I got an email (copied to all instructors, I think) the other day from a campus dorm organization asking faculty folks to offer up our services as dunking booth occupants for a charitable event the dorm organization's hosting. It's something to raise money for an organization dealing with depression.
So, it's for charity; it's not often that student groups ask us to specifically help them, especially dorm groups, and it's good on many levels to make connections with students; it's 10 minutes in a booth, pretty much guaranteed to result in at least one good soaking on a spring day; I'm drip dry, and unfortunately don't shrink with washing. Show students that one professor at least takes things with good humor.
So that's all good, except, it's a dunking booth, and something in my gut tells me that doing a dunking booth thing just isn't what I want to do by way of student involvement, charity money raising, or even bathing, and that all the good humor I can raise won't come forward when I see some student taking aim.
There's the whole students taking out aggression on professors, especially a female professor, and more especially, ME, thing.
There's also the secret fear: what if no one likes me enough to want to dunk me, even, thing?
Then there's the what does one wear to a dunking, thing? Because normally, a t-shirt and shorts (maybe over a swim suit) would be fine if I were likely to be publicly wet (they work for rafting trips), but I'm thinking not here. The wet t-shirt contest image just isn't me. It wasn't me 25 years ago, and things have gone downhill since then. And shorts, no, the idea of showing myself in shorts to students creeps me out. Maybe jeans, but dang they're uncomfortable when wet.
I have a hard time articulating my reasons for not wanting to participate.
Back at my former job, in an even smaller midwestern school, the administration thought it would be really fun to get fake "sumo suits" and have people pay a buck to fake sumo wrestle in them at an event to raise money for some charity. Maybe I'm nuts, but that, too, seemed like a lousy idea, though it was hard to articulate why.
I guess it had to do with the fact that our students and community had so little real experience with Japanese culture or people, and that playing in "sumo suits" mocked that culture from a position of deep ignorance. And it had to do with the ways that our society treats people who are overweight or obese, and those suits really mocked weight problems.
On the other hand, I'm not generally against mockery. I've even been known to mock on occasion. And I think laughing, especially at satire and foolishness is a fine thing. I don't think that laughing or mocking from a position of ignorance is, though, I guess?
So, blogosphere of wisdom, what shall I do?
Dress in jeans and a tee-shirt with another shirt over, and take a dip for charity?
ps. Blogspot seems spotty today, for others, too?