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Justin Quaintance

New U of C class teaches students how to be hermits

By Tommy Osborne, September 20 2016 —

As the new school year begins, the University of Calgary welcomes both new students and a brand new program to campus. Education for Fending Off Future Friends (EFFOFF) will focus on preventing social contact.

“Millennials are constantly portrayed as lazy, self-engrossed individuals with limited social skills. We aim to reinforce this view by instilling these values in our students,” program coordinator Roger Steves said. “Upon graduating with a degree in EFFOFF, students can successfully live as a hermit.”

Students have the opportunity to take option courses in EFFOFF or pursue a minor or major in the program. The program focuses on tips and tricks to limit social contact.

Skills taught include disappearing from social settings unnoticed, avoiding awkward small-talk with old acquaintances and utilizing games like Pokemon Go to minimize social interaction.

“Pokemon Go provides the perfect excuse to look down at your phone all the time,” Steves said. “The more Pokemon Go you play, the less you actually need to talk to people.”

Feedback from students for EFFOFF has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I’m so excited to learn how to better avoid people,” second-year engineering student Wayne Bruce said. “Talking to people annoys me greatly. In fact, I’m getting quite annoyed doing this interview. End conversation.”

Bruce then made a point of shoving seven complimentary muffins in his bag and peacing out — a skill he learned in his EFFOFF classes.

“I’m running out of potential ways to avoid people, especially since the new iPhone 7 earbuds don’t provide a visual indication to people that I don’t want to talk,” first-year student Samantha Smith stated. “How will I avoid people without the cord dangling from my ears to my pockets?”

EFFOFF will host many group meetings over the course of the semester with the hope that no one will meet.

“Our goal is to completely isolate each and every student so that they can avoid social interaction,” Steves said. “Being able to avoid everyone you see is a key aspect of life post-university. We hope to establish that skill in all of our students — especially for anyone pursuing a career in an office environment. It’s extra important that they do not make friends.”

For anyone who despises human interaction, an introductory course will be held on the sixth floor of TFDL. Participants will not talk at all.


This article is part of our humour section.

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