How to get a bachelor's degree in advanced silliness
Do you want to fascinate and horrify people by making the sound of an angry dolphin crossed with a teenage boy whose voice is breaking? Do you want a university degree? Well, why not combine both these goals by enrolling for a degree in yodelling at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Art?
According to the BBC, the Swiss university is now offering a three-year bachelor’s degree and two-year master’s, during which time you will learn the secrets of catastrophically loud throat-wobbling. (There is no word yet on whether it will also offer a degree in avoiding master’s-level yodellers, perhaps something along the lines of Defence Against The Dark Vocal Arts, but give it time.)
At first glance it seems a profoundly silly use of time and money, but this is unfair. Yodelling is a proud Swiss custom, and studying it more closely will undoubtedly help the Swiss understand themselves a little better.Which is why I think South African universities should emulate Switzerland by identifying some South African customs that seem, on the surface, antisocial and generally awful, but which can teach us about our true nature.
For example, right now there are thousands of Capetonians who would benefit from enrolling in a degree in Barely-Functional-Grade Maths. You’ve probably seen them yourself, angrily posting pictures online of the full-ish Steenbras dam and accusing the province of lying about the extent of the drought. In the first semester, these students can look forward to being given an empty bath and full glass of water, and being asked if everything’s quite as peachy as they thought. (Course requirements: extremely limited critical faculties, a keyboard, rage.)
Then there’s Political Physics, an advanced degree in which students discover how objects can alter their anatomical makeup simply by saying they have. For example, students who enrol in PP101 will do a course in Advanced Magashuling, observing how an entirely dirty object can briefly appear fractionally less dirty by associating with an object that looks comparatively clean. (Course requirements: students wishing to learn how to shape-shift without any consequences need only a cupboard containing smallanyana skeletons. Those students who do not have access to any skeletons should consider enrolling in Stalwarting101, which will teach them how to transform dirty objects into irrelevant objects.)Finally, those with a head for figures and the contacts to stay out of jail, a degree in Stellenbosch Finance is a must. Students will learn basic numero-culinary skills (how to cook books) before competing for a place in a highly competitive MBA (“Marcus, the Broederbond is Alarmed”) Course requirements: applicants must be white and believe that driving anything smaller than a Fortuner is a hate crime.
So. If any universities wish to hire me to help construct these new, uniquely South African degrees (and I’ve got more, like “Twitter Government: Retweets Are Basically Votes, Right, Commander-in-Chief?”), please e-mail me. I know you don’t have any money to pay me, but I’m sure we can work something out.