Stop making sense

I had a funny moment last night… I had the TV on in the background while I was dealing with the dogs, fixing their food bowls, also cooking spinach because spinach is my new Health Plan …

Point is, I wasn’t paying attention to the television.

And I happened to catch a line. 

Alex Trebek was interviewing the contestants, and I heard one saying (this is close to a direct quote): “. . . so I assign a lot of projects. They do a lot of independent learning. I guide from the side.”

That was his wrap-up. 

I guide from the side.

And that was it, back to the game. No particular reaction from Alex, who, I think it’s fair to say, didn’t look enthusiastic. Then again, he didn’t look unenthusiastic, necessarily. 

Two thoughts popped into my head at the exact same moment, then started ping-ponging back and forth vying for dominance. (Maybe spinach will fix that.)

My first thought: Common Core doesn’t seem to have put much of a dent in constructivism. Not that it was supposed to, really, but CC did have some instructivist elements. Plus a friend of mine, who teaches in the city, tells me kids there are now being taught phonics, so I was thinking there’d been some progress.

But maybe not.

Maybe it’s constructivism that’s on the rise.

I’ve always found it telling that no one ever calls himself, or herself, a constructivist. Yet here was a young teacher announcing, on national television, that he’s a guide on the side. He didn’t sound defensive.

Anyway, that was my first thought. Constructivism, still here. Possibly more here.

My second thought: You’re on Jeopardy.

Jeopardy, for pete’s sake !

People win Jeopardy by spending hours and hours and hours memorizing stuff.

Then, after they win on Jeopardy, they post Jeopardy book lists to help other people memorize stuff

There is no constructivist path to victory on Jeopardy.  

I don’t get it. 

He ended up losing pretty badly, which–I won’t lie–I enjoyed, but not before giving me a scare when he pulled into 2nd place after correctly answering some big-ticket questions while his two opponents flubbed theirs. 

But in the end he closed out the game with $500. 

Compared to the winner, who had $13,601.

Bonus points: I read a journal article on neoliberalism the other day, which pointed out that no one ever calls himself a neoliberal, either. Hah! I guess not. Of course, maybe I’ll turn on Jeopardy tomorrow and hear a contestant telling Alex he’s always been a big fan of the Phillips curve, ever since he was a little kid.

11 thoughts on “Stop making sense

  1. Oh my gosh!! I am laughing out loud!! (Sorry for all of the exclamation points, but I am nothing if not current on the latest fads!!)

    Your description of “hoping he wouldn’t win” is ‘Classic Catherine.’

    Sent from Outlook

    ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “People win Jeopardy by spending hours and hours and hours memorizing stuff.”

    People win on Jeopardy _mostly_ by having a broad base of general knowledge. This does not come from studying. You mostly need to have the kind of mind that accrues random facts by a combination of environmental exposure and an abiding need to look things up when they sound wrong, odd, or just interesting.

    It’s not possible to win at that sort of general trivia contest purely by study.

    Note: There are a few categories where intentionally studying can be profitable; this does not negate my general thesis. Knowing the capitals and State Whatever’s for every state in the US is useful, but not sufficient to make a decent showing on the program.

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    1. That’s what I always thought (i.e. that you can’t study for Jeopardy), but apparently they also cram.

      (I got into the subject a couple of years back…. )

      Like

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