Wednesday, October 5, 1988

Indecisive Studies

When I first got to UCSC in 1988, a number of my hallmates got in a conversation about majors, and we asked one hallmate what her major was going to be. She said she hadn't decided yet. I wrote this major for her. She and other hallmates were originally listed as "professors." Also, the buildings I used for the "in its upcoming move" line have changed through the years. I believe they were originally planning to move to Nat Sci III, a building now long since built. I finally quit trying to keep up with the frantic pace of UCSC construction.

This may not be at all funny without the background of what UCSC's catalogs look like, but what the heck.

Indecisive Studies

Faculty and Professional Interests

   Hoo K. Aires, Professor of Politics, Stevenson
   Diplomacy and the open mind, undifferentiated products 

   May Bhee, Associate Professor of History of Consciousness, Kresge
   East Asian indecisiveness

   Vic R. Bray, Lecturer of History of Consciousness, Oakes
   Tudor-era indecisiveness, agnosticism, Olivier's Hamlet
   C. Ross Campus, Professor of Education, Merrill 
   Academic advising, class shopping, university administration 

   Knot Know, Professor of American Studies, Cowell
   Procrastination, hypocrisy, history of "No Comment"

   P. R. Haps Nott, Assistant Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Porter
   Quantum uncertainty principle, indecisiveness from the cosmic perspective

   Aaron R. Priven, Professor of Sociology, College Eight, Coordinator
   Western cultural indecisiveness, mostly


   The Indecisive Studies Committee is at this time (it is believed) a group 
of faculty members (well, they could be faculty members; frankly, we've never 
checked) who have not yet decided that they want to help students who are 
similarly irresolute. The Committee may possibly like to see students who are 
unsettled about their academic interests and are indetermined to continue on 
in such a fashion in the future. The Committee may offer a path for students 
with any possible interests, except perhaps psychobiology (well, maybe even 
   The Committee has recommended in the past (although this may change 
without notice) that incoming students prepare themselves in many different 
subjects, although theater arts and engineering courses are stressed on 
alternate Thursdays. (Or was that Tuesdays?) 
   The Indecisive Studies Committee office was last known to be located at 
313 Merrill, and could be telephoned at 459-2850, but the office furniture 
and supplies have been put in storage at Hahn Student Services in preparation 
for a move to the new College Eight facilities (or was that Natural Sciences 

Requirements for the Major

   Eleven or so courses and something of a comprehensive are required for a 
B.A.  Those requirements are (at press time): 
   Introduction to Indecisiveness, Perhaps (course 10). This 
course may provide a basic study of modern indecisiveness for those who are 
not sure they want to enter the major. 
   Sort-Of-Advanced Indecisiveness (course 100). This has given 
students (in the past) a strong foundation in whatever the fundamentals of 
Indecisive Studies are. 
   Two upper-division courses from each division, and two from the arts. Arts 
courses may not be used to satisfy humanities requirements except in years ab 
urbe condita divisible by 3. 
   One other upper-division indecisiveness course, well, unless you don't 
have time this quarter. 
   Completion of an oral comprehensive examination or senior thesis. 
Alternatively, this requirement may be satisfied by doing the coordinator's 
laundry for a month, if the coordinator doesn't get too nervous about being 
found out. 

Lower-Division Courses

10. Introduction to Indecisive Studies, Perhaps
   Introduction to what might be the major.  May discuss the nature of 
indecisiveness and why people don't choose to become indecisive. Or do they? 
Maybe you can find out.  Studies indecision, frustration, and the burdens of 
choice.  Field study in the 5th week at Baskin-Robbins. (General education 
code: either IH, IN, or IS, but nobody's really sure.) The Staff 

42. Student-Directed Seminar.
   Seminars taught sometimes by upper-division students under faculty 
supervision (but not necessarily much of it). (See course 193, or was that 
192? Whatever.) Prerequsite: consent of instructor and a note from the 
chairperson of any board beginning with "C" or "E."

80. Topical courses.

These courses probably deal with a single subject, somewhat in-depth. That's 
the intention, anyway. 

