ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Naval Academy stopped paying its civilian instructors on Tuesday as a result of the government shutdown, and told students and military staff members to “just figure it out” and “watch Youtube or something.”
With the loss of more than half of the faculty, students and military instructors have responded with creative ways to continue education at the nation’s top-ranked public university. The acting Academic Dean, Col. Samir Fidelis, instituted a new curriculum that combines multiple courses into single courses.
“I call it Smashication,” he triumphantly reported. “Take two things, smash ‘em together and teach ‘em at the same time. Twice the info, half the resources…saves time, ‘Rah?”
Course offerings now include Physics of Western Civilization, Mid-Victorian Organic Chemistry, and Leadership and Ethics for the Middle Eastern Economist. However, classes like "Swimming for the Electrical Engineer " and "Seamanship, Wrestling, and Navigation" have proven dangerous and costly.
So far, at least one Midshipman and an instructor suffered injuries while practicing single-leg takedowns in the wheel-house of a patrol craft.
Students have been gathering in classrooms as normal, but lectures normally led by civilian professors are now facilitated by unpaid guest speakers. In one electrical engineering class, a man who installed a semi-functional stereo system in his car narrowly beat out a guy who once licked a nine-volt battery to take the podium.
Tribal knowledge and trial and error have become the dominant modes of learning. On Wednesday, naval architecture students learned about hull shapes when two students drowned in the nearby Severn River while trying to cross it in an old refrigerator.
Still, school officials remain optimistic.
“The students and military faculty have really stepped up their game. I’m starting to think we just may have found an answer to our long term budget problems,” Fidelis stated.