of Dr. Steven L. Berg

Archive for the month “May, 2012”

Good Research is Making Connections–Even if Some Don’t Work

After watching Sabotage, a student in the class drew a connection to a scene in the film where a woman is complaining about the parakeet she had just purchased to a Monty Python sketch.  The woman was complaining that her bird did not sing.  In the Monty Python sketch, a man was trying to return the dead parakeet he had just purchased.  The student’s memory suggested that some of the dialogue in the two sketches were virtually identical.

Fortunately we were able to find the Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch on-line.  However, after viewing it, we discovered that the similarities were not as tight as memory suggested.

For some people, it is ironic that a miss in memory leads to a credible research model.  But that was the case today.  The student was able to make connections between two sources and then proceed with investigation.  We were then able to come to some conclusions based on the research.  The fact that our conclusion was that the sketch did not pay homage to Hitchcock does not lessen the value of the research that we did.

I don’t know how many times I have incorrectly remembered something and then, on investigation, discovered that memory was faulty.  I simply assume this to be part of the research process.    However, it is hard to convince people that it is not a wasted effort to disprove a theory.

Bringing up the Monty Python sketch added to our class both on the level of teaching theory as well as on our enjoyment of watching a funny video.  It was time well spent.


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