That's right; turns out there is to be very little to no lecture involved in this three hour a day class; instead there will be a FUCK TON of readings on foreign policy statements and the like every day, and the three hours of class time largely spent functioning as a presidential cabinet, with Roger Coates (our instructor) serving as the President we're there to advise. Every day we're supposed to come up with three questions for the President based on the day before's readings, and we find out what the President's leanings and tendencies are from his responses - as things stand, we don't even know what his party affiliation is.
This is particularly going to be a pain in the ass for me, considering I'm supposed to be the freaking Special Advisor to the President. No real Special Advisor ever had to try to advise the President on the best course to keep from politically offending his constituency or his power base without knowing what party he belongs to... sigh.
Nevertheless, it looks to be ferociously interesting, and we're expected to frequently dissent rather harshly with one another and express our own viewpoints, so it should be ... something. Coates is one hell of an engaging and dynamic personality, and while he's been careful to let slip few clues to his real life political affiliations, I'm pretty heartily encouraged by the fact that (again, in real life) he's served the Reagan, Bush Sr., and Clinton administrations in various capacities but has not served either Dubya administration. He also mentioned that in the face of ridicule from many colleagues, he has always maintained that Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism until we invaded it, so I suspect that whatever his real positions are, we're probably not too far off from one another. Which is comforting.
Of course, his "Presidential" bearing may or may not reflect his real life views. He intends to make us work to figure that out. But man... I just hope I don't wind up having to try to tell a Republican and religious right warhawk president how to maintain his powerbase amongst red state voters and blocs. That would be intensely difficult. =\
* addendum: one of his suggested reference readings is the wikipedia article on ECHELON! How freaking cool is that?! (It's a damned good article and interesting read, btw - yes, Big Brother is watching, and probably considerably more comprehensively than you think.)