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New college degrees

Brooks Smith | Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Recently there’s been a lot of furor over the MRS and MR degrees, owing to a shocking expose by a SMC chick who revealed that neither of them were actual degrees. I have taken upon myself to provide a short, non-exhaustive list of other degrees that don’t exist but probably ought to.

The ABC (Anything But Class) Degree — Given to the graduating senior who has skipped class the most times in their college career.

The Rudy-gree — An award given to the student or students who have watched the movie “Rudy,” starring Sean Astin in the title role, the most times out of the senior class. Honorable mentions are given as follows: A Dork Award is given to those who have surpassed their classmates in repeat viewings of any movie from the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, which features Sean Astin as Frodo’s faithful sidekick Samwise Gamgee; and a Goon Award is given to those who have watched “Goonies” most out of anybody, which features Sean Astin as Mikey.

The Radian — Awarded to the science professor who has been most pedantic and nitpicky about units and significant digits. Also awarded to the undergraduate science major(s) who constantly raise their hand in science classes to ask question about — or correct the professor’s mistakes with — units and significant digits.

The Bachelor Degree — Awarded to the most eligible bachelor in the graduating class, for being so fine.

The Athlete’s Degree — Awarded to all athletes who manage to graduate, for their success in neither flunking out nor attempting to go pro as an undergraduate, like Jimmy Clausen.

The BS Degree — Not to be confused with the Bachelor of Science degree (what an apt name, right?), this degree goes to the graduating senior who has prevaricated the most about his or her alcohol abuse, academic excellence, sexual exploits and/or prowess or any of said experiences which took place in high school and are therefore unverifiable. Awarded by a jury of his/her peers.

The MIB Degree — When you open your diploma, you will find a blank sheet of paper. Do not panic or mention this sheet of paper to friends, family or Father Jenkins. Simply walk over to the Hesburgh Library and mention to the security guards at the front desk that you need to see Father Hesburgh about your degree. You will be escorted to the 13th floor and shown into Father Hesburgh’s office.

Father Hesburgh will be in one of those brown, tall-backed swivel chairs, looking out over campus and puffing on a stogie with his back to you. He will rotate slowly, shift the cigar to one side of his mouth, plant his hands firmly on the desk, and stand to greet you.

After the preliminary pleasantries, he will tell you that you have been specially selected to join the Men In Black. He will explain that, far from being a private Catholic university, Notre Dame is actually an extraterrestrial missile defense site. He will tell you that the Dome conceals a mounted array of 16 anti-positronic lasers which make up the entirety of North America’s alien invasion defense (and a bunch of other awesome facts.)

If you choose to accept, you will team up with wisecracking partner Will Smith and go on a number of wacky and harrowing adventures. If you decline, Father Hesburgh will flash you with one of those blinking red lights and then politely escort you out of his office, while telling you an entertaining story about some hijinks he used to get up to with Martin Luther King, Jr. Your regular diploma will arrive in the mail in four to six weeks.

The ABC (Always Been Crunk) Degree — Given to the graduating senior who has been, by popular acclamation, most often sloppily drunk over the course of their time at Notre Dame.

The Athlete Degree — Not to be confused with the similarly named Athlete’s Degree, this one goes to the male or female who has hooked up with the most athletes during their college tenure.

The 98 Degrees — A boy band from the late nineties and early oughts, not an actual college degree. If you see this on your diploma, something has gone seriously wrong.

The Tardy-gree — Awarded to that one kid who always showed up to class ten minutes late with a cup of coffee and took their sweet time unpacking while the professor and everyone else in the class shot them dirty looks that went completely over their head.

The Lagree — My roommate’s last name, also not an actual college degree. If you see this on your diploma, could you take out the trash for once? Jerk.

The MS Degree — Awarded to the most eligible bachelorette in the graduating class, for being so fine.

Feel free to make up your own degrees. I myself will spend the rest of the semester going full-throttle for the ABC.

Brooks Smith is a senior honors mathematics major and can be reached at bsmith26@nd.edu

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.