One way to catch the eye of a student who's browsing the college catalog is to put "love" in a course title.
Not everyone wants to add an intellectual twist to this intuitive realm, of course, but there are some professors out there who aim to give young adults a better grounding in the concept than what's available through the mass media or on Valentine's Day cards.
Here's a sampler:
At Arizona State University's Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, unrealistic views of love take a direct hit in Mary-Lou Galician's new course, "Sex, Love, & Romance in the Mass Media." To give people an idea of the kinds of myths to watch out for, she offers a true-false quiz featuring statements such as "All you really need is love, so it doesn't matter if you and your partner have very different values." (See www.asu. edu/cronkite/faculty/galician/drfun.)
At Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., Prof. Fred Horton Jr.'s class directs students to sources that predate television by a few thousand years: "Love in the Bible and other Ancient Texts." A seminar this year for 15 first-year students, it features discussions about the texts' portrayals of love between human beings and God, love between men and women, and love among families and friends.
At the University of Chicago, Amy and Leon Kass, a scholarly married couple, have taught a seminar called "Ethics of Everyday Life: Courtship," drawing on everything from Shakespeare to Jane Austen.
If you missed your chance for such lofty insights while in college, most cities offer a plethora of relationship-oriented adult-ed classes.
Then again, this might just be the week to put the classic tomes aside and let the heart take over.