Take a Class with Todd Olson!

olsonkegs

I was tipped off today (thanks!), forwarded an e-mail from Vice President Against Student Affairs Todd Olson sent to 25 people whom he considers “student leaders.”  That apparently doesn’t include me.  Crying rivers over here.

There’s a big revelation in the e-mail: Olson is an “adjunct assistant professor” in the School of Nursing and Health Studies.  I’m pretty sure that is the worst possible title a professor can have.  He’s not just an adjunct, and he’s not just an assistant, he’s both.  And he teaches in… the NHS (you summon your own stereotypes on this one).  Olson must have cashed in a bunch of favors to be allowed to teach a real class, then whoever had to give him the job sighed and invented for him the most pathetic position possible.  “Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies.”  Amazing.  Here’s the e-mail:

Dear Student Leaders,

I’m just writing to let you know about an elective course I’m teaching in Spring 2010.  The attached flyer gives you an overview.  Last year, it seemed to be a useful course for upperclass students thinking about issues of leadership, involvement, health, and change on campus.  Please take a look, and sign up if you’re interested.  Please e-mail me if you have questions, and feel free to pass this along to others you know.

Thanks,

Todd Olson
Vice President for Student Affairs
Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Nursing and Health Studies

This is a useful course, you guys.  When you think leadership, what do you think of?  Todd Olson, of course.  A born leader.  If Todd Olson told you to jump off a bridge, would you?  Definitely, and you’d be saluting him the whole way down, crying because he has so much gravitas, is such a moving speaker, and is so attractive-looking.  This is a hypothetical, though.  In real life, Todd Olson would have already jumped off the bridge, leading by example. And also because his life is sad and he wants to commit suicide. But mostly leading by example.

And when you think health, you think Todd Olson.  That there is a fine physical specimen.  And change?  That’s Todd Olson’s middle name.  It’s not even capitalized, because that’s how hip Todd Olson is.  What, you’re still capitalizing your middle name?  Sorry Grandpa, times have changed.  Todd Olson is just so fucking in touch with change.

Lastly, let’s not forget involvement.  This is the hardest thing of all, and in many ways it can’t be taught.  I mean, being in a thing rather than not being in a thing.  It’s so hard to grasp.  I could teach a whole semester on it and never tease it out, but if anyone can do it, it’s Todd Olson.

Here’s the flier:

Looking for an interesting elective for Spring Semester?

Human Science 205

Group Dynamics in Health Promotion

#16639

Taught by Dr. Todd Olson, Vice President for Student Affairs

and Adjunct Assistant Professor,

School of Nursing and Health Studies

Fridays, 10:15 am to 12:05 pm, 3 credit hours

Open to sophomores and above

Course Description:

This seminar course is offered for 3 credit hours and will examine the role of students’ teamwork, leadership skills, developmental theory and community dynamics to improve the health and well-being of college students.   The campus community as the setting in which health promotion takes place will be integrated throughout the course.

The course will feature a high level of discussion and student engagement, and will include case analysis, theory presentations, student-led seminar discussions, and student group projects.

Explore questions like:

What is useful about exploring “the campus community” as a unit of measure in pursuing health promotion efforts?  How is a campus community distinct from and similar to other kinds of local and virtual communities?

What theories of leadership provide useful lenses for looking at how individuals can make a difference in health promotion?

What theories are useful in understanding the developmental transitions and tasks faced by college students?

What characterizes a high-performing team and distinguishes it from an average team?

How are teams uniquely situated to address community health issues and engage in health promotion?

Unfortunately, I cannot take the class.  I wish I had known “Human Science” was a real department, because it sounds really fake, but if I had known, maybe I would have looked in that section and seen Todd Olson’s glorious name and taken the class.  He already gives me a weird look when he sees me on campus (I don’t think it’s just because he’s really awkward, but I’m not sure).  I wonder how he would handle me subtly making fun of him the entire class.  Dammit, why am I graduating next month?

But thankfully, I can answer (or “explore”) these questions on my own without taking the class:

What is useful about exploring “the campus community” as a unit of measure in pursuing health promotion efforts?  How is a campus community distinct from and similar to other kinds of local and virtual communities?

There is nothing useful about using that as a unit of measure any more than asking how much health education you can fit into a meter of community.  Because the answer is always 5.44432.  5.44432 health educations per square meter of community, that’s the internationally accepted standard.  And a “‘campus community’” is distinct from other local communities in that it is defined by the fact that it includes a campus and distinct from other virtual communities in that it is not a virtual community but rather a thing that actually exists.

What theories of leadership provide useful lenses for looking at how individuals can make a difference in health promotion?

Fascism.

What theories are useful in understanding the developmental transitions and tasks faced by college students?

The one that says trying to force college students not to transition into adults who do adult things like drink alcohol and have sex never works, Todd Olson, you fucking idiot, it’s just annoying and burns through resources.

What characterizes a high-performing team and distinguishes it from an average team?

It does not include Todd Olson.  Or anyone else in the Georgetown administration.

How are teams uniquely situated to address community health issues and engage in health promotion?

They can play soccer against them?  Like in a tournament?  If the team beats all the community health issues in soccer, then all the issues are solved.  And there will be trophy ceremony at the end of class, and everyone will get a trophy for beating all the community health issues at soccer.  The end.  Go Team Olson!

New Heckler issue this week.  Watch for it.