M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, March 10, 2006  

Head of the Class

Trash has been teaching a research class at an area college for the past five Tuesday nights. Naturally, her twelve students all think she's awesome and wonderful and want her to teach all the rest of their classes, even though she doesn't know anything about the other areas they're studying. She's inspired them to step out of their comfort zones, and become more creative in their schoolwork, which is great. And, believe it or not, they're all having a great time. They are, you might say, amped.

For instance, last night was her final class. Most of the evening was devoted to final presentations by small groups. And they'd clearly put a lot of planning into these presentations.

One group took the floor, and its spokesperson made an announcement.

"Part of our presentation is going to be trivia questions. The first person to get the right answer has a choice. You can either take a piece of candy from this bag..."

Here, one of her teammates held up a bag of candy.

"...Or, you can give John a shock."

Here, her other teammate, John, held up the electronic dog collar around his wrist.

I don't know what it says about John that not only did people's hands shoot up throughout the presentation, but at least half of them chose a shock for John. Luckily for John, the collar was working erratically and only delivered a shock part of the time. Also luckily for John, the collar wasn't working erratically enough to kill his ass dead.

Trash kept thinking to herself, I should probably stop this, but they were all adults, after all, and John had volunteered, and everyone was having so much fun. It was like a wacky game show, combined with a nutty referendum on John's popularity, with the madcap kookiness of the Milgram Experiment thrown in for extra laughs. Plus there was the random element of the collar's erratic functionality, which helped maintain an unpredictable rhythm. "Didn't hurt. Didn't hurt. Didn't hurt. Ow! Didn't hurt..."

If Trash is asked back to teach another class, however, she's thinking about making a rule in advance about no electric shocks being administered to the students. I told her that if she plans to continue encouraging such creativity, she should probably also prohibit the use of insects, leeches, corrosive chemicals, and firearms.

But then she said that that will only make them more creative.

Today's best search phrase: "Puerto Rican parade hos." Naturally, I fully support taking advantage of any opportunity to learn about other cultures. And, of course, their hos.

posted by M. Giant 6:16 PM 7 comments


Woo boy am I glad you found a way out of your foggy elevator and posted a new entry. Have a great weekend!

By Blogger Finding My New Normal, at March 10, 2006 at 6:45 PM  

Tell Trash that I just offically figured out how to make my final presentation "different." And tell her not to worry - it's a class devoted to Pavlovian theory, so it won't be the first time something's been electrocuted.

By Blogger Verb, at March 10, 2006 at 7:12 PM  

M. Giant is exaggerating about how strongly my students enjoyed my teaching, but he is telling the truth about the dog collar. I'm not sure that it was a desire to *shock* the student in question so much as it was the novelty of the shock option, but it did indeed feel a little "Lord of the Flies" or something.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2006 at 7:47 PM  

No, M.Giant is not exaggerating about your teaching ability. I have sat through countless of your presentations - the same ones - and can testify as to your amazing speaking style...not to mention how you can make the most boring subject material (boring to others perhaps) interesting!

On a side note, I probably wouldn't recommend using dog collars as a prop in certain other workshops...although it may be tempting at times with certain audiences/clientele ;)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 10, 2006 at 10:40 PM  

This is awesome! I teach LIS students, and keep telling them to be creative in presenting. I would definitely be impressed by something like this! :)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 11, 2006 at 6:35 AM  

What's great is that all your Google ads are for shock collars now!

By Blogger kermitthefrog, at March 11, 2006 at 2:16 PM  

Wow. The most exciting thing we did my my Research class was a regression analysis.
Although, had I been given the option, there were a few people I would have chosen to shock.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 13, 2006 at 11:33 AM  

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