Playing the Fool, deliberately engineered interruptions
"I play the Fool in order to bring humour to my classroom. It’s a role that I deliberately take on, like a coat or a cape. I think most of my students know that, even though I enjoy playing the role of Fool, I do it mostly for them.” - Martin Richards
One of my University professors, Alan White, was an expert at keeping our attention at the highest level, by using interruptions. It was necessary since there were 200 students packed into an airless lecture theatre, and the lectures went on for two hours starting at 9 am.
Initially his interruptions seemed to be natural ones.
These interruptions happened so often that we began to expect them. His lectures were interrupted by one of an increasing variety of interruptions, to which we gladly looked forward.
The timing changed from being sometime near the middle of the lecture, to being closer to the end. Indeed some lectures lacked an interruption, which was in itself an interruption!
Our respect for the professor grew as we understood that he was deliberately engineering interruptions for our benefit. We anticipated them, talked about them during the coffee breaks and showed our appreciation of his ever-increasing creativity in providing for our needs, by turning up on time for his lectures.
Towards the end of the year, the interruptions had developed to such a level that we knew that this last lecture was going to include an ‘epic interrupt’. (Continues in the book)
Read about it, and other stories at http://www.martinrichards.eu/books.html
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