By: Jin Heng Cheah
Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Today’s section of WHAT’S INTERESTING will be covering the agricultural communication class. Why an agricultural communications class you say? WELL, that’s because this class has cranked up my thought engines, in the creative way.
Every Monday in class, you come in knowing you’ll learn about a new topic. Normally, you’d be bored because it’s for 2 hours on a Monday morning but have no fear, Dr. Filson teaches here. The nice lady Dr. Filson always has a video or two to entertain you on various topics discussed in class. I do not know why she loves them videos, but I like it. Here are the numerous examples of her penchant for videos:
First week of class, we are forced to learn about high school grammar, AGAIN. Since reiterating learned material is boring, she decides to show a video entitled “The parts of speech rap”. Huzzah, short and simple, fast and easy. Mission accomplished.
Second week of class, she talks about descriptive writing. Deciding slides were utterly boring, she shows two videos. One is an upbringing take on agritourism and how it positively affects agriculture as a whole. In death-defying contrast, the other is a Weird Al Yankovic video making fun of the Amish (It was an example of agritainment). After the video finishes, she puts on a smile, ignores why such a death-defying contrast is presented and then she tells us to write our opinions as the end of the class. Teaching, Done, Right.
Fast forward a fortnight ahead, she starts talking about fracking. She brings up another two videos to skip any boring long dragged out discussions. First video: Fracking is good and safe, backed up with science. Next video: Fracking is bad, backed up by about 5-7 minutes of an overly emotional lady needing to sell her house away because the ground around her area is toxic from fracking. Dr. Filson does something right here, she makes students think. Teaching should be about encouraging the thought process because then, the creative engines start rolling. It shouldn’t be about attending class and going through material because attendance is required and taught material is an obligation.
Moving on from Dr. Filson, WHAT’S INTERESTING about this class too is the guest speakers. There’s an invited speaker about every class. From crisis communication (I personally don’t understand why an introductory class prepares you for failure) to GMOs, this class has taught me a lot about agriculture and the agricultural background.
Now here’s the smart thing, they (the CFAES) know students won’t listen to guest speakers because they understand 2 hours of class on a Monday morning is horrible. SO, they give you assignments on these topics. Assignments force you to relearn the topics through google on another more convenient time. The only downside is that assignments are annoying but, bah, such is student life.
That’s all for today’s section of WHAT’S INTERESTING. I won’t be blogging anytime soon so goodbye for now.
Jin wrote this blog post as part of an in class assignment for the Agricultural Communication 2367 course. All opinions are his own.