Class of the Living Dead

So you’re searching through the course catalog and you happen to stumble across “Dead 1101″ among the list, right between life skills and sociology. Intrigued, you sign up for this course and walk in on the the first day of class to your professor announcing to the students “Get your hatchet, chain saws, and shotguns ready, because we’re going to learn some science!”

As unlikely that may sound, the University of California will be offering their students a free course based on AMC’s ┬áthe Walking Dead, starting the day after the show’s season premier. A team of professors will be instructing the course on topics presented in the series, such as survival and the physiology of stress (what causes people to do what they do?)

When I went to college, we had courses similar to this, which were mainly just there to fill in those extra credits that you wouldn’t have much use for unless if you knew what you wanted to major in. One in particular covered survival scenarios such as what to do in case of an alien invasion or in a zombie or nuclear apocalypse; but after a while, professors felt as though they were only giving away free credits and neglecting to teach their students anything useful or meaningful.

While I am inclined to see this a just a waste of valuable time, if enough fact is presented, students could gain something out of such a course, possibly more than any sociology or life skills course could offer them. Such courses offer more engagement which, through practical application, could help you to retain more of those facts that what your typical textbook study could attempt. Besides, if you were to break this all down, wouldn’t this define “learning”?