In one of the most beloved and intensely “Swarthmorean” traditions on campus, this coming weekend will feature the eagerly anticipated “Peripeteia,” three days of classes in unorthodox disciplines taught by students and faculty who would not otherwise be teaching them. This fourth iteration of the annual tradition will feature a host of classes taught by professors and staff at the college, a few of which have managed to generate audible buzzing and murmuring on campus.
Professor Bryn Lyn Holter is slated to teach a class titled “How to Not Return Student Work for 14 Months.” Excitement for this class has been building for months among students who have taken Professor Holter’s Snack Engineering course. “I took Snack Engineering spring of my sophomore year, and I still haven’t gotten my grade back,” said senior Aahil Reader. “Honestly at this point I’m not even mad, I just want to know how she does it.” Cheyanne Coffey, who graduated in 2010, displayed similar sentiments. “It’s been almost ten years now, and nothing about my undergraduate education matters anymore, but I am still kept up at night wondering how it’s possible that I still have not received my grade from Snack Engineering yet.”
Also in the Engineering department, Professor E.N. Gineering will be teaching a class on how to keep students in the engineering department. “I’m not in engineering anymore,” said sophomore Kareena Redmond, who dropped the major after taking E006 with Professor Gineering. “But if I ever start my own engineering department I feel like it would be useful to know how to keep my students from abandoning the department because of my class.”
Andrew Worde, who taught a similar class at Stanford, will be teaching a class on how to not bring up Stanford every five seconds. “I feel like if I got a PhD in Psychology at Stanford I’d probably end up mentioning that constantly,” said Lucien Nixon, who is currently in Professor Worde’s Intro to Psychology class. “But I’m worried that it might kind of annoy my students so it’d be better if I just found some way to manage that impulse.”
By popular, near universal demand among the sophomore class, Dean Lin Herrickson and Dean Timothy Samuel recently submitted a last minute application to teach a class titled “How to Sing ‘Baby Shark’ (correctly) in Front of the Entire Sophomore Class.” Sophomore Augustus Timms said he was left “bewildered” by the deans’ performance during Chocolate, Chai, and Choosing, since “they didn’t actually say the right words.” This was, understandably, a disappointment to Timms. “So I’m looking forward to this course, because it will be an opportunity for them to reconcile their mistake – more than an apology, a real step forward, in true good faith.”
Also in good faith, Zil Nuarb will be returning to campus to teach a class titled “How to Not Mishandle Sexual Assault Cases.” This has caused a bit of an uproar on campus recently, but most of the controversy was quelled when Nuarb explained that “No one is more fit to discuss this topic than me, owing to my previous experience in the matter.”
Among many others, roommates Carole Lott and Mea Cummings have expressed great interest in Ignatius Hausamann’ class “How to Create the Most Dysfunctional Roommate Pairings.” Lott said, “Mea and I are complete opposites in every way, and we absolutely hate each other. Clearly Ignatius Hausamann, Director of Campus Cohabitation, has some kind of remarkable ability to identify exactly which student should be paired up with which other student to create the perfect match, and then to instead do the exact opposite of that. It’s actually quite remarkable.”
Fighting the sandman during his recent philosophy class with Professor Carl Laff, junior Kajus Roth expressed interest in his professor’s upcoming Peripeteia class titled “How to Fight Narcolepsy in Class.” Roth explained, “Laff is a great professor, and he’s taught thousands of students, the majority of whom I’m sure have gained a tremendous amount from his teaching. So he must have some sort of secret technique that he teaches to prevent his students from falling asleep every time they’re in his class. I must have been asleep when he taught us how to do that, I guess.”
Rebecca Black of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics will be teaching a class on “How to Wake Up in the Morning at 7:00 a.m., Get Dressed, and Go Downstairs,” among other things. “She teaches my Math 025 class at 8:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday,” said Korben Mackie with a certain dread in his voice, “getting up so early to go to calculus is such a drag, but somehow I feel like Rebecca Black is perfectly suited to teach about what the ideal morning routine should be. I can’t quite put my finger on why.”
At press time, several other professors and faculty members announced that they will be teaching classes. Biology professor Serena Rollins, whose lectures students describe as “too focused on biology” and “lacking any content about particles and things on the molecular scale” will be teaching a physics class. Tim Pock ’90 will be teaching a class titled “How to Make Out With Your Partner in Just the Right Place On Campus So That A Photograph Of the Smooch Becomes Immortalized in Your Yearbook”. Finally, a few linguistics professors will teach a class on “How to Somehow Be Even More Awkward Than a Swarthmore Student”, and the Classics department will teach a class titled “How to Attract Large Numbers of First-Years to Your Department”.
*Editor’s Note: This piece is satire.