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.