History Main / CorrespondenceCourse

1st Jul '16 8:42:00 PM nombretomado
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Course offerings are many and varied. You'll be amazed by what you can learn by mail -- [[BedknobsAndBroomsticks magic powers]], [[VideoGame/QuestForGlory hero training]], [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking how to talk to girls]] -- everything you could possibly want to know and more, all for the price of postage!

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Course offerings are many and varied. You'll be amazed by what you can learn by mail -- [[BedknobsAndBroomsticks [[Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks magic powers]], [[VideoGame/QuestForGlory hero training]], [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking how to talk to girls]] -- everything you could possibly want to know and more, all for the price of postage!
8th Jan '16 3:59:28 PM Ramidel
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* In ''VideoGame/ArcanumOfSteamworksAndMagickObscura''. technology degrees and skills are developed through correspondence courses with Tarant Polytechnical University. These are legit courses that provide both basic technological know-how in the relevant discipline and practical schematics for ItemCrafting. After all, the adventurers of tomorrow can't just sit around the university all day when there's dungeons to delve!
26th Dec '15 1:39:03 PM StFan
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[[quoteright:350:[[{{Superman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/corresp_6279.jpg]]]]

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[[quoteright:350:[[{{Superman}} [[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/{{Superman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/corresp_6279.jpg]]]]


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17th Aug '15 2:59:55 PM BananaPancakes
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Course offerings are many and varied. You'll be amazed by what you can learn by mail-- [[BedknobsAndBroomsticks magic powers]], [[VideoGame/QuestForGlory hero training]], [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking how to talk to girls]]... everything you could possibly want to know and more, all for the price of postage!

to:

Course offerings are many and varied. You'll be amazed by what you can learn by mail-- mail -- [[BedknobsAndBroomsticks magic powers]], [[VideoGame/QuestForGlory hero training]], [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking how to talk to girls]]... girls]] -- everything you could possibly want to know and more, all for the price of postage!



A common plotline in comedic mystery stories is the kid who's taking a correspondence course in detection-- usually getting in over his head because he hasn't gotten important lessons yet. Another common gag is for the course to be in something you probably shouldn't learn by distance-- like scuba diving or hot air ballooning.

A more modern version of this are online courses, which replace the mailed lessons by lessons downloaded from a website. Now that every major university has a distance education department, simply saying that somebody got her degree online isn't enough; modern examples drive the point home by giving the school a shady name like "Cayman Islands Internet University".

to:

A common plotline in comedic mystery stories is the kid who's taking a correspondence course in detection-- detection -- usually getting in over his head because he hasn't gotten important lessons yet. Another common gag is for the course to be in something you probably shouldn't learn by distance-- distance -- like scuba diving or hot air hot-air ballooning.

A more modern version of this are online courses, which replace the mailed lessons by lessons downloaded from a website. Now that every major university has a distance education department, simply saying that somebody got her a degree online isn't enough; modern examples drive the point home by giving the school a shady name like "Cayman Islands Internet University".



* DonaldDuck's cousin Fethry swears by various correspondence courses and often shows up at Donald's house in order to either practice his newly acquired skills on a "volunteer" or persuade Donald to start a business with him based on whatever he's been taking a course on. [[HilarityEnsues The results are predictable]]. One comic revealed that apparently the "university" responsible for the courses advertises on the back of a cereal box, so we can probably conclude it is not exactly a highly respected institution.
* {{Superman}} exposed the crooked correspondence school depicted in the trope image. Naturally, the plan for catching these ordinary criminals involved Clark Kent engaging in art forgery, TimeTravel, and Superman unwittingly providing the inspiration for masterpieces by Rembrandt and William Gainsborough. [[http://supermanfan.nu/main/?p=1905 Oh, comics....]]

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* DonaldDuck's ComicBook/DonaldDuck's cousin Fethry swears by various correspondence courses and often shows up at Donald's house in order to either practice his newly acquired skills on a "volunteer" or persuade Donald to start a business with him based on whatever he's been taking a course on. studying. [[HilarityEnsues The results are predictable]]. predictable.]] One comic revealed that apparently the "university" responsible for the courses advertises on the back of a cereal box, so we can probably conclude it is not exactly a highly respected institution.
* {{Superman}} ComicBook/{{Superman}} exposed the crooked correspondence school depicted in the trope image. Naturally, the plan for catching these ordinary criminals involved Clark Kent engaging in art forgery, TimeTravel, and Superman unwittingly providing the inspiration for masterpieces by Rembrandt and William Gainsborough. [[http://supermanfan.nu/main/?p=1905 Oh, comics....comics...]]



