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.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Leave Or Die

I have watched with fascination the reporting of hurricane Ike. The hurricane is now headed for the Houston area. Apparently, officials in that area have told residents to evacuate. In fact, the message is, in effect, get out or die, face certain death. There are a couple of different thoughts that come to mind.

We have all seen hurricanes that were a lot more serious than expected. I think Katrina is a good example. While some people would have stayed anyway, most people did not expect the hurricane to be as severe as it was. Certainly we have seen the other side of this as well. I think Gustav was an example of something that was supposed to be devastating and was no where near as severe as predicted. This leads to people questioning the credibility. When it comes to speeches, it is important to be credible. This is an example where a lack of credibility on behalf of the weather service can literally lead to a loss of lives.

The second aspect that I noticed is a throwback to my days as a radio news reporter. I find it interesting that while everyone is told to evacuate an area, it is the people in the media, in the news, who move closer to these disasters. We tell people to do what we don’t do, what we refuse to do. Again, from an ethics point of view, can a person who is not doing something effectively ask others to do it? Is it ethical for a smoker to urge people to quit smoking?

A speaker needs to be effective and looking for ways to get the message across. A teacher needs to be looking at current events and try to find a way to use them. Although this semester is young, so far I have had no shortage of opportunities.