What a former college instructor really thinks…

Proposed Geography Course: I See London, I See France

Students in the U.S. feel insufficiently motivated to learn about foreign lands and cultures.  Unfortunately, it is not the educator’s job to force students to learn anything or even to tell them to “try it and you may like it.”  The preferred route is to motivate them to be interested in a topic.   Motivation works (occasionally) but you have to come up with something stupendous to hook potential learners.

This proposed course offers a hook that will let students see the most intimate details of foreign lands.  That’s right!  We’re going to be examining people’s underwear.  This may sound like a frivolous topic but I assure you that it is not.  If you visit Amazon.com or any of the international Amazon websites, you will find that people in foreign countries prefer different types of underwear.  Often, this underwear is much more revealing, and this provides an excellent chance to grab students’ attention.

This may also provide encouragement to students who might not otherwise consider studying abroad.  Students will have a chance to see some of the most important sights that foreign countries have to offer.  And let’s be honest: we all know that the inhabitants of many countries show everyone these sights without a second thought.  Our students will be global citizens in no time.

But the administration may object: Don’t we run the risk of having our students stay overseas forever?  Won’t that negatively impact our tuition revenues?  This objection is legitimate, but educators must always remember that our first priority is what’s best for the students.  If we’re concerned about students not wanting to come back, we can always encourage them to bring back souvenirs to share with their friends.  Then, on Diversity Day, they can all parade around campus wearing the culturally significant artifacts they discovered while abroad.  Our entire community will be celebrating diversity in no time!

That parade should be enough reason for the university to approve this course proposal.

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2 responses

  1. Can we have a unit on the “no underwear allowed” countries? I’d like that.

    July 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm

  2. I think that would have to be a completely separate course…

    July 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm

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