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Useful Pitches for USIE Seminars

March 4 is the last information session to learn more about the Undergraduate Student Initiated Education program. USIE allows interested juniors and seniors to design a one-unit lower division seminar to teach to other UCLA students. That’s right, you, an ordinary UCLA student, could add “teacher at the 12th best university in the world” to your resumé. Past seminar topics have included “Comic Books as Literature,” “Sociology of Facebook and Online Social Networks” and even “One Course to Rule Them All: Exploring J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings.’” In case you’re dying to create your own course but blanking on what your topic should be, here’s some suggestions:

1. Navigating the Endless Staircases of UCLA

Aimed at the newest additions to the Bruin family, this course teaches the skills needed to tackle the hills of campus. Learn the proper breathing techniques to use while powering through the last two flights of the classic Café 1919 “death stairs.” Analyze the proper geometric angles to position your legs, so you look like less of an idiot going down the “awkward stairs” by Covel. Discuss the proper icing procedures to soothe your newly enlarged calves. Explore alternative routes that cut down on staircase usage. You may have to allot more time for walking to class, but you’ll avoid the signature freshmen “I can’t believe I just climbed 250 stairs to get here” sweaty and distressed look.

2. The Science of Creating the Perfect Tinder Profile

Made obvious by the plethora of creepily too-close selfies and overused quotes, some people just don’t know what they are doing on Tinder. The class would be broken into small groups to evaluate the profiles of each individual student. Once you determine your strengths and weaknesses as a potential match, experts would come in to give guest lectures on a range of relevant topics like the “Do’s and Don’ts of Group Photos” and “How to Convey You’re Looking for Something Causal Without Coming Off Like a Creep.” By the end of the 10 weeks, you’ll have so many matches, you won’t know what to do with yourself. Be warned: you’re on your own for the actual date.

3. The Sport of Binge Watching

It is hip to claim to be a Netflix fanatic, but does everyone really know what it takes to watch an entire series in three days? One of the more active seminars, this class tackles the athletics behind laying down for hours on end. Students will be taught various exercises and stretches to avoid common injuries, such as eye strain and hand cramps. The second half of the course will highlight the essential food groups of a binge watcher’s diet: candy, chips and cookies. Final assessment includes watching 15 episodes of the student’s choosing while exhibiting all of the techniques learned throughout the quarter. This course really does bring a new meaning to “survival of the fittest.”

If you are inspired by any of these ideas, or have a few of your own, swing by Ackerman Union Room 3516 Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to hear more about the USIE program.

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3 Movies on Netflix That Are So Bad, They’re Kind of Good

Most of us have a Netflix tab open on our computer at any given time in the day. Since the creation of this archive of TV shows, movies, documentaries, etc., procrastination has become a whole different ballgame. Supplying us with season after season of our favorite TV shows – “Orange is the New Black,” “Game of Thrones,” “Breaking Bad” and “House of Cards” to name a few recent ones – the question has changed from “Will I find a reason to get out of bed?” to “Will I find a reason to get out of bed in the next 15 seconds?”

While most turn to Netflix to watch their favorite award-winning TV shows and movies, I’ve recently started to gravitate towards the other end of the spectrum and search for the cheesiest movies I could find. Why you might ask? Well sometimes there are those major flops that are just so ridiculous and poorly made that they are actually pretty entertaining! So I present you here with three of my most recent finds.

1. Coneheads”


While the plot is creative, the description for the movie provided by Netflix about an “odd alien family with cone-shaped heads, robot-like walks and an appetite for toilet paper” really gives everything away. The crazy, pointy-headed alien family will intentionally (and many times unintentionally) make you laugh out loud as they try to understand commonplace earthling activities. Starring, amongst others, beloved comedian Dan Aykroyd, this movie will leave you wondering, “What did I just spend an hour and 28 minutes watching?!?”

2. “Gigli”

confused gif

Widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time, this rom-com tells the story of two mobsters, Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) and Ricki (Jennifer Lopez), trying to carry out a kidnapping as they simultaneously fall in love. While I probably wouldn’t give this movie more than 1.5 stars on a good day, I’d still recommend it just for the Affleck-Lopez duo. Save this one for a rainy day, when there is literally nothing else to do.

3. “Highlander: Endgame”


Now for my action pick. In this movie, Connor Macleod must unite with family member Duncan Macleod in order to defeat Kell, an immortal ex-friend of Connor. Kell has been going on a 450-year-long rampage, killing everyone Connor loves as revenge after Connor killed him and his adoptive father for executing his mother. So you could say Kell has some issues with forgiveness. There’s a whole lot of violence, a whole lot of drama and whole lot of subpar special effects that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Kind of.

Honorable mention

OK this movie may not be available on Netflix, but if you haven’t seen “Troll 2,” drop everything you’re doing right now and watch it. This “horror” movie might actually give you an ab workout from laughing so hard at the low-budget troll costumes and unconvincing delivery of a very poorly written script and plot. Seriously, bring this when it’s your turn to pick for movie night. This movie trailer will give you a gist of what I mean.

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