh Steelers where you just sit around and watch Steelers games over and over,” “Health and Physical Education: Advanced Chicken Fighting” and “Spring Break Study Abroad: World Bikini Tour” strike you? Of course, even if you love your courses, attendance will be optional.

Tests. Here’s another aspect of college that’s nothing but unpleasant. Let’s take a typical exam question: What year did the American Revolution begin? Now, unless you’re a Jeopardy! egghead or perhaps an unfairly “on-the-spot” Sarah Palin getting mugged by the left-wing media, you’re not going to want to take a stab at answering that. In fact, you’d probably prefer to run as far away from that brainteaser as you possibly could. Years of scientific research that we’ve just made up indicate that tests — or any current means of gauging progress in a class, for that matter — aren’t the least bit fair. Every question, including that last one, is laden with so much bias and confusion and deception that it’s impossible to arrive at a “correct” answer. In place of these tests, we’re going to have our instructors offer “chill-ins” where they cruise over to your pad and get a sense of your amazing vibes, grooves and so forth.

Instructors. Man, don’t get us started on those instructors! Why on earth would anyone pay top dollar to listen to a bunch of grandmas and grandpas whisper tedious monologues about Foucault, rhizomes and aporias? If we’re shelling out $70,000, we expect to see someone who could give Bachelor Brad or disgraced Sen. John Edwards a run for their money in the looks department. To remedy this problem, we plan to add a “hot or not” field on our student evaluation forms. If the instructors don’t measure up, they’re out the door. Oh, and the remaining teachers — Bachelor Brad levels of hot or not — should boast well-honed shtick that puts them on par with legendary yuksters Sinbad and Dane Cook.

Food. In order to better serve the dietary needs of undergraduates on the freshman-15 hardgaining plan, we intend to add restaurants serving $5 pizzas to the meal plan. Vast amounts of Mountain Dew (and its neon-colored variants) and Cheetos will be dispensed during the remaining “classes” in the hopes of keeping the students/paying customers awake.

Housing. All students over 21 will be housed in small, filthy and dimly-lit apartments located above pubs and speakeasies in the South Side. This part of our plan — which is quite logical, given young people’s need to “get frosty” and “smashfaced” — will also afford these students easy access to the “hair of the dog” necessary for rapid hangover recovery.

Clubs. Clubs will still exist, but they will be managed by paid employees instead of students. Accordingly, students will be able to maintain membership in numerous clubs and thus burnish their CVs while still devoting sufficient time to securing a high rank in the online ladder for “Call of Duty 1008: Beating Peasants to Death With a Hammer.”

Study abroad. As noted earlier, study abroad programs will continue, but only in locations where “light” narcotic use has been decriminalized and bathing suits can be worn outdoors year-round.

Although traditionalists might cavil at our bold plan, we would respond by arguing that we are merely adjusting the purposes of higher education to meet the demands of consumers. As the University of Phoenix and other prestigious online schools have proven, the customer is always right. And so are you, regardless of whether you answered “1066,” “1492” or “1941” to that question about the American Revolution.

Oliver Bateman is the junior admissions officer at the Moustache College of America. Apply for one of our best-selling correspondence courses at moustacheclubofamerica.com and follow our live classroom feed at http://twitter.com/#!/MoustacheClubUS.

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Bateman: The Moustache College of America