Maddenation

The five-minute university

Dad’s comment about not remembering any of Cicero’s writing reminded me of a Father Guido Sarducci sketch that I just saw last night at an English Department retreat (where we were talking about how to help students remember what they learned). Sarducci was given as an example of what happens if we don’t do our job. He’s absolutely hilarious. The link I have will launch a Windows Media Player file directly, so make sure you have that installed first. Without further ado, the five-minute university.

PatrickFunnies08/26/04 2 comments

Comments

David • 08/30/04 11:39 PM:

So what did the wise English retreaters offer as the solution? I don’t know that there’s much we (teachers) can do in terms of content retention. I do believe we can help out in more general terms - on learning to learn and to love learning and the subject we teach. But as far as specific content - it’s going to be lost pal.

At some point I’m going to show this to my classes. Until that point, I’m going to be thinking of a good way to tie it into some lesson. It’s hilarious, and like all good comedy (Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld) it’s funny because it’s true.

Dad • 08/31/04 9:05 PM:

Retention is related to interest, which is related to presentation and personality and novelty. English as I was taught it (notice Sarducci didn’t cover it) was pretty boring. I didn’t get interested in it until I got interested in accurately communicating my ideas to others. I think pointing out, as Patrick does, how confusing fuzzy writing is can help students take an interest in language as a precision instrument. After that, using language in creative ways is also a worthwhile endeavor.

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