My experience of completely making a fool of myself was certainly less drastic than my colleague’s endeavor.
While my first ambition was to just make a waste of myself, and spill every scrap of paper in my bag, I took a step back from the idea and chose to take a simpler approach, and put another idea to the test.
Rather than seeing which students will go out of their way to help those who drastically screw up, I wanted to know how many students will assist one another in the simpler things.
My first three attempts involved tripping and dropping my papers twice. These occurrences, whether due to my acting or just lack of interest did not result in any reaction that requires much explanation.
My trip across the floor earned odd looks all around from individuals with a few concerned students asking if I was alright. This reaction, to me, made perfect sense. When one is rushing off to class early in the morning, one is not attuned to their surroundings.
This results in overlooking those who may be in need. Spilling my papers generated more of a response, most likely due to the fact that I had now disrupted rush time in the hallways.
Later on in the day, due to an actual act of carelessness on my part, I misplaced my wallet. While in the midst of my frantic search, a young woman from Pierce College approached me and asked if I had lost my wallet.
Upon opening up the wallet, she found my Pierce College ID. She was going to turn it in to the security office in case I went searching there.
Following this encounter, I decided to change my tactics to doing small, nearly unnoticeable things rather than over-the-top accidents.
My first order of business was leaving pens on my desk as I was getting up to leave class.
I was surprised when students called me out and told me not to forget my pen. I had the pleasant experience of two separate occasions when students chased me down in the hallway in order to give them back to me.
This was a complete eye-opener for me and made me feel a little guilty for the pens I have confiscated in classrooms.
Near the end of the day, I went to the library and pretended to have trouble working the printers.
This involved consistently typing in the wrong password or username, not being able to find the print bottom and showing a very irritated face.
While students never actually came over to help me, I did receive the attention of the librarian and was given careful instructions on how to work the printer.
The overall experience was much more than what I was expecting. I was half anticipating writing a story reflecting the neglect of student interest in helping those around them.
As it turns out, however, students at Pierce are exactly the opposite.
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