* A major plot point in ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks'': Eglantine learns all her magic from a correspondence course, but the school folds before she can learn the final and most important spell. During the first half of the movie, she hunts down the headmaster, Professor Emelius Browne, who, it turns out, doesn't know magic at all (and more importantly, ''doesn't know the final spell.'' The ''second'' half of the movie is spent recovering it and then using it against the Nazis).
* This was used in the live action adaption of the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel, ''Film/TheColourOfMagic'', to HandWave the problem of Twoflower, a tourist from a FantasyCounterpartCulture of Imperial China [[{{Wuxia}} with bits of Japan thrown in]], not speaking much of the local language and Rincewind having to act as interpreter. This was fine in the book, albeit handled rather inconsistently, but would have got rather annoying on screen.
* Both ''TheMuppetMovie'' and ''TheGreatMuppetCaper'' feature this exchange:
-->"Where did you learn to drive?"
-->"I took a correspondence course."

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* A major plot point in ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks'': Eglantine learns all her magic from a correspondence course, but the school folds before she can learn the final and most important spell. During the first half of the movie, she hunts down the headmaster, Professor Emelius Browne, who, it turns out, doesn't know magic at all (and -- and, more importantly, ''doesn't know the final spell.'' spell''. The ''second'' half of the movie is spent recovering it and then using it against the Nazis).
Nazis.
* This was used in the live action adaption live-action adaptation of the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel, ''Film/TheColourOfMagic'', to HandWave the problem of Twoflower, a tourist from a FantasyCounterpartCulture of Imperial China [[{{Wuxia}} with bits of Japan thrown in]], not speaking much of the local language and Rincewind having to act as interpreter. This was fine in the book, albeit handled rather inconsistently, but would have got rather annoying on screen.
* Both ''TheMuppetMovie'' ''Film/TheMuppetMovie'' and ''TheGreatMuppetCaper'' ''Film/TheGreatMuppetCaper'' feature this exchange:
-->"Where did you learn to drive?"
-->"I
drive?"\\
"I
took a correspondence course."



-->'''Sally Elliot:''' "It only took you a year to finish that correspondence course."
-->'''Humphrey Briggs:''' "Yeah, but that was a six month course."

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-->'''Sally Elliot:''' "It Elliot''': It only took you a year to finish that correspondence course."
-->'''Humphrey Briggs:''' "Yeah,
\\
'''Humphrey Briggs''': Yeah,
but that was a six month six-month course."



-->'''Clifford Wooley:''' I had a... hankerin' to be an actor when I was a young feller when I got out of the Coast Guard, but I... I went to taxidermy school instead... well, I took a correspondence course.

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-->'''Clifford Wooley:''' Wooley''': I had a... hankerin' to be an actor when I was a young feller when I got out of the Coast Guard, but I... I went to taxidermy school instead... well, I took a correspondence course.



* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', Filch is a Squib (a MuggleBornOfMages) who attempts to learn magic by following a correspondence course. Because of the nature of magic in the HP world, we know it's a fraud, but it's all played for laughs.

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* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', Filch is a Squib (a MuggleBornOfMages) who attempts to learn magic by following a correspondence course. Because of the nature of magic in the HP world, Potterverse, we know it's a fraud, but it's all played for laughs.PlayedForLaughs.



** [[Literature/JeevesAndWooster Bertie Wooster's]] analysis of SmugSnake Steggles also deserves mention: "Machiavelli could have taken his correspondence course."
* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden]] at one point took a correspondence course in Latin, the language official White Council meetings are conducted in. It was... less than successful.

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** [[Literature/JeevesAndWooster Bertie Wooster's]] Wooster]]'s analysis of SmugSnake Steggles [[SmugSnake Steggles]] also deserves mention: "Machiavelli could have taken his correspondence course."
* [[Literature/TheDresdenFiles Harry Dresden]] at one point took a correspondence course in Latin, the language wherein official White Council meetings are conducted in.conducted. It was... less than successful.



