Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

When Harry Met Sally

I realize, as an adjunct professor, some of my students just “don’t get me”. I would assume that this is true of most teachers. I try to teach the way I liked to learn. Again, I would assume this is true of most educators.

I learned best from nonconventional means. So, I try to use such methods. Video clips from movies that may seemingly have nothing to do with public speaking classes is one of my techniques. For instance, I just started moving into demonstration speeches. To start this lecture, I show a clip from the movie, When Harry Met Sally.

In case you haven’t guessed, or don’t know the movie, the scene is when Sally, trying to prove a point, fakes an orgasm while in a crowded restaurant. I usually follow this up with two questions. The first question is, “Was this a demonstration”? Just about everyone agrees and says “Yes”. My next question is, “Did Sally use a visual aid”? This one usually is split. I explain that she does use a visual aid, that you can use your body as a visual aid during a speech and that was exactly what Sally did.

Most of my students enjoy the clip. Most of my students understand the point I am trying to make. Each semester, however, there are a couple of students who always ask me why I am showing this clip (even after I have explained it) and just don’t understand it.

As I said before, I know there are some students who would like me to simply recite what is in the textbook and do nothing else. I feel they have the textbook to explain demonstration speeches in conventional means. I would rather do something a little different and hopefully enjoyable. In addition, because most of the students have not seen this movie in the past, the shock value also is effective in holding the attention of the students.