[2018 Oct 30. After eleven years of learning, this lesson now seems obviously sexist and ableist and I’m not proud of any of that. I am leaving it up because I don’t see the value in sanitizing my learning process, gross stuff and all.]
Ha ha … oh man … *wipes tear* … this is awful. I can’t turn it off. The game’s just too easy right now. I mean, everyone’s serving me up these monster lesson plans. I’d have to walk around with my ears gummed up and my eyes blindfolded to experience even a little bit of a lesson planning block.
Exhibit B is CBS’ sitcom How I Met Your Mother which featured the following exchange last week. (Enjoy a YouTube upload of the scene or the following screenplay [which looks awesome outside the RSS feed].)
Luckless Ted (Josh Radnor) just met a girl online. Suit-sporting bachelor Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) interrogates:
- INT. THEIR USUAL BAR - NIGHT
- So she's hot?
- Oh she's gorgeous.
- Then ... she's crazy.
- No she's not.
- There's no way she's above the line on the hot/crazy scale.
- She's not even on the hot/crazy scale. She's just hot.
Robin (Cobie Smulders) asks for an explanation of the hot/crazy scale, a scale which fits our current lesson plan like that embarrassingly tight t-shirt you’ve gotta suck in your gut to wear.
See, as Barney explains, being crazy is fine so long as you match your neuroses with good looks in a one-to-one correspondence (or better). Which makes sense.
In a fantastic hey-mister-scientist moment, Barney terms that line the Vickie Mendoza Diagonal, which, I mean, holy cow, I don’t care who you are, there’s no way to mess that one up.
But again, I didn’t care about the base hit. I wanted the home run, lights exploding as I rounded the bases, etc.
So I fabricated ten ex-girlfriends and ranked them on a ten-point scale for looks and sanity.
I asked the students to graph ’em and tell me which ones fell above the Vickie Mendoza Diagonal.
I also put a length to each relationship and a start date, including two more graphs, which yielded interesting conclusions about a) the length of the relationships as my girlfriends got crazier,
and b) the hotness of the girls I dated as I got older.
It was fun. So fun.
I showed ’em individual dot plots of length and crazy and pointed out how they didn’t reveal anything
Then I put ’em all on the same scatter plot and the thought farthest from their minds at that moment was, when could we ever use this in real life?
Oh man … I swear, if I wasn’t a teacher, I’d have that screenplay banked by now plus four more on top of it. Such is the creativity this job demands.