Rocks for Jocks, etc. (UNCLASSIFIED)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Apr 27 15:56:40 UTC 2010

At 10:42 AM -0500 4/27/10, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:
>Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
>Caveats: NONE
>Jonathan Kaufman "A Yale Feast, a Nibble" _New York Times_ Jun 24, 1978;
>pg. 19 col 5
>"But "gut" courses -- easy courses that guaranteed a high grade with a
>minimal amount of work -- came to the rescue.  Among students, the
>nicknames of these courses soon became common knowledge:  Rocks for
>Jocks, Volts and Dolts, Wars and Whores."
>Lenore Skenazy "Gut Reaction" _Yale Daily News_ 9/13/1978 p 2 col3
>"Walk into the class late,
>Everyone's a-dozin'
>Once again I turn around,
>That course won't be chosen.
>I got the course-shoppin' blues
>And I'll tell you what,
>I'll take any course in anything
>So long as it's a gut.
>"Christ figures in the Bible,"

Thanks for the compilation, Bill.  I like the one above--the standard
response must have been "He sure does, especially in the New


>"The Bronx in History,"
>"Physics without Numbers,"
>"Trees in Forestry."
>I'll take music appreciation,
>To get an "A" you clap,
>Or the course in sleep and dreams where
>The final is a nap.
>"Moons for Goons," "Rocks for Jocks,"
>Even seminars if they'll
>Allow me to exercise the option
>Of taking them credit-fail.
>"Archeological Methods?" -- dig it!
>You can pass it just by looking deep,
>And "Words for Nerds" and "Wars and Whores"
>Are classes I know I'll keep.
>Intensive majors make me squirm,
>DS leaves me aghast, oh!
>Give 110 courses in
>Anthro, Afro, Astro!
>"Gods for Clods,"  "Math for Morons,"
>The options seem so endless.
>But for this non-education I plan
>I wish that I could spend less."
>_Family Weekly_ [Sunday newspaper supplement] 10/1/1978 p 19 col 1
>'On the academic side of college life, courses good for easy A's - like
>"rocks for jocks" (basic geology) or "astro-gut" (elementary astronomy)
>or "moonlight and magnolias" (history of the antebellum South) - are
>still called "guts," or, at the University of Wisconsin, "sacks." "
>_Yale Daily News_, 10/1/1980 p 6 col 2
>"Students don't go to "Introduction to Statistical Methods," they go to
>"Counting for Credit." "
>Courtney A Coursey, "The CONFI, the CUE, AND GUTS" _Harvard Crimson
>2/9/1996 p unk
>"Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature Gregory Nagy, who teaches
>Literature and Arts C-14: "The Concept of the Hero in Greek
>Civilization," also known as "Heroes for Zeros," says the term "gut"
>reflects a "strictly materialistic and cynical way of thinking about
>something that is much more important.""
>"Boris Alvarado '96 says he took "Rocks for Jocks" in part because "it
>seemed like the easiest Core [course] in the CUE Guide in terms of work
>and difficulty." "
>David A. Fahrenthold, "Harvard's Academic Core Gets Once-Over" 6/5/1997
>p. unk
>"Gen Ed's most famous gut was an introductory geology course in the
>natural sciences requirement, known informally as "Rocks for Jocks," or,
>as one alumnus put it, "Stones for Scholar-Athletes.""
>I was not familiar with "gut" in the sense used above; OED has it back
>to 1902.
>Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
>Caveats: NONE
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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