* ''Correspondence Course'' by Raymond F. Jones in 1945. A disabled American war veteran tries to better himself through a correspondence course that teaches how to build and maintain something called a 'power coordinator'. Only there is no such thing, at least not on Earth...

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* Raymond F. Jones' 1945 short story ''Correspondence Course'' by Raymond F. Jones in 1945. Course'': A disabled American war veteran tries to better himself through a correspondence course that teaches how to build and maintain something called a 'power coordinator'. Only there is no such thing, at least not on Earth...



* In the first episode of ''TheDrewCareyShow'', Drew is trying to make small talk with the guys in his carpool and sees an ad in one guy's newspaper - "Learn veterinary science through the mail!" "Gee, I'd hate to be the dog in that house."
* ''MisterRogersNeighborhood'': X the Owl took courses (and possibly graduated, eventually) from Owl Correspondence School, which had its own Fight Song.
-->Owl Correspondence School
-->Old O.C.S.
-->We love you best!
* In an early episode of ''Series/{{Mash}}'', Radar was taking a creative writing correspondence course.

to:

* In the first episode of ''TheDrewCareyShow'', ''Series/TheDrewCareyShow'', Drew is trying to make small talk with the guys in his carpool and sees an ad in one guy's newspaper - newspaper: "Learn veterinary science through the mail!" "Gee, I'd hate to be the dog in that house."
* ''MisterRogersNeighborhood'': ''Series/MisterRogersNeighborhood'': X the Owl took courses (and possibly graduated, eventually) from Owl Correspondence School, which had its own Fight Song.
-->Owl Correspondence School
-->Old
School\\
Old
O.C.S.
-->We
S.\\
We
love you best!
* In an early episode of ''Series/{{Mash}}'', ''Series/{{MASH}}'', Radar was taking a creative writing creative-writing correspondence course.



* In ''TheSecretWorldOfAlexMack'', Dave gets ADayInTheLimelight of sorts when he takes a "How to Be a Spy" course on tape to find out Alex's identity. [[spoiler:Amazingly enough, he succeeds, but decides to keep it a secret in agreement with the course's final lesson: "If you discover a secret, no matter how big it is, it's best to keep it for yourself" (which if you think about it, goes against the very purpose of working as a spy).]]
* In one season of ''LastOfTheSummerWine'', there's a RunningGag in which Seymour attempts to run correspondence courses. Nobody applies for them.
* ''{{Monk}}'' took a correspondence course in swimming, and recieved a card labeled "How To Swim" upon graduation. When he actually had to swim for the first time, he attempted to ''read the intructions on the card'' while swimming.
* In the Lynda Carter episode of ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', most of the Muppets decide to become superheroes by buying such a course on becoming a superhero. The package comes with a costume and book titled "Invincibility Made Easy", which is filled with nonsense advice on how to perform acts of super-human ability, none of which work.

to:

* In ''TheSecretWorldOfAlexMack'', ''Series/TheSecretWorldOfAlexMack'', Dave gets ADayInTheLimelight of sorts when he takes a "How to Be a Spy" course on tape to find out Alex's identity. [[spoiler:Amazingly enough, he succeeds, but decides to keep it a secret in agreement with the course's final lesson: "If you discover a secret, no matter how big it is, it's best to keep it for yourself" (which (which, if you think about it, goes against the very purpose of working as a spy).]]
* In one season of ''LastOfTheSummerWine'', ''Series/LastOfTheSummerWine'', there's a RunningGag in which Seymour attempts to run correspondence courses. Nobody applies for them.
* ''{{Monk}}'' ''Series/{{Monk}}'' took a correspondence course in swimming, and recieved received a card labeled "How To to Swim" upon graduation. When he actually had to swim for the first time, he attempted to ''read the intructions instructions on the card'' while swimming.
* In the Lynda Carter episode of ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', most of the Muppets decide to become superheroes by buying such a course on becoming a superhero. The package comes with a costume and book titled "Invincibility Made Easy", which is filled with nonsense advice on how to perform acts of super-human superhuman ability, none of which work.work.
* In the ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "[[Recap/CommunityS1E05AdvancedCriminalLaw Advanced Criminal Law]]," Jeff, while trying to make a case that Britta is insane, refers to Greendale as a place "[[InsultToRocks that correspondence schools make fun of]]."[[note]]Considering that Jeff is attending Greendale because his "degree" is [[WorthlessForeignDegree from a phoney institution putatively based in Colombia]], [[HypocriticalHumor he's one to talk]].[[/note]]



