Feb 12, 2024

Introducing the College of Woke (C.O.W.): You’re Welcome

Flunk now and avoid the June rush!

By Ed Goldman

Have you ever been accused of being smug, condescending or prickly? And if you privately agreed, did you ever wonder if there were a way to not only codify but also monetize your irritating behavior?

Introducing The Goldman State College Of Woke. Here’s a sampling of our curriculum at C.O.W. 

Edgy Cartoon

Alma matters

I. WOKE 100—Why Is That Meant to Be Funny? 

An introductory “survey” course covering such topics as:

– Critical Race Theory (essentially, why it’s critical for you to have no theory about race); 

– TikTok Talkin’ to Your Tween or Teen (an especially useful way to get them to leave the room if you have a headache); 

– How to Become a Rad Dad, Calm Mom or Buzzin’ Cousin (this one’s simple: you leave the room);

– Learning About But Not Condemning the Confederate States of America (featuring lively discussions of Critical Race theories held by Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, John Wilkes Booth, and moderated by a hologram of Mr. Bojangles);

– A Gender Prefix Tutorial for the Uninitiated (see you there, Cis!);

– Adding More Letters, Symbols and Incomprehensible Punctuation to LGBTQI+ (or, Getting to Know the Top Line of Your Keyboard); and

– New Service Animals for This Decade (suggested candidates include potty-trained puffins, sac-weaned Australian joeys and hyenas on Weight Watchers’ New Opioid Program. Some lab work required—provided students bring their labs to class).

II. INTERMEDIATE WOKE—Is Caring about Russian Oligarchs and Hamas Terrorists the Same as Cultural Marxism?

(Note: This “track” will be re-introduced as soon as a hastily assembled cabal of scholars can respond in one voice to its titular question—and as soon as a few of them stop giggling at the word “titular”).

III. ADVANCED WOKE—How Brave are the “Braves” in the Home of the Brave? (For Canadian distant-learning participants, please add the expression “‘eh?” after the title.)

In this intensive near-graduate seminar, students will examine the United States military and police departments, and be encouraged to offer their considered (if completely uninformed) opinions on:

– Force reduction in times of global unrest: A good idea, or what?

– Defunding the cops to lessen urban crime: A timely concept, or what’ve you been smoking?


Featuring the following Charettes with Cohorts, which sounds much more serious than Classes with Classmates: 

  1. Making Friends with Dystopia (or, It’s Here, It’s Clear, so Chill, Mad Max);
  2. Multi-Tasking to Solve Societal Problems (e.g., Feeding Unpleasant Service Animals to the Hungry while Housing the Homeless in Former Pet Cemeteries);


Suggested topics include the following:

– “Food, Financial and Plain Ol’ Illiteracy—Why These Urban Challenges May Have a Symbiotic, Synergistic, Psychosomatic Something or Other” (Note: graduate students with lisps may thkip, uh, be excused from, the orals)

– “Why Being Homeless Is Not the Same as Being Houseless, Unhoused and Shelter-Lite” (Interviews with life coaches are heavily recommended, though talking to one of these people for more than 10 minutes should just about do it)

– “Labels: Is it Mexican-American, Chicano, Latino, Hispanic or Latinx? Is Identity One’s Destiny? And Is Destiny’s Child Beyoncé? And If So, Who’s the Father?” (Notes: If the student turns this into a book, C.O.W. will share in the advance and residuals. If adapted into a film, same deal. If the film is then spun off into a series, graphic novel or NetFlix series, C.O.W. will be so grateful it will have your child—Destiny’s or otherwise)

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Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).