Inspired by something I mentioned yesterday (The Good Samaritan Experiment--see 1/3/10 blog post), I came into school today armed with a great new group project for my Journalism class.
I explained how the Samaritan experiment was planned, and its results.
Then, my class and I brainstormed for similar experiments we might try here at school.
As usual, my students stunned me with their wit and wisdom.
"How about The Great Pastry Experiement?" A. asked. She explained that she thought it would be interesting to walk through various school hallways holding a tray of pastry (cake, cookies, cupcakes, etc.) and see how many people asked for a piece. Her hypothesis is that pastry makes previously unintroduced people extra-friendly.
She also plans to compare numbers of asks during "rush" times and slow times. Will there be fewer asks during busy hallway times? There will be more people, so the results could be telling.
Also, will an "ask" result in more friendliness later? If you ask someone you don't know for a cupcake, and that person gives you one, how will your impression of that person change? Will a relationship (even if it's just a favorable impression) result? Post-ask interviews are planned!
Other ideas raised included experiments for how people feel when they forget their re-usable shopping bags at the grocery store (and how other clientele and cashiers feel about these people).
This one hits home for me: I probably own 15 re-usable bags, but most of the time I forget many or even all of them. It's terrible, and I always feel incredibly guilty about it (but I won't buy more because I already have 15, and also because when I once went back to my car to get them, I broke my leg in the grocery store parking lot!).
We may also test out young women's changing opinion of chivalry. Is it dead? Do we sort of want (parts of) it to be dead? Should chivalry now morph into common (shared) courtesy to both genders?
Ideas, ideas. I love ideas.
I am sure there will be even more ideas tomorrow--but the point is that these are complex, and long-term, projects. Much planning and many parts will go into them.
I will post end results later!
Have a great day. It is freezing here, but I am excited to talk about ETHAN FROME later (one of my favorite novels).