Just Play The Game And Get The Grade

, , , , , | Learning | December 16, 2020

Halfway through my sophomore year of high school, sometime around 2012, our English teacher leaves and a new teacher comes in. The new teacher upends the old teacher’s curriculum and leaves us all frazzled as a result. We also discover that she has some backward ideas of what makes a good presentation or report, so we all start failing our presentations, to our frustration. She decides to give us guidelines finally.

Teacher: “Your presentations aren’t exciting enough! They have to engage the audience. Use as many fonts as possible on the Powerpoint to keep attention. Use the fun fonts! The cursive ones!”

Student #1: “It’s tough to read some of those fonts on the projector, though. It’s a little blurry and the text comes out so small.”

Teacher:No. You’ve just lost the art of cursive! How many of you were even taught how to write in cursive?”

To her dismay, every student raises their hands and she sputters.

Teacher: “Well, you don’t use it enough! It is very legible on the projector; you just can’t do it anymore. You also don’t put enough words!”

Student #2: “I thought text on Powerpoints were supposed to be bullet points and short summaries.”

Teacher: “Absolutely not. How am I supposed to know what you’re presenting on? I want full paragraphs of every word you say on those slides. And you need more pictures. Fun pictures. Like those moving pictures!”

Student #3: “You want GIFs? On our slideshows?”

Teacher: “Yes! Lots of them! They’re fun. They catch attention! Speaking of, use more bright, bright colors for your text! You make all the text black and it’s just so boring; it doesn’t catch attention! Use the highlighter button!”

The rest of the students eventually stopped arguing with her and we all learned to make the absolute ugliest slideshows for only her class. One time, I included several slides in a row that were just low-quality, blown-up GIFs, as a joke, and she gave me extra credit for “really knowing how to be engaging!”

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