Weekend Parting Shot: The World's Most Useless Degree

(AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)

Happy Friday, Gentle Readers,

As I understand it, “College GameDay” is coming to the University of Utah tomorrow ahead of the Utes’ matchup with Oregon. I watched the Utah-USC game last week, and quite frankly, that outing was embarrassing for the Utes who just barely eked out a win. Of course, I am an Ohio State fan at heart, and the Buckeyes’ victory over Penn State was a little difficult to stomach at times, too. All that being said, I am not making the trek to Salt Lake to stand in the cold on the off-chance I might appear on ESPN for all of five seconds. I mean, it’s ESPN. Who gets up early for that?


Speaking of college, the University of Exeter in England will offer a new degree next year. I don’t know about you, but when I was young and stupid, everyone was expected to go to college. I changed my major twice before settling on Religion. And I have spent the balance of my life wishing I had chosen something else. And, when it comes to college regrets, some students at Exeter may soon wish they had devoted their studies to a field that yields a paycheck. And if they get their Master’s in Magic and Occult Science, they will have a long time to think about that mistake. According to the course description, students will:

• Build interdisciplinary expertise whilst exploring your specific interests within the long and diverse history of esotericism, witchcraft, ritual magic, occult science, and related topics.

• Join our dynamic postgraduate community benefiting from research-inspired teaching led by a range of top scholars from different fields.

• Our prestigious Centre for Magic and Esotericism welcomes MA students to monthly meetings and local field trips.

• Graduate with the skills and knowledge needed to influence and drive business strategies that make a positive contribution to the environment and society.


How someone will use magic to drive business strategies is beyond me. I suppose they tell you that right after the Sorting Hat tells you what house you are in. The core module is “Esotericism and the Magical Tradition,” which covers magic in ancient Greece and Rome, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Other topics include the history of witchcraft and “magic in literature and folklore, deception and illusion, and the history of science and medicine, among other key themes.” The program will be housed in the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, to place the “Arabo-Islamic cultural heritage back where it belongs in the centre of these studies and in the history of the West.” Because of decolonization. Of course.

There are some requirements. You have to be an honors student since only a college honors student is boneheaded enough to want a Master’s in witchcraft. And there is a cost. £12,000 for full-time students and £6,000 part-time attendees. Pretty stiff for a degree that will lead to a career in which it is pretty much guaranteed that someone will make £0.

I went on a date with a Wiccan when I was a bachelor. She was a nice enough lady but also almost as broke as I was at the time if I recall. There is a Wiccan who had a stall at our local farmer’s market. For someone so full of peace and harmony, she looked like she was always going to punch someone in the eye. So there does not appear to be much money in that field. But if you think you can make bank with a Master’s in Witchcraft, go right ahead. Just keep telling yourself that while you’re taking orders for lattes.


Wine Recommendation: Because I don’t care if it is Fall. I’m still not drinking pumpkin spice.

For years, I have steered clear of the Rickshaw brand. I suppose it was the label. Something about it just seemed gimmicky. But as I was walking through the store, I saw a bottle and thought, “Who knows?” Actually, I was surprised. I thought I would be getting a novelty-brand Sauvignon Blanc, but it turned out to be very refreshing, even on a rainy day, and very vibrant.

Courtesy of Lincoln Brown

It comes in, on average, in the high 80s in terms of points, which is a respectable showing, especially for a wine that runs between $11 and $13. In some areas, it may go as high as $16. It may also depend on if you have it shipped to you.

This wine is 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Muscat, which gives it a little sweetness to go with the dry crispness. I tasted golden apples, a little melon, and just a tiny hint of lemon or even orange. Rickshaw gets its grapes from a number of vineyards throughout Northern California, which may have something to do with the distinctive taste. You can try pairing this up with the standards such as poultry or seafood, but it would be a good appetizer wine.


That’s it for me. I have a safe and sane weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday.


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