** The Famous Adventurers' Correspondence School was actually {{Defictionalized}} by the series creators, launched as [[http://www.theschoolforheroes.com/school.php The School for Heroes]].
* In the ''VideoGame/RivalSchools'' games, the nameless class rep learned [[StreetFighter Dan]] [[JokeCharacter Hibiki's]] infamous Saikyo style through correspondence courses.

to:

** The Famous Adventurers' Correspondence School was actually {{Defictionalized}} {{Defictionaliz|ation}}ed by the series creators, launched as [[http://www.theschoolforheroes.com/school.php The School for Heroes]].
* In the ''VideoGame/RivalSchools'' games, the nameless class rep learned [[StreetFighter [[VideoGame/StreetFighter Dan]] [[JokeCharacter Hibiki's]] infamous Saikyo style through correspondence courses.



--> '''Privateer''' to '''Pirate''': So, flying license by correspondence course, I see.

to:

--> '''Privateer''' -->''Privateer''' to '''Pirate''': So, flying license by correspondence course, I see.



* These obviously exist in real life, although the choice of lessons tend to be a lot less colourful here. Famous distance schools include the Art Instruction School (see below) and the [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower Charles Atlas]] exercise routine. Nowadays, a lot of them are available online. Chances are this page's ads are of them.
* Charles Schulz, the creator of ''{{Peanuts}}'', took an art course from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Instruction_Schools Art Instruction School]]. He later became an instructor there.
* Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield took an ice cream making correspondence course from the Penn State Creamery which enabled them to start their ice cream business.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_university The Open University]] subverts most expectations by being one of the UK's largest and most well respected universities (no {{Oxbridge}}, but far from embarrassing either)

to:

* These obviously exist in real life, although the choice of lessons tend to be a lot less colourful here. Famous distance schools include the Art Instruction School (see below) and the [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower Charles Atlas]] {{Charles Atlas|Superpower}} exercise routine. Nowadays, a lot of them are available online. Chances are this page's ads are of them.
* Charles M. Schulz, the creator of ''{{Peanuts}}'', ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', took an art course from [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Instruction_Schools Art Instruction School]]. He later became an instructor there.
* Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield took an ice cream making cream-making correspondence course from the Penn State Creamery which enabled them to start their ice cream business.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_university The Open University]] subverts most expectations by being one of the UK's largest and most well respected universities (no {{Oxbridge}}, but far from embarrassing either)either).



* Almost every major university in America now has a distance education department, some offering full degree programs. Some of these are extensions of mail-based services that date back to the 60's and earlier, but widespread Internet access and standardized platforms for content deployment have made classes much easier to manage. While primarily-online schools like the University of Phoenix still carry a stigma in some circles, their perception is improving as graduates enter the workforce and prove themselves. Of courses, the diploma mills have modernized as well; for a few hundred dollars, you too can earn a Ph.D. or a black belt.

to:

* Almost every major university in America now has a distance education department, some offering full degree programs. Some of these are extensions of mail-based services that date back to the 60's 1960s and earlier, but widespread Internet access and standardized platforms for content deployment have made classes much easier to manage. While primarily-online schools like the University of Phoenix still carry a stigma in some circles, their perception is improving as graduates enter the workforce and prove themselves. Of courses, course, the diploma mills have modernized as well; too; for a few hundred dollars, you too can earn a Ph.D. [=PhD=] or a black belt.
6th Aug '15 8:03:19 PM DrFraud
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* The titular character in Jean Robinson's ''The Strange But Wonderful Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon'' attempted to make up for his perceived shortcomings by taking "Dr. Louis Flamel's Home Study Course in Cosmic Awareness". Due much more to his can-do nature and knowledge of gardening than to the course, he actually managed to start his own plant-service business and gain the respect of his aunt and uncle and the other kids in the neighborhood.

to:

* The titular character in Jean Robinson's ''The Strange But Wonderful Cosmic Awareness of Duffy Moon'' attempted attempts to make up for his perceived shortcomings by taking "Dr. Louis Flamel's Home Study Course in Cosmic Awareness". Due much more to his can-do nature and knowledge of gardening than to the course, he actually managed manages to start his own plant-service business and gain the respect of his aunt and uncle and the other kids in the neighborhood.



