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Translation of Your Tedious Terps Syllabus

When the icy campus streets subsided Wednesday, students finally got to go the classes their resentful parents are paying craploads for. But there was one little thing we all forgot: syllabus week, that pointless block of opening lectures dedicated to going over 10 pages of text that should really only take 5minutes. Well, The Black Sheep wades through all the bullshit and give you something more direct. Here’s an improved translation of your incredibly mind-numbing syllabus, so you know what it all really means.

10.) “Required Texts” translation: “Get Everything Free Online”: 


There are three “required” texts in this poetry course syllabus. Yeah, we’re going to take this to mean that if we can print all this shit off the internet for free, we should do that and spend all the money we saved on a “Major Rager” deluxe box of Insomnia Cookies instead.  

9.) “Learning Outcomes” translation: “Just Pass the Stupid Class”: 


By the end of this course, we will be able to 1.) Do everything last minute and somehow still pass this class. 2.) Skip lecture for weeks at a time and somehow still pass this class. 3.) Spend discussion contemplating what we want on my burger for lunch, how long it’s been since we took a shower, why Miley and Liam got back together all during discussion, and somehow still pass this class.

8.) “Discussion Sections” translation: “Cranky, Awkward Silence”:


Discussion sections are designed to make sure you come to anything other than your exams and give you something wretched to do on a perfectly good Friday morning. Teaching assistants are merely “facilitators” of your class discussion, but they eventually grow weary of all the unenthusiastic silence in between answers and somehow end up talking more than anyone else there.

7.) “Careful Reading ” translation: “Skim it Right Before Class”: 


You will spend the first week and a half reading materials several times each to grasp the concept. And then sometime after the Super Bowl, only 15 percent of the material will be read and the remaining 85 percent will be skimmed exactly twelve minutes prior to class.  

6.) “Tests” translation: “Descent into Madness”:


There will be three tests during the semester. You’ll probably do okay on the first, completely bomb the second, and have a Britney Spears-esque mental breakdown over the third one.

5.) “Grade Calculation” translation: “Ugh Everything’s Important”:


It may seem like between the tests, assignments, projects, and participation, some things matter more than others, but that’s not really true. Fuck up any one of these categories and consider yourself registering for this course all over again come next fall.

4.) “Courtesies” translation: “Common Sense”:


Punctuality is for your own good, okay? Because you don’t want to be that student forced to mortifyingly scoot his crotch through a tightly-packed aisle all for an empty seat while everyone in that row has to now get up out their seats because their fat knees are in the way.

3.) “No Laptops” translation: “UMD Hates Modern Life”: 


This class is way too indie, old school, and intellectual to allow the electronic distractions that plague our modern-day civilizations to interfere with the blessing that is pen, paper, and “real” communication.

2.) “Academic Integrity” translation: “Don’t Cheat, Yo”:


We don’t know what kind of Boy Meets World, Full House after-school special type shit you’re on right now, but contrary to popular belief, no one gets a warning when people find out he or she plagiarized anything. You get the boot, no questions asked. So don’t play those games.   

1.) “Assignments Schedule” translation: “Actually Important”:


This is literally the only part of the syllabus that matters.

So there you go. A realistic paraphrase of the class you have ahead of you. No sugar coating, excessive language, or unnecessary bold text permitted. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.

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