Are you a culturally sensitive liberal who longs for more similar-minded students to agree with? Are you that kind of person who really wants to hear what you already believe over and over again? Are you white and feel a bit guilty?
Coming to Vanderbilt this spring, “Being Liberal and Also a Dick” (PSCI 2032) – a discussion-based class specifically tailored to the minds of elite north-easterners who already know where they stand on most major issues. Don’t worry if you aren’t up-to-date on American immigration policy. As long as you don’t bring up the devastating avocado shortage and instead criticize ICE for keeping over 12,000 children in cages, you’re sure to earn the approval of your classmates. As one student explained, “If you can occasionally rephrase the last comment that was made you’ll be fine. Most of the class is just waiting for your chance to interrupt and contribute.” Additionally, slipping in phrases like “watch that micro-aggression” or “I also get hard critiquing the military industrial complex” are sure to boost your participation grade.
As the year progresses, the diverse and open-minded sections aim to create a more accepting and left wing Vanderbilt community. Assignments for the class generally involve skimming over Huffington Post articles as well as reading about the struggle of underpaid third world workers through the CNN app on your $1000 iPhone. Other aspects of the class include a field trip to a Tennessee jail so you can finally tell everyone that you know first hand how terrible the American prison system is.
Grading is generally done via the professor’s personal opinion, although there are some extra credit opportunities, such as finding similarities between Trump and Hitler or writing an op-ed for the Hustler. Also, get ready to spend ridiculous amounts of money at Barnes and Nobles because this class has 37 hard covers to buy and never read, including Tweeting Away Fascism and President Bernie: Our Lord and Savior. Fortunately you won’t need to take notes on any of them because that would obviously perpetuate ableism by targeting people without hands or eyes.
Finally, make sure to have a little fun with your peers along the way. You can always bond with classmates over stories about your two-week trip to Guatemala where you hammered a nail into a house and solved the country’s economic strife or perhaps brag about your 23andMe results that prove you had a Chickasaw ancestor (which basically means you were at the Trail of Tears). Just remember: if someone says something that you don’t like, it’s probably not true. Simply stop listening, and the opinion is sure to disappear.