* Miss Price is learning her magic through one of these in ''Literature/BedknobAndBroomstick''.

to:

* Miss Price is learning her magic through one of these in ''Literature/BedknobAndBroomstick''.''Literature/BedknobsAndBroomsticks''.



* In the Lynda Carter episode of ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', most of the Muppets decide to become superheroes by buying such a course on becoming a superhero. The package came with a costume and book titled "Invincibility Made Easy", which was filled with nonsense advice on how to perform acts of super-human ability, none of which worked.

to:

* In the Lynda Carter episode of ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', most of the Muppets decide to become superheroes by buying such a course on becoming a superhero. The package came comes with a costume and book titled "Invincibility Made Easy", which was is filled with nonsense advice on how to perform acts of super-human ability, none of which worked.work.


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* The main character in ''Weaving a Basket (or Something)'' is taking a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin basket-weaving]] course from the "Scarlet P. Pastrami International School of Fast and Easy Life Skills."
15th Apr '15 8:17:25 PM nombretomado
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* In ''DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'', Wildy becomes a shaman though one of these. [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Vol_162.php Link]].

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* In ''DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'', ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'', Wildy becomes a shaman though one of these. [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Vol_162.php Link]].
16th Mar '15 9:37:15 AM nombretomado
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* Dr. Zoidberg from ''{{Futurama}}'' once claimed to have taken correspondence courses on Murderology and Murderonomy.

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* Dr. Zoidberg from ''{{Futurama}}'' ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' once claimed to have taken correspondence courses on Murderology and Murderonomy.
18th Dec '14 2:15:54 PM cybertoy0
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Added DiffLines:

* In the Lynda Carter episode of ''Series/TheMuppetShow'', most of the Muppets decide to become superheroes by buying such a course on becoming a superhero. The package came with a costume and book titled "Invincibility Made Easy", which was filled with nonsense advice on how to perform acts of super-human ability, none of which worked.
4th Sep '14 8:40:10 AM FuzzyBoots
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* A major plot point in ''BedknobsAndBroomsticks'': Eglantine learns all her magic from a correspondence course, but the school folds before she can learn the final and most important spell. During the first half of the movie, she hunts down the headmaster, Professor Emelius Browne, who, it turns out, doesn't know magic at all (and more importantly, ''doesn't know the final spell.'' The ''second'' half of the movie is spent recovering it and then using it against the Nazis).

to:

* A major plot point in ''BedknobsAndBroomsticks'': ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks'': Eglantine learns all her magic from a correspondence course, but the school folds before she can learn the final and most important spell. During the first half of the movie, she hunts down the headmaster, Professor Emelius Browne, who, it turns out, doesn't know magic at all (and more importantly, ''doesn't know the final spell.'' The ''second'' half of the movie is spent recovering it and then using it against the Nazis).



* ''Correspondence Course'' by Raymond F. Jones in 1945. A disabled American war veteran tries to better himself through a correspondence course that teache how to build and maintain something called a 'power coordinator'. Only there is no such thing, at least not on Earth...

to:

* ''Correspondence Course'' by Raymond F. Jones in 1945. A disabled American war veteran tries to better himself through a correspondence course that teache teaches how to build and maintain something called a 'power coordinator'. Only there is no such thing, at least not on Earth...


Added DiffLines:

* Miss Price is learning her magic through one of these in ''Literature/BedknobAndBroomstick''.
16th Jun '14 8:16:22 AM Amenohi
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* Most of [[Literature/SophiesWorld]] revolves around the correspondence course on philosophy Sophie takes from Alberto Knox.

to:

* Most of [[Literature/SophiesWorld]] ''Literature/SophiesWorld'' revolves around the correspondence course on philosophy Sophie takes from Alberto Knox.
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