Question/Puzzle: How can a prof. make one class the week before Spring Break (the Sister of Semester Breaks (because, quite frankly, the Summer Break is the Mother of all Breaks!) fun, entertaining and engaging enough to counteract the effects of students mentally checking out well before the official break begins?
Answer: I have no idea…
But I decided to try something new in my Political Parties and Interest Groups class the week before break.
It was billed as “YOUTUBE-A-PALOOZA…”
We had just finished the material for the first half of the class covering Political Parties. We had a great 8 week flow of engaging class discussions on topics ranging from the competing theories for why the U.S. has a two-party system to campaign finance and mid-term elections to the rewards and punishments legislative leaders have in their quivers to manage their respective rank and file members in the “Legislative Leviathan.”
For YouTube-A-Palooza students had to showcase a video clip of about 5 minutes to reflect one or more of the themes we bandied about all semester. Most of the clips were parodies, some of them funny because they were too true to form and others bordering on the Edward Albee-like absurdity that is sometimes politics (so in the latter case politics is less art than it is a post modern spectacle)…
Check out some of the vids:
Hung Parliament! (comparative electoral systems)
Rapping about Parties (appealing to younger voters)
Mike Gravel stares into your soul:
“Chuck Norris Approved!” – a classic!
Bureaucracy as a wall – from Yes, Prime Minister
Tea Party Uber-Patriotism
Al Gore’s Parallel Universe (beware the glaciers!)
The Simpsons Do Electronic Voting
Ralph Wiggum for President: We asked for it and we got him!
Learn to Speak Tea Party Parody – cuts both ways though!
Classic Jib-Jab “Time for Some Campaignin’”
SNL Halloween Party focusing on Democrats vying for the 2008 nomination