Happy New Year, and welcome back to Thunder Dome, bitches. It’s January, it’s cold, and everybody is restless. We have a new year, a new president, and a whole new set of problems, and you have 99 other problems, but grad school shouldn’t be one. So take a load off, recharge your computer and mental batteries, and take a nice long bathroom break. After all, it might be Saturday grad school, but it’s also Saturday.
So, to tickle your pedagogical fancy (that’s what she said), try a few of these pass times to get through the day. And remember, there’s no other day to get to than Satur-day. If there’s nothing else, then here we go:
1) The Eager Beaver Teacher and the Philosopher’s Stone game: You’re an ass hole, you just don’t realize it yet. But what better way to disrupt a classroom and effective discussion than through a complete metaphysical loophole? When you’re peers are discussing the dynamics of classroom management, pose a greater question: what, exactly, is bad behavior? And while your now befuddled peers describe outbursts and insubordination, counter with a semantic argument: what is bad, anyway? And what is good? Delve into the essence of morality by questioning the aggregate set of standards we follow. And watch your professor’s brow furl in frustration as they realize that the discussion has gotten way off topic by some Dunkin’ Donuts fed beatnik who has read too much Kant, Satre, and Kerouac. Bonus points if you can Tyler Durden the discussion by invoking a nihilistic view of education. After all, we’re animals, and schools are, in essence, just training for the hunt.
2) The Jackson Pollock Game: Remember when you were five and you thought that someday you’d be a famous artist with your works of art featured at a special exhibit at the Met? And do you remember when it was your kindergarten teacher who said that right before they popped another zanax? Let’s face facts: you fingerpainted in kindergarten and you sucked at it. You colored with crayons and you couldn’t stay in the lines. You rationalized it as artistic expression; I say it’s because you lacked the motor skills and coordination to effectively complete the picture presented. But now you’re a little older, a little wiser, and a little sharper around the edges. You have a college degree and you’re working towards educational certifications. So let’s express our inner artist. All you need is a piece of paper and a pencil, pen, or crayon, if you have it. Draw something that intrigues you. Draw a dog. Draw a flower. Draw the pretty little brunette sitting across the room, tousling her hair. You can even draw your feelings in abstract colors. It doesn’t matter; either way, it’s probably going to look like shit. The point of this game isn’t to impress the Louvre with your artwork, but to show your masterpiece to your neighbor for a good laugh.
3) The Haiku Game: Teachers tend to be loquacious and it’s painful. You can go on for hours about the Great Gatsby and photosynthesis, but can you sum it up in three stanzas? Sometimes the best way to describe the world is through syllables (17 to be exact). After all, less is more, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, I believe that a word can be worth a thousand pictures. For example:
Seated and anxious
Beyond the dry erase boards
Life slipping away