Thursday, November 06, 2014

Vogons invade my classroom!

I'm trying to make my Concepts of Comedy students think about the human condition but they sit there staring blankly at my well-conceived questions, so it's time to bring some Vogonity into the classroom. No, I'm not planning to read them any Vogon poetry, but I'm giving them some group work with questions like these:

1. The Vogons are coming! The Vogons are coming!
Those repellant aliens want to destroy Earth to make room for an interstellar bypass. Fortunately, you have penetrated the Vogons’ massive bureaucratic labyrinth and you now wait in line to submit a form claiming that the human race is worth preserving—however, only one type of evidence is admissible. Argue that the human race is worth preserving based entirely on evidence from Fran Lebowitz's "Better Read than Dead" and Woody Allen's "A Look at Organized Crime."

2. Greetings, Vogons!
You’re just trying to do your job, clearing away an insignificant little planet called Earth to make room for an interstellar bypass, but those pesky little Earthlings have filed documents claiming that the human race is worth preserving. You could just read them some Vogon poetry and drive them all to suicide, but instead you employ the vast labyrinthine Vogon bureaucracy to reject their claims for sound reasons. Demonstrate that the human race is worthy of destruction based entirely on evidence from Tom Wolfe's "The Secret Vice" and Ian Frazier's "Laws Concerning Food and Drink." 

Will my students step up to the challenge? Will they recognize the Vogon reference or sit there scratching their heads? Does it matter? Only time will tell. Ask me tomorrow after class.


Laura said...

Have I mentioned that your class sounds like fun?

Bev said...

Thanks! The Vogon exercise sparked some interesting discussion and I certainly enjoyed myself. I can't speak for my students--especially the 9 who weren't there. (Out of 21.) Apparently, "it's Friday" is considered an adequate excuse.