Friday, February 25, 2011

Gattaca? Gah!

Does anyone remember the "Gattaca" posts over at RYS?

There's a listserv at my college and it often gets used by people who need subs for classes. (What happened to cancelling classes, by the way? My grad school teachers had to occasionally do it, and as far as I can tell I've not been stunted by it.)

Anyway, on any given week I see a dozen requests for subs that all say something like this:

"Oh no, I've just found that I (have an abcess, lost my dog, need to rescue a penguin, am a lazy fuck, deny responsibility as a way to fend off happiness) and I need a sub for tomorrow's class. The sub will show a DVD (Gattaca), and pass around an attendance sheet. Thanks!"

Is it always Gattaca?

And what does the showing of Gattaca do for the students? Is it an all purpose stop gap? Is it really better for your students to watch Gattaca than anything else that a sub might do, even a discussion of some kind, or writing time, or - shit - a walk to the art gallery?

Is it Ethan Hawke? Jude Law? Is that the dynamic that comes into play? Is it the only DVD college profs own and keep in their office for emergencies?

Just wondering.


  1. I use "Friday Night Lights" and "The Wire." Just sayin'.

  2. I use old episodes of "Schoolhouse Rock" on Netflix. Cuz there's never a bad time for a grammar lesson.

  3. I had a Business Management course where the instructor showed the first 20 minutes or so of "Aliens" as examples of the five types of power (reward, coercive, expert, legitimate, and referent) managers can have/use.

  4. I show "Scrubs" in my classes. There are communication theories busting out of that series.

    Oh and I show Wallace and Gromit when we discussed nonverbal communication.

  5. I show Gilligan's Island, because it has a proffie.
    The proffie.

  6. Never show "Gattaca" to modern students. They'll whine that it's "boring," just like "2001: A Space Odyssey." I used to show them "Dr. Strangelove," and some episodes from "Cosmos," by Carl Sagan, and "From the Earth to the Moon," in the big lecture hall on Friday afternoons, whenever my department didn't have a colloquium that week. I put a stop to it when the whining about how they should be getting extra credit made it impossible for me to enjoy the show.

  7. Hans Juergen Syberberg's 7 hour film "Hitler, A Film from Germany" ought to drive the little mofos mad.

    "Cosmos" doesn't work because they'll make fun of Sagan's late-70s wardrobe and the Vangelis music.

  8. @Froderick Frankenstien from Fresno, I'd love to see Dr. Strangelove. It's my favorite movie.

  9. *see Dr. Strangelove IN CLASS, obviously.


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