   Q. Hypocrisy and Cowardice in 1950's America.
   Might well deal with McCarthyism and the refusal of many to commit to it. 
Discusses the reaction (or lack of it) by the moderate-to-liberal business 
community and media to the assault upon leftist groups by the House Un-
American Activities Committee, and in doing so will try to find out what an 
un-American activity is anyway. (General education code: T, usually.) K. Know 

   Z. Strategies for Course Selection 
   All (well, most) about courses at UCSC and how to avoid picking yours 
until the last minute, if even then. How to shop for classes, how to attend 
two different classes at the same time for at least the first week, tutorials 
on Add/Drop Petitions and Late Fee Waiver Petitions. (General education code: 
T, W for designated sections.) C. Campus 

Upper-Division Courses

100A. Sort-of-Advanced Indecisiveness.
   Mostly a continuation of studies from course 10. Goes into vacillation, 
incohesiveness, confusion, and coin-tossing, and the effects on American and 
world society. Priority given to majors and people who say "please" a lot. 
Prerequsite: course 10, or an equivalent course at another institution. A. 
Priven, K. Know 

100L. Sort-of-Advanced Indecisiveness Laboratory (.2 course credit).
   Laboratory sequence studying some (but not all, probably) of the topics 
covered in 100A. One about three-hour laboratory section per week. 
Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in 100A (or promising you will take it 
real real soon). The Staff 

120A-*B. The Western Tradition.
   Studies the way indecisiveness has progressed in the West. A: Begins with 
Greek and Roman indecisiveness and continues through indecisiveness in the 
Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Special seminars on Hannibal: to stay in 
Italy or to return to Carthage; and on Jerome's literary decisions.  Special 
unit on the English Reformation. B: Post-Renaissance indecisiveness.  English 
public opinion during the Revolutionary War, French monarchism and 
republicanism, Haiti's status as a colony, and American isolationism. A: A. 
Priven, V. Bray; B:  A. Priven, H. Aires 

140. Eastern Indecisiveness.
   Indecisiveness in Eastern religions and the works of Eastern philosophers, 
including Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist, Vedic, and Shinto thought. (Well, I 
guess including that... I really haven't made up my mind yet.) Also studies 
uncertainty within the Eastern religions' world view, if there is any. M. 

163. Uncertainty in Modern Physics
   Analysis of the uncertainty principle: Schrödinger's and Heisenberg's 
revelations and what they mean to modern science, philosophy, and religion. 
Relation of the uncertainty principle to indecisivism and the way in which 
indecisivists have affected modern physics. P. R. H. Nott 

187. Study for the Comprehensive Examination.
   Reading and discussion under individual direction (if you can decide what 
to read and what to discuss). Required of majors who are taking the 
comprehensive examination, unless you complain to the coordinator enough. 

192. Directed (sometimes) Student Teaching.
   Teaching a lower-division seminar (if anybody shows up) under some 
(usually not much) amount of faculty supervision. (See course, uh, 42.) 
Prerequisite: upper-division standing (or sitting, if you have a broken leg); 
submission of a proposal supported somewhat by a faculty member willing to do 
what passes for supervision. The Staff 

195A-B. Senior Essay.
   Preparation for the senior thesis over one or two quarters normally 
including the middle quarter of the senior year. If taken as a multiple-term 
course, the grade and narrative evaluation submitted for the final quarter 
will apply for the first quarter unless a Petition to Erase the Evil IP is 
filed. The Staff 

196. Coordinator's Laundry. 
   Students selecting this method of fulfilling the comprehensive requirement 
may take this class to receive credit for the work.  Due to odiferous 
footwear, prospective students with olfactory nerves are cautioned against 
taking the course. A. Priven 

198. Independent Field Study.
   This course is to provide for off-campus work for credit. Only offered to 
nonmajors because no Indecisive Studies major could decide where to go. The 

199. Tutorial.
   Independent projects carried out under supervision of the faculty, or at 
least part of it. Prerequisite: bribery of the coordinator.