of Dr. Steven L. Berg

Modeling Behavior

Today, I screened The Three Caballeros in three of my classes.  It was part of the International Institute’s Focus Series; something that I think is important.

It has been about five years since I have seen the movie and I did not remember the details.  Therefore, I watched the film during the first screening.  Then, during the next two screenings, I spent time doing work in my office.  Several students left class during the second and third screenings and did not watch all of the film.

I do not want to make excuses for the students who skipped out of class early, but it does occur to me that I made an error in my conduct.  I should have stayed in the classroom and watched the film through all three screenings.

The Three Cabaleros is not an obvious film to show for the my two ENG 102 classes.  And there is no way in which students could understand how I planned to integrate it into our lessons.  As a result, students could have seen watching the film on the same level as busywork; something that just took up time without real benefit.  Given that mindset, I might have been tempted to walk out, to0–which one could argue that I did.

Logically, it makes sense that I would only watch the film once on Thursday.  I doubt that anyone would argue that I must watch it three times.  But the issue is not watching the film.  It was the fact that I should have been in the classroom with the students.  In politics, we argue that bodies count; that the number bodies we can deliver to an event or the voting booth are what counts.  By skipping out on the second and third showing of the film, it could be easily argues that I signaled to students that I did not care enough about the class activities to be present.  Because I was not willing to put my body in the room, I could have signaled to students that their presence didn’t count either.

Regardless of the decisions I made, no students should have left the classroom before the end of the film.  But, confronted with a similar situation in the future, I need to rethink my decision to not be present while a film is being shown.

I cannot remember his exact words, but one of my students essentially asked if I was OK.  He was concerned because I seemed more stressed than I was last semester.  As I thought about it, he is right.  I have been working especially hard and I am feeling stressed.  It is time to take a bit of time off; to get a bit more balance.




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2 thoughts on “Modeling Behavior

  1. jeff anderson on said:

    In professor bergs class we watched The Three Caballeros, a movie about three completely different cultures. Daffy Duck the main character in the movie would learn about the Mexican culture and Brazilian culture. From how they dance, sing and dress all the while making it fun. I think this is a very cool and fun way of introducing different cultures to each other. This way not only do learn about new things but your are enjoying and laughing instead of just sitting down listening to a teacher lecture for several hours. I feel this more teacher should use this type of teaching, students might better relate to things that aren’t as boring but more entertaining.
    This movie was more over about daffy meeting a new friend every time he would open his birthday gift. This was filled with traditional gifts and information about Brazil and Mexico, one of Daffy’s gifts was a popup book about Brazil. As well as Ze’ Carioca another feathered friend who takes him to Bahia Brazil and the two animated characters dance and sung with a beautiful actress who they fall in love with as soon as they see her. After dancing with the navies daffy then opens up his three gifts. Which was a piñata accompanied by other feathered friend Panchito. Who takes them on a magic carpet ride around Mexico; he sings with them and also let daffy swing at the piñata. He shows them the beaches of Mexico, and daffy shows his ladies skills chasing them around.
    Just from the few things I’ve said about the movie I am sure most students would agree that this is twice as better than listening to a professor talk for hours. I don’t maybe that’s just my opinion but I like having fun no matter where I am at. I hope that this isn’t the last movie we watch in professors bergs class I enjoyed it better than just listening a visual helps a lot more plus I actually learned some things. Like about the Mexican holiday that they celebrate for several day as if they were Mary and Joseph looking for shelter for the night. Being turned down over and over until someone friendly lets them in then feasting and partying begin. The parties or Posadas as they’re called in Mexico, I have actually been to. This past Christmas I went to see a friend in Toluca Mexico where they would perform these parties every night. There is tons of food tons of family and huge piñatas that are almost impossible to open. Then they even go to different place playing the rolls of Joseph and Mary singing a song in Latin asking for shelter for the night to hold their posada. After asking several times their family member lets them in and the party begins. It usually begins with your choice and red Hawaiian water with alcohol but just a little, or the yellow one I didn’t like too much. They were a little less than a shot glass as you drink this cookies and other food is brought out to you everything was delicious, After that the kids either go hit the piñata or go out to find something fun to do. Usually this is the time when everyone begins to sign in Latin again with candles and fire stick. I had tons of fun and this movie was a great reminder of that.

    -Jeff Anderson
    English 102

  2. I agree with the importance of modeling behavior . A similar situation occurs when an administrator does not attend the faculty development which s/he has arranged.

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