The Peak’s special curriculum

Maybe it’s time we show you some culture

Illustrations of the covers of Glee, The Legend of Zelda: Animated Series, Mamma Mia, and The Fault in Our Stars
ILLUSTRATION: Hayeon Gil / The Peak

By: Petra Chase, Arts and Culture Editor, Kelly Chia, Humour Editor, Hannah Kazemi, Staff Writer, Olivia Visser, Opinions Editor


You’ve kindly taken your time to study and deconstruct theory after theory, assigning us only the best — or most standardized — works academia can offer. Now, it’s our turn to return the favour. You see, these recommendations you will hear about today have shaped us irrevocably as human beings, and therefore, how we approach your subjects. Whether for worse or for better, The Peak assigns you this essential guide to understanding culture, and therefore, us. We’re so considerate!

PHIL 101: The Ingenuity of The Fault in Our Stars
By: Petra Chase, AKA Starry-Eyed Arts & Culture Editor

The Fault in Our Stars

Fellow readers on this ephemeral Canvas syllabus page!

The Fault in Our Stars was a beacon for a generation of teenagers struggling to find a semblance of meaning in the abyss. Hazel — the bluntly realistic, esoteric protagonist one could have never guessed was written by 40-year-old John Green — introduced me to nihilism (a philosophical outlook which is somewhat advanced for this first-year course, but I digress). Augustus, arguably the most thought-provoking (and dreamy) characters of our time, proved that even though love is a “shout in the void,” it matters. (So what if he spoke like a pretentious hipster? He read Hazel’s favourite book. What Tumblr girl wouldn’t be smitten?) If you see me with a soggy un-lit cigarette in my mouth in class, do not fear, for it’s clearly a metaphor that exposes the harrowing complexities of our agency over life’s greatest turmoil.

While many of you cite Infinite Jest or The Bell Jar as your philosophical inspiration, none of these encapsulate the complexities of life the way Hazel and Augustus did with their text exchange: “Okay?” “Okay.” One simple word and two punctuations contains an infinity that exists within the larger infinities of the universe. So to answer, “Why did you join Philosophy 101?,” I would be remiss not to mention the YA novel that changed my outlook on life.

CA 135: Introduction to (True) Cinema
By: Kelly Chia, AKA Loser Likes Glee Humour Editor

Glee, Seasons 1-6 (including the Muppets episode)

For a class on cinema, there is only one cinematic experience you need to have in my opinion. Six seasons of Matthew Morrison. Professor, you must understand Glee’s hypnotic impact on the top 40 hit songs from the 2010’s, or any Journey song. Simply hearing the “da-da-da” notes wrenches anyone into an acapella cover of “Don’t Stop Believin’” It’s truly a feat of mankind. Glee was a special TV show that teased enough progressive ideals to make a younger Kelly feel seen while simultaneously raking the same ideals through the mud. What this tells you about me is that if you so much as murmur a song that has been covered, I would be willing to write you a five to six page, MLA-cited essay on how much this show adored queerbaiting Faberry. That’s a term I use unironically. Be afraid of me.

ENGL 113: The Cultural Revolution of Amanda Seyfried and Meryl Streep, but in Musical
By: Hannah Kazemi, AKA wannabe Donna and the Dynam-ic Staff Writer

Mamma Mia

Dear English prof,

I learned the power of the “dot dot dot,” otherwise known as the ellipsis, from the most spectacular, flawless, groovy-dance-move-inducing film, otherwise known as Mamma Mia. Teach me grammar and the effect some good punctuation can have via theatrical performance instead of a boring lecture. Watching Sophie and her girlfriends prance around all over some random Greek island while singing about the mystery behind the “dot dot dot” really impacted me the first time I watched the film, and has the same punch to it every time. Teach me literary theory using song and dance! Break out into a musical theatre number during class! I promise it’s more entertaining, and it’ll blast us all to Kalokairi (even if the island doesn’t actually exist).

PSYC 101: Triforce Tales
By: Olivia Visser, AKA HYAAH-rule’s heroic Opinions Editor

The Legend of Zelda: Animated Series

Every so often, a children’s television show will have an impact so profound it attracts children and adult fans alike. The Legend of Zelda animated TV series will probably go down in history books as one of the most influential cartoon series of all time. 

What makes this TV adaptation of such a well loved video game so superior is its ability to make the protagonist, Link, an effective antihero. Yes, all the games portray him as a quiet and humble hero, but who does a little creativity hurt? In this series, he cares little for his peers, and it’s so dreamy

Fun fact: Link says some version of the phrase, “excuuuuse me, princess,” at least 29 times across all 13 episodes. Talk about iconic. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always wanted to see one of my favourite Nintendo characters depicted as a whiny, unlikeable, self-serving oaf. Incredible writing. Truly a masterpiece in depicting the psychology and fullness of mankind, except Link is a small elf.

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