Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Vanity plates for TCHRS

There's a revealing account in the Chronicle of Higher Education of an assistant professor's experiences at orientation sessions for new faculty. "Graham Bennett" is an assistant professor of English at an American research university. Like many honest commentators on higher education, he is writing under a pseudonym. Here's a sample:

As part of the session on improving classroom discussion, participants were asked to imagine what their teaching philosophy would look like if it were the vanity plate for their car. We were allowed 12 letters with which to represent ourselves. For five minutes, people silently scribbled on -- or, like myself, hostilely stared at -- the sheets of paper that had been given to us for this little exercise.

When the person sitting next to me (who was similarly not writing anything down) asked why I wasn't participating, I explained that this was exactly the sort of activity I loathed as a student, that I found such activities useless and annoying. Two other people at my table sighed with relief and nodded their heads in agreement. It seems I'm not the only one with little patience for "out of the box" exercises (so many of which turn out to be recycled from the same irritating, warm-and-fuzzy, "I'm pretending this activity is original even though it's completely derivative" edutainment box).
Read the whole piece and find out what Bennett wrote for his license plate.

(Dis)Orientation (Chronicle of Higher Education)

comments: 3

Anonymous said...

I don't think Illinois allows 8-character license plate numbers like e.g. California, but if I had been subjected to that dismal workshop, I would have had LUV2FLNK. A "bad attitude" at such a time-waster is just what the doctor ordered.

Michael Leddy said...

Norman, I was imagining your reaction when I found this piece.

Your plate beats what I thought of: WILLTCH4FOOD. (The workshop in the Chronicle piece gave participants twelve letters to work with).

Anonymous said...

"YES I 812"