It was announced earlier this month that Lawrence will be offering a new course of study starting on April 1 of this year. The major is called busyness and will be offered as a Bachelor of Arts degree. The coursework requires an overload of five classes every single term while at Lawrence and engagement with at least six clubs and one sports team. Within those clubs, one must be regularly participating in club activities or hold a leadership position in at least two of them.
Finally, the coursework also requires students to maintain student employment for at least six terms while at Lawrence. Within these requirements, there are very few restrictions on what courses a student can take. Among the few required classes are several that are new and specially designed for this major, including BUSY 101: How to Live 30-Hours a Day, BUSY 250: Psychology of Never Sleeping and BUSY 403: The Cognitive Science of Multitasking (cross-listed as a cognitive science course).
The Senior Experience for the busyness major requires spending two full 24-hour days a week working on a research paper with little sleep and an unending supply of caffeine. This must be completed while still fulfilling all club and work obligations.
Finally, in order to inject some competition into this new field and potentially weed out those who really can’t handle the life of a full-time workaholic, there will be a competition throughout the academic year with various awards to be given at the end of spring term. Such awards will include “Most Club Positions at a Time,” “Most Caffeine Consumed,” “Longest Time without Sleep,” “Most Classes Taken at Once” and “Most Projects Ongoing at a Single Time.”
One may wonder why Lawrence would ever choose to create such a course of study as Busyness. It turns out that the university recently got wind of new scientific studies finding that sleep is really a useless endeavor, work is all-important and relaxation is just not worthwhile. This model would seem to be the same approach used by many corporations with high paying executives and impoverished workforces, so it must be a good idea to allow students to get ahead on their journey into the rat race.
Due to the open-ended nature of the requirements for a degree in busyness, it is a perfect candidate to be paired with other majors such as economics or geology. Either of these options provide a student with the ability to find a career in the high-paced, stress-filled, sleep-free corporate sector for minimal pay and few benefits. Such a degree could also prove useful to those pre-med or science majors who wish to work for underfunded government institutions where resources are scarce and multi-tasking a necessity.
Another advantage to the Lawrence and Appleton communities from this major is the influx of volunteer work that will take place because of the stringent requirements on students seeking a busyness degree to engage with various organizations, both on-campus and off. The final advantage for students is that this course of study, being as intensive as it is, represents an opportunity to push themselves to the absolute upper limit of their abilities as students and human beings.
This is a desirable trait in most industries or careers, and the degree represents an understanding that fun is something to be considered only tangentially important to productivity as students in this course of study won’t have time for fun and relaxation.
While it may seem like there could be potential disadvantages to busyness, such as a kind of sleep-zombie apocalypse, students can be assured that the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Wandering around in a near catatonic state, fueled entirely by caffeine and the undying fear of failure will become the new norm. By removing the need for relaxation, fun and a sense of well-being, students in the degree program of busyness will be able to streamline themselves to operate on pure unadulterated cortisol.
****It is advised that students should not operate heavy machinery or motor vehicles while undergoing this course of study****
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