Thursday, May 7, 2009


As seen in the comments on Dean Dad's blog yesterday:

Check out this "featurette" preview of a new fall show on NBC called Community. As in "Community College". The full screen version on hulu is higher quality than this embed, but here you are (sorry about the leading ad):

Trust me: It is definitely worth four and a half minutes of your time if you teach at a CC. Heck, it wouldn't have been that far off the mark back when I was a grad TA at a major state R1! Like the guy who ate peanut butter straight from the jar during a 10 AM class. Was it a late breakfast or an early lunch? Who knows, but it had to stop.

Anyway, as I said in a side comment on DD's blog, I used to think that "Big Bang Theory" hit too close to home to the extent that it resembled my days as a physics grad student, but this show has the potential to disturb me very deeply. You see, only some of our students are HS losers. Some choose to come here to save money, with our lower tuition, which is a big deal these days.

And I don't know if the one character is a Dean (talking about why he is at this college) or a Psych 101 instructor (based on the Rorschach blot on the wall), but neither one has a bottle of wine on his desk - at least not with the door open. But the set decoration? Exquisite, right down to the boxes with an old computer display on top.

So is it, as they claim, "A smart comedy about higher education and lower expectations"? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe only if I lower my expectations for the program itself. But my friends and colleagues will all be waiting to see if (and how) they treat math or science classes. College Algebra, anyone?

Dean Dad blogged about the program here. I like his emphasis on the positive. I hope it does show, by example, the approach that leads to success at a CC.


Dr. Lisa said...

I do believe that "lower expectations" would violate all those articulation agreements, don't you? Argh.

Doctor Pion said...

Yeah, that would be one of the shudder inducing aspects of the show, although the clip didn't give any indication that would be the case.

My own experience is that students doing the "down transfer" thing to our CC find our classes to be tougher than at the university. Among other things, our faculty put teaching first so we are less likely to simply "give" out grades and be done with it.