Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Coming Soon to a Television Near You

Thanks to Jo(e)'s comment in my post about Candid Camera, I've begun to ponder just what a graduate student reality show would look like... (who would actually watch it is a different matter.) Jo(e) proposes that grad students be locked into a house with one computer and some kegs of beer... and then we'll watch what unfolds. Good. Like the competition angle plus the beer angle.

I must confess I don't watch reality TV, but hopefully I've absorbed enough from my cultural surroundings to ponder the following: what are your ideas for a grad student reality show?

One idea would be something called The Revolution. In some ways, I've never met a more downtrodden group of people as graduate students... and I've always had a theory that in separate little clusters across this country, as a psychological self-defense mechanism, graduate students apply their training in whatever theory they're steeping in (post-modern, lit-crit, political, etc.) to plot The Revolution. Ours began by pondering who would be "first against the wall." If I'm right, what did your revolution look like?

But upon further reflection, I think I could cook up a better TV show than that. So here's my idea for the show. I think I'd call it something like "You're Hired!" and then pick 8-10 graduate students from the same field and dangle their Dream Job in front of them. They would then spend each week of the season competing in events such as : Advisor Avoidance, Leading an 8 a.m. Section of Surly Unprepared Students, Receiving Brutal Criticism without Crying, Making Wallpaper with Rejection Letters (special judge: Martha Stewart!), and perhaps even a cooking demonstration called Foods I Can Afford on My Stipend. In keeping with academia, no contestant would ever be eliminated, instead, they'd each be given the false hope that they will finish the season as the chosen one.

Each event would be judged by a panel of star faculty in the field (note to self: hire numerous wardrobe consultants) and then the winner would assume his/her Dream Job at the end of the season. American viewers will literally be stunned when the contestant is thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to earn $46K!

Oh, wait, that's way too depressingly actually like reality. I must be in a dark mood today. I guess I won't quit my day job to pitch this in Hollywood.


At 4:36 PM, Blogger Overread said...

Another competition could be 'Speed Grading!' How many papers can you coherently grade in one sitting? Added difficulties: Stream of consciousness papers! Plagiarism! Limited caffeine!

At 5:10 PM, Anonymous zelda said...


At 6:30 PM, Blogger RageyOne said...

Oh my goodness! That is too funny.

At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find it helpful when planning the Revolution to contemplate which state(s) would be used to house the 'Enemy Combatants.' Currently, the entire state of Florida is way out ahead.

At 10:03 PM, Blogger jo(e) said...

I love overread's idea -- a reality show about grading papers! My friends get really creative and punchy and funny when they are grading papers. It would be hilarious.

And I would be more than happy to donate papers from my students. Anything for a good cause.

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