Events Editor Isabel Sepúlveda is a nerd! She’s finally fusing her academic nerdiness and her mainstream nerdiness to evolve into her Ultimate Nerd Form.
If you need a quick crash course in what the heck alignments are, these are basically the definitions this post is using. Feel free to argue with me in the comments about it, I suppose.
Lawful Good: Unfortunately, I am not a Woman in STEM, but even as someone who can barely do math, I have to say that the Science Requirement is essentially good at heart. It just wants you to have some basic knowledge of how the world works. Though it operates by its strict codes (you must take 3 classes that are at least 3 credits each and only one can be a pure math class etc etc), it includesso many courses for people who are as incompetent at math as I am, and I think that’s beautiful.
Neutral Good: Like the Science Requirement before it, the Foreign Language Requirement just wants to open up new worlds and opportunities for students. Sure, sheer space it takes up in student schedules is frustrating and it can be really hard to get into a class for popular languages (rip anyone trying to into an intro Spanish course), but there’s an easy progression to follow. And there are just so many options. You can even take languages at NYU or teleconference into other Ivies to take classes in so many languages; that’s hot.
Chaotic Good: While I’m hugely in favor of any way to add diverse voice into the core, I’ll be the first to admit that the Global Core is a bit of a mess. I took Hispanic Cultures I to meet one of my requirements, and that class almost solely focused on Spain before 1500; it’s one of several classes you can take that, while technically meeting the requirements, seem to violate the spirit of the Global Core. On the other hand, there are so many absolutely fantastic classes you can take that open your mind to new experiences.
Lawful Neutral: Art Hum and Music Hum are being put here because, to be honest, I didn’t really have anywhere else to put them. But it kind of fits. While all the critiques about diversity and canonization that apply to CC and LitHum apply here, they’re also only a semester long and for the most part require a lot less time and energy, leaving you free to do literally anything else.
True Neutral: The Physical Education Requirement (swim test included) wants you to go to Dodge because let’s be honest. You know that you’re not going to get yourself there. Sure, it can be kind of dumb and most of us are still scarred from our high school gym class experience, but these classes are pass/fail, so as long as you show up, you won’t kill your GPA, which is more than can be said for other Core classes. Also you know you’re just going to skip as often as possible anyway, so does any of that even matter?
Chaotic Neutral: Everyone I’ve talked to who has taken University Writing either had the best experience of their academic life or has blocked the hellish experience from their mind (until someone brings it up and allows them to rant uninterrupted for any length of time). The introduction of some topically focused sections diversifies the syllabus and can make for an interesting semester if you can manage to register for them, but do little to thwart the chaotic energy.
Lawful Evil: According to the website linked above, lawful people “tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties” which is basically Contemporary Civilization‘s whole thing. And a lawful evil person “methodically takes what he wants within the limits of his code of conduct without regard for whom it hurts” which sounds a whole heck of a lot like Sepúlveda and las Casas you know, rationalizing slavery for example. (It also sounds a bit like defenses of the Core (CC in particular) that value the writings of the Western canon over the feelings voiced by countless students of color over the years, but maybe that’s just me.)
Neutral Evil: Literature Humanities is Neutral Evil for a lot of the same reasons that CC is lawful evil. But reading narratives instead of philosophical treatises adds a little bit more chaos to the endeavor; that’s what you get when you add talking animals and tilting at windmills and love stories into your big philosophical discussions you know. These are the authors who broke the rules to make the rules, literarily speaking and that’s what Neutral Evil is all about.
Chaotic Evil: Oh, the duality of the Core, to have Frontiers of Science be so evil while the rest of the Science Requirement is…not. Truly a class without a constituency, it is too math-y for the humanities people and not math-y enough for the STEM students. The lectures are on Monday mornings (and attendance is “mandatory”); the final is during the weekend. It requires you to obtain an iClicker you will likely never use again. Occasionally, professors strip while 9/11 footage plays in the background. For every other alignment, I’m open to argument, but if you think there’s any class more Chaotic Evil than FroSci, you’re wrong.
natural 20 bby via Clément Bucco-Lechat // Wikimedia Commons