OPINION: There Will Be No Technology Allowed In My Classroom, Except For These Bop-Its
Hello, class. Welcome to your first day of Postcolonial Gender Dynamics In Western Society! As all of you are upperclassmen, I won’t waste time by going over every last sentence on the syllabus—I expect you to have done that on your own time. However, there are a couple of things that I’d like to point out: First, this course probably has considerably more reading than you’re used to. I’d ask you to do both you and me a favor, and please drop this class if you’re the kind of person who does not dedicate yourself to the reading. There are plenty of other professors who will leave you off the hook, but I’m sorry to say that I’m not one of them.
Next, I’d advise you to start thinking of your final project immediately, as your proposals will be due in two weeks’ time. If you weren’t aware already, your project will be a multimedia reflection on three important spheres of the social construction of gender in relation to gender roles and gender inequality in the postcolonial era.
Lastly, and most importantly, there will be absolutely no technology allowed in my classroom—except for one slight twist. All of you are required to purchase and bring with you to class a Hasbro-brand Bop It! This is a wireless digital device that can be operated in a number of different ways, and is sold at the BC Bookstore in the toys section (although I personally believe it deserves the respect of being placed right next to the iClickers).
I understand that some of you may disagree with this aggressive technology policy, but I assure you I have good reasons for enforcing it. There are many extensive studies in social science that demonstrate that handwritten notes are more beneficial than typed ones. Moreover, multitasking is horrible for your brain, and I know the majority of you are too feeble to stay off The Twitter or The Facebook—or whatever else you kids are using to over share the trivial information about your lives. But I’ve done some informal studies on my own time, which have all unanimously demonstrated the cognitive benefits of Boppin’-It every now and then. Like I said before, this class has a lot of reading, and the topics can be heavy and difficult to digest. I like to keep things light and entertaining with the help of the smash-hit toy, the Bop-It. Heck, when I was doing my PhD dissertation, I was bopping it, twisting it, pulling it, flicking it, and spinning it at least every thirty minutes.
If I see your cell phone, I reserve the right to kick you out of my classroom. It’s disrespectful to me, your peers, and to the intellectual giants who we will be reading and discussing in the classroom. And if you have a serious handwriting problem, please see me individually and we might be able to work something out where you use your laptop with the WiFi turned off. Understood? Wonderful.
Now that all the beginning nonsense is out of the way, I’d like to let you out of class early, because I know you probably have a thousand things going on this syllabus week. If I was some other professor, I might let you go free of charge. But I’m not. If you want to leave this classroom, you’ll have to beat my Bop-It high score. Any takers?