Friday, August 26, 2016

Gamifying Meetings and Grumpy

I'll start with the grumpy.  I simply haven't been sleeping well for the past week or so.  It happens sometimes, bad insomnia, and then I tend to get over it and start sleeping pretty well.  (I had terrible insomnia for years, and didn't quite even realize it; I'd just be awake from the time I went to bed, at say, 10, until 2 or 3 am, and then have to get up for school or work or whatever, and would drag through the day, especially as a teen.

Yesterday, I was at a long meeting, a four hour "retreat" for my college, and a new deanling did a presentation on GE sorts of stuff.  We're starting a new GE program this year, so we all need to know the rules and how to advise students, figure out schedules, and make our courses "fit."  Okay, I get that.

I have high hopes for this deanling; I've served on committees with them and they're smart, thoughtful, fair-minded, feminist.  So I was disappointed, because they set up this "game" that was basically, new GE trivia on a computerized platform.

At each table we had to log on with a device, and then there were questions, and we were supposed to answer these questions with points for being right, and points for being fast. 

So we responded to the incentives: the person who knew the answer said it, the person clicking clicked, and the people who didn't know the answers hung out.  At my table, I knew the answers because I've served on curriculum committees of late. 

But if the purpose was to get the people less familiar with the new GE to learn about it, then it didn't work, because they weren't involved at all.

But at least it wasn't horribly irritating.

We also had a meet and greet thing with some local officials.  We have about 20% representation of people of color in our local high schools, and within local governments, people of color are increasingly well represented.  There's a really strong local organization, and they're very involved in the community.

You wouldn't have known that from the local officials who came to our meeting, though.  That was irritating.  (I bent the dean's ear a bit about that, and he was receptive, but didn't have a solution; the meet and greet arrangements happened well over his head, I think.)

According to our headmaster, this is the year we really focus on increasing our service to people of color in our community.  (There's a better way to put this, but you get the idea: we're after attracting and retaining students of color to better reflect our community and region, and also faculty/staff of color to contribute in all the positive ways diversity does.) 

You wouldn't have known that from the college meeting, either. 

I have another four hour "retreat" today.  At least this one's led by a feminist person of color, so I'm pretty sure we'll address both feminism and social justice issues.


  1. Solidarity on the insomnia. I'm looking for solutions too, as you know!

    Also on the representation. Our university has been working on that, too. Similar results, so far.

  2. Also solidarity on the mess bad sleep g makes of the rest of life...