David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
Wait, Wait, Don't Teach Me

July 21, 2013: "Wait, Wait, Don't Teach Me"

I don't normally write these blogs on the weekends, as there are less higher education stimuli to get my creativity flowing.  However, with NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" as a regular weekend fixture, I am tempted this weekend to create the higher ed. game show, "Wait, Wait, Don't Teach Me." Then, again, I think we play that every day with our students. 

First off, if you don't know "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me," shame on you.  Really, shame, shame, shame. Check it out please here. The show involves a series of light-hearted games (Bluff the Listener, Not My Job, Limerick Challenge) that revisit the week's news. Listeners who play can win Carl Kassel's voice on their answering machine.

For "Wait, Wait, Don't Teach Me," the game revolves around not listeners, but non-listeners. The prize for student non-listeners is E. Gordon Gee's name on your diploma.  Thousands of us around the country already have it (including yours truly), thanks to his endless commitment to put his brand on many institutions as he rose through his career.  Why can't the rest of America strive to get it, especially if he is now fading into retirement.

What are the "Wait, Wait, Don't Teach Me Games?"

"Bluff the Lecturer."  Non-listeners pretend to be paying attention to the lecture.  Those who fake out the instructor get Gee's signature on their sheepskin.

"Not a Job."  Non-listeners scramble around trying to find financial aid for majors that legislators claim don't lead to jobs.

"Literacy Challenge."  Non-listeners try to pass college-level classes without the necessary reading, writing, or mathematical-based skills.  (The game has gotten much tougher in some states, such as Florida, that have made remedial classes "illegal" for students with a high school degree.)

"LMS GPS."  Non-listeners use their GPS systems on their phones to locate what they consider "arcane" stuff on their course's learning management system.  Big points if they can find the syllabus.

"Advice Versa."  Non-listeners do the exact opposite of everything their advisors suggest.  The faster they ignore, the higher the score.

"Scam Shepherd 101."  Non-listeners have to navigate through processes designed to stop them from scamming their financial aid money.  Bonus points for the ones who are still able to pull off the scam without attending a class.

NPR, when you come calling to recruit me to host this show, I recommend a Friday afternoon time slot, which is when most of us fall back into our desk chairs and lament, yet again, a week full of best practices lost to a group of students whose behaviors rarely coincide with the expectations we or the government put on them.  Why are we even surprised by that?  Now that I think about it, maybe this show should be called "A Priori Known Companion."