Wednesday, September 17, 2008

THINK, people!

First off, before I start to yell, two really good things happened at school this week.

Last Wednesday I found out that I am finished with my HCom minor (at the same time, I found out that my leadership class is therefore superfluous credit, which kind of bites). And today the Spanish department gave me a letter to waive out of my English prerequisite (yay for not having to go to school at all on Tuesday/Thursday!). These are both good things, very good things. And I am happy.

But other than that I am mad.



Well, maybe mad isn't the right word.

One year ago I took an HCom class that made me question my listening abilities and even my sanity. Some days the lecture seemed more like an exercise in free association than intentional teaching. At first I thought, "This professor is really spacey. None of this makes any sense. His sentences don't follow one from another, and I don't think he knows the meanings of the words he's using."

Then I thought, "Dude, this guy has a Ph.D, a big stack of published articles, and a book in publication. Maybe this is some innovative teaching technique."

Eventually I got back to "This professor is really spacey. None of this makes any sense."

This semester I am in for listening-ability/sanity-questioning round 2. Except this time it's combined with undercover political soapboxing.

Undercover political soapboxing is when a professor repeats and repeats that he/she will not state a political position, but then happens to name one political figure consistently as a good example and another political figure consistently as a bad example.

Another feature of undercover political soapboxing is repeating catchphrases from a given campaign. Think "we need to make sure that female political candidates are not just token women candidates, but are qualified for the job." Or "some politicians who can't answer questions hide behind a blizzard of words." Thank you, Charlie Gibson.

Today we had to analyze why some people respond negatively to charisma. But this not in the abstract. One student asked something like, "Given that Barack Obama is so charismatic, some people still don't want to follow him. Why is it some people don't like charisma?"


There was a lot more. I would be happy to tell you about it.

Or you can come to school with me next week and see it yourself. It really is that amazing.

1 comment:

Jourdan said...

Oh yeah... It's ubiquitous. Just to cheer you up a bit, I sit in a class where when asked the other day what were some main uses of lasers a girl raised her hand and said law reinforcement.

I'd hope not.