The air is getting thinner and the morning breeze is being felt down to the bones. Holiday decorations are sprouting in the stores as wish-filled lists are being made. It happens every year, but always arrives with much surprise and a little angst. Andy Williams may have captured this atmosphere best when he so beautifully sang his popular tune, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year. Of course, I am referring to class registration week.


Luckily, my days of searching for classes and waking up before the sun’s morning rays are behind me. Admittedly, having every class that I wanted to register for available for the taking was one of the most luring aspects of graduate school. I could smile at the undergrad’s droopy eyes and frantic paces as I reminisced with some early-seasoned spiced apple cider. No pressures, no worrying, no early mornings… or so I thought. Tis the season, after all!

Most courses in my program are specifically either for first year or second year students (there are about ten students per year). There are also electives, but they rarely fill to their it’s-more-of-a-guideline capacity. So, everyone is usually happy. Next semester, however, there is a brand new course that is exciting students in both years. The problem is that the capacity limit is strict for this course because it entails several field trips and, simply put, our program’s van is not that big.

So, once again, I found myself setting the alarm clock for six in the morning and feeling the mounting pressure of having to be the quickest to copy and paste my course numbers into the system. When dealing with stressful situations, the best thing I have found is to combat it with humor – such is the reason why I have been forgoing my school work. Instead, I have been dreaming of an ideal world where grad students could create their own classes.

The result is the Ultimate Class Wish List:

1. Netflix Symposium

TR (10:00pm – 11:30pm)

This course is dedicated to the original shows created by and found on the online streaming sensation known as Netflix. Throughout the semester, we will re-watch current shows (Orange Is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) while discussing upcoming season premieres (A Series of Unfortunate Events). The final will be a comprehensive research project about the evolution of Jesse Katsopolis from Full House into Fuller House.

2. Fundamentals of Couponing

S (05:30pm – 08:00pm)

Overview to the often overlooked money-saver: coupons. In addition to the best places to find them, we will also discuss their history, their importance to the community, and their impact to the business of stores. Weekly guest speakers will include company owners and stay-at-home mothers. Students will be making their own couponing binders and a thesis on the topic of extreme couponing will decided this pass/fail course.

3. Introduction to Coffee Management

MWF (05:00am – 06:00am)

In this course, we will explore the different concoctions of the addictive, caffeinated beverage. Firsthand experience will be gained through trips to local cafes, Common Grounds and Dichotomy. We will answer questions like: Is latte art really necessary? Are pumpkin spiced lattes actually tasty (or have people just been brainwashed to think so)? Is frozen coffee more than a trend? And how does one successfully approach a perpetually angry barista?


4. Advanced Naptime

MTWRF (02:00pm – 03:30pm)

Pre-requisites: Naptime I and II

This advanced course will build upon the foundations presented in Naptime I and II. Throughout the semester, we will continue to study the importance of a better sleep when time is of the essence and how to achieve it in a public space. Advanced Naptime will satisfy the lab requirement as we will observe which position (back, stomach, side, fetal) is most commonly practiced while napping. As always, jammies and stuffed animals are required.

Back to work.

By Matthew Doyen