Thursday, July 19, 2007

TV Shows I'd Like to See

Procedural Initials in the NYC/Miami Library - Watch a librarian investigate and track down answers to the questions we all want to ask. What's the origin of the title "Prince of Wales"? What's a "2 R Rule"? Is Marlowe really dead?

Survivor: College Composition - Contestants get voted out of college for poor peer editing participation, vapid content, and under-developed paragraphs! The final survivor gets a full-ride scholarship for the rest of college!

Tweeds - Young phuds start their first post-doctoral years; two are in tenure track jobs, one's adjuncting, and one decides to blow off academia and work at an office selling conveyor belts. Watch the comedy as tenured colleagues harass and threaten, while the academic "deserter" pays off her loans in record time and tries to find meaning in a mortgage.

So You Think You Can Theorize - Theory heads compete at spontaneously explaining post-modern concepts to state legislators and voters. The winner's library gets an actual journal subscription for a whole year.

Prof Swap - David Lodge meets reality television! Faculty from R1s swap positions for a semester with faculty from community and regional colleges and universities. In other episodes, faculty from elite SLACs swap with faculty at open enrollment colleges.

Antiques Roadshow (Campus Visit) - The antiques roadshow visits my office to admire my 1950s metal desk and bookshelves, dial phone, linoleum, and window that can't be opened without a special tool available only with top secret, double-oh clearance.

And just for me:

Pimp my Ride (No Motors) - Instead of pimping out some motorcycle or car, this show allows the lucky participant to pimp their bike, skateboard, or whatever. Watch the participant put Dura-Ace components on a Schwinn Varsity from the mid-70s! Another participant puts tri-bars on a three speed. I put a cut out seat and new handlebar tape on my steely!

Feel free to play along!


  1. I'd LOVE to do prof swap... I'd love seeing them teach 250 students while I teach a grad seminar and go to a conference.

  2. Is it sad that I would watch ALL of those?

  3. Me too! I'd like the first one best, though...

  4. You should pitch these to the networks! OK, maybe not.

    And re: the first one -- well, there *is* "History Detectives." It's close, but as on Mythbusters, they don't actually show the long, tedious parts of the process.

    I bet IHE picks this up!

  5. Love these. In prof swap, we'd also get to see profs who have always relied on their TAs to grade - do you think that would be a come to jesus moment in which they atone for the hell they put their tas through?

  6. I'd make sure to watch all of these too! I love the Survivor idea!

  7. I'd like to audition for a role on "Survivor: College Composition." I'd be terrific as chief of the Vapidity Police. I would wear a shiny badge with a big V on it and write up citations for DUI (Depending on Unsupported Inferences), WWT (Writing Without Thinking), and RIV (Rampant Infuriating Vagueness).

  8. A couple of my grad students have been casting "The Department"--a Gervais-style comedy based on members of our lovely little academic unit here.

    Also, how about "Grade or no grade" where students decide whether to appeal the grade they've earned based on what 20 other professors would assign their work?

  9. If anyone wants to work on Ph.D: The Series with me, I'm accepting resumes!

    Alternatively, I think prof swap would be pretty awesome.

  10. I'd like to see: "High Risk Pregnancies: True Stories" where instead of showing women having life saving surgeries or amazing deliveries of billion-tuplets, they show the daily annoyances of pregnant diabetic women giving themselves insulin and checking their blood sugars; or highlight the long,boring hours of hospitalized bedrest where nothing exciting happens.

  11. These are all great, but especially Survivor: College Competition. I also like Horace's Grade or No Grade.