Question; What would 'verse colleges have Majors in?

UPDATED: Thursday, February 23, 2012 13:26
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Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:53 AM


What would 'verse colleges have Majors in?

Business, technology? i'm asking because of a fan-fiction book i am typing up... and i got stumped on what a wealthy character would be studying to be. I know Simon Tam was to become a doctor (and succeeded, duh.)

So what do you guys think someone would study to be?

And if need be, the character is the son of a wealthy mining company owner.


Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:22 AM


In the Serenity Visual Companion, Joss notes that Alliance society is enlightened and well-educated, with a 94% literacy rate. "The Parliament ruled over people with fairness and intelligence..."

As fans of the Browncoats, we often fail to appreciate the positive aspects of Alliance culture. I think that would be reflected in education.

A wealthy individual would be in that 94%, and would, I suspect, receive a very broad education, encompassing a solid liberal arts background (although their definition of "the Classics" would be very different than ours; less Shakespear and more Shan Yu...) with practical science, mathematics, and technical skills (note that the "Core folk" in FIREFLY demonstrate a much more consistent, casual knowledge of technology than do the Rim folk).

Note also that people like Simon, Inara, and even Book are very tolerant with respect to religious, sexual, and social mores (compare Simon's view of sex to Jayne's or Mal's), and that would be reflected in the education.

A random thought on liberal arts, the Classics, and Earth-That-Was: although very little of the literature of Earth-That-Was seems to have made it to the 'Verse, there are (I think) multiple references throughout the series to the works of the Beatles. I could easily see that that they were taught as poetry, though, rather than music. I can just imagine River in a classroom where the teacher is talking about Lennon's seminal work, Imagine, and River saying "Sure, but he also wrote Norwegian Wood."

A final thoughts on technology: to wax a little cynical, people like Simon and Inana see well-educated on usage and identifcation, but NOT creation/repair. Possibly, that's the Alliance maintaining a bit of control...

EDIT: Just saw the reference to the character's family. If his father is paying for the education, I wouldn't be surprised if it's geared toward the practical, with a focus on business in addition to all of the above.

If I might suggest an idea: Riffing off the Beatles-as-poetry, perhaps a scene in which the poetry is used in a discussion re: business ethics (possibly compare/contrast the philosophies of Lennon vs Shan Yu). "Here's how it might have been..."


Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:45 AM


Subject wise, a lot of it would be pretty similar to what we have today, though the content of those courses might change ("Classic Lit" would likely include things like the Beatles and, say, Joss Whedon ;) ). I can see universities dividing "English Lit" and "Chinese Lit" into different courses, just for administrative purposes (just as modern Shakespeare courses are often broken up as "Elizabethan" and "Jacobean").

Things like Computer Science and Communication Tech would be more developed and elaborate, as would anything having to do with medecine, just because of the technology.

In addition, there may be options for Astronavigation, Stellar Cartography/Orbital Mechanics, Astrophysics (though that might be a sub-course in Astronav), Zero-G Manoeuvring (probably with a basic course for civillians and more advanced options for people who work in space), Orbital Construction/Manufacturing (for assembling starships, skyhooks, etc), etc.

You can also check out the first couple of episodes of Bodacious Space Pirates to get a look at a high school's (Space) Yacht Club in action.

We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.


Thursday, February 23, 2012 4:59 AM


It also seems to depend on the planet a little. Sihnon would be likely to have a lot of business programs and also the companion schools. Osiris is actually more known for it's law programs than it's medical programs, though it's also currently the headquarters of Blue Sun after they moved from Sihnon. Londinium would be a hot-bed for political science majors.

Something interesting to notice is that sometimes a person will attend both a vocational school (such as a companion training house) as well as a more traditional college (the companion's academy).

It should also be noted that there's a LOT of core schools with "Academy" in the name, and something tells me that's not coincidental to River's story.

I also kind of imagine that the system itself probably looks like a cross between the English system and associated terminology and the Chinese/Japanese systems were you take a really hard test to get placed into the vocational schools.


Thursday, February 23, 2012 5:55 AM



Although educated and politician don’t seem to go together do they?


Uhhhh no comment.


Thursday, February 23, 2012 5:56 AM




Or as the rim likes to call it, pro-Alliance propaganda studies.


Thursday, February 23, 2012 7:26 AM


Thanks everyone for the help! :D

On the subject of planet base, he's from St.Albans, so he studies at home with books. Which he has tons of, especially on the earth-that-was, which i use to tell about his heritage (Russian)

I was thinking (after reading all of these) either to run a business or a Technology degree


Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:47 AM


Lots of good ideas in previous responses. I think there are also a number of Technical Colleges teaching various professional/skilled trades. I also think there would be Agricultural Schools. Both the Trade Schools and Ag Schools I would imagine to have more of a high-tech focus than their counterparts today -- such as, the mechanics courses include specialties in various kinds of spacecraft and hovercraft technologies, the Ag schools include courses in designing/using DNA scrip for improving herd genetics, etc. Given the size and influence of Blue Sun, I would imagine there are also a number of Business Schools to provide a ready pool of junior and mid-level business managers for the megacorporations to choose from.


Thursday, February 23, 2012 11:41 AM


The cortex would make for easy correspondence school.


Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:26 PM


Wreadin', Writin', and Whorin'!

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