Being a nerd is pretty awesome. Being a nerd at MIT is even better. But sometimes, all the theoretical physics and engineering know-how knocking around in your head takes over other pretty important skills, like holding a fork correctly and not totally botching a date.
Enter MIT Charm School, an elective set of mini-courses designed to take the raw intellectualism of certain students and, you know, add a little sophistication to the mix.
The 15-minute courses cover a spectrum of subjects in areas like Professional Development and Health and Wellness. Earn a certain amount of credits, and you can get a "Charm Degree."
From the Official MIT Charm Class listings, here are some of the most charming:
- Dress with Success: Maintaining a Professional Wardrobe after the Interview
- Networking with Grace and Charm
- How to be a Gracious Social Planner
- Attentive Listening 101
- Reading Between the Lines (Body Language)
- Fitness Center Etiquette 101
- Dating Etiquette Workshop
And our favorite, "How to Tell Someone Something They'd Rather Not Hear." That sounds incredibly useful! Where can we sign up?
One long-time Charm School teacher says the stereotype that a lot of MIT folks are nerdy, myopic or socially awkward is over-exaggerated.
"Some of them are [nerds] and we love them for it," Professor Eve Sullivan told CBS. "But some of them can be quite charming."
One student in a CBS report even sported a pair of enviable "NERD"-emblazoned sweatpants.
Aside from the unfair stereotypes, it seems like the skills taught in Charm School are ones everyone could use a little refresher on, not just math and science super-brains.
But, if there's one thing more charming than a nerd, it's a nerd who can host the heck out of a dinner party.