Rocks for Jocks, etc. (UNCLASSIFIED)

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Apr 26 23:30:04 UTC 2010

The one I am most familiar with is Physics for Poets, but it had
/opposite/ meanings, depending on location. At Berkeley and some other
schools, it was a nearly math-free course for non-science majors that
satisfied the science distribution requirement. For example, see here:

Rocks for Jocks was similar.

At MIT, on the other hand, Physics for Poets was the highest level of
freshman physics, that supposedly encouraged scientific creativity.

The only other MIT denomination of this sort that I recall was the
self-explanatory "Food & Nuts", which became "Applied Biology
Department" and was eventually eliminated, with parts of it folded into
the Biology Dept.


On 4/26/2010 7:02 PM, Garson O'Toole wrote:
> Dave Wilton wrote:
>> I would guess "Darkness at Noon" is art history, due to the slide
>> presentations characteristic of the course,  a.k.a. "Art in the Dark."
> That agrees with the list of college course nicknames given in the
> Dictionary of Jargon excerpt listed below. The interpretation given by
> John Baker for "nuts and sluts" is supported, and the class mentioned
> by Gregory McNamee is included in the list.
> Citation: 1987, Dictionary of Jargon by Jonathon Green, Page 124,
> Routledge. (Google Books limited view)
> blabs in labs (linguistics),
> chokes and croaks (first aid and safety education),
> clapping for credit (music appreciation),
> darkness at noon (art history slide show),
> Gods for clods (comparative religion),
> holes and poles (sex education), …
> nuts and sluts (abnormal psychology),
> … Several more are listed in the text.

The American Dialect Society -

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