Monday, June 2, 2014

Early Thirsty: Sing along...

Proffie Galore sent me an idea for a Thirsty which inspired me to revise the song about Bingo the dog.  Everybody, sing!

There was a meeting
and we were bored,
How do we stay awake?
B - I - N - G - O!
B - I - N - G - O!
B - I - N - G - O!
Meeting BINGO keeps us sane-O.

Somewhere, lost in the vast archives of Academic Water Cooler, I linked to the grading BINGO card that appeared at Shit My Students Write. Proffie Galore put this to use and says, "it helped the grading go -- well, if not faster, then at least with less frustration. I actually looked forward to the wearisomely predictable faults."

This idea of a modified BINGO card is not new.  Scott Adams mentioned a staff meeting BINGO card in Dilbert way back in the previous century.

With that in mind, here is Proffie Galore's Early Thirsty:

How would AWC modify it for use during department or committee meetings?


  1. A square for when someone says, "Didn't we decide that at our last meeting?" and everyone remembers deciding, but it's not in the minutes.

    A square for when a colleague says "We should ..." and actually means, "Since I had the great idea, everyone else must drop what they are doing and implement it."

    A square for when the chair reads everyone the memo s/he sent two days ago.

    A square for when a participant asks the chair to tell him/her what was IN the memo the chair sent out two days ago.

    A square for the colleague who answers a phone call during the meeting.

    A square for when someone resurrects an issue already decided and voted on, that they are unhappy with and want to reopen.

    A square for when someone who MISSED a meeting (for no good reason), wants to object to the outcome of a vote taken at the missed meeting because "Well, I didn't have a chance to state MY opinion!"

    A square for when an untenured colleague fawns on the chair

    Oh, this IS fun.

  2. A square for each bizbabble/edubabble phrase that somehow manages to sneak its way into the discussion (e. g., "closing the loop", "meeting learning objectives")

    A square for a former department head who sleeps through the meeting, wakes up and exclaims that there is a crisis but doesn't mention that it was one that had its origins when he or she was in charge. (This actually happened while I was grad student rep in the department where I started my first master's degree. The former DH was offered the prime lab space when the building we were in was constructed and shared with another department. He turned it down. While I there, the department was in a bit of a pinch for lab space and when the former DH made his proclamation, he received a lot of dirty looks from his faculty colleagues.)

    A square for each time when the resident departmental genius (who usually toadies to the DH) says anything. Inevitably, that statement will be regarded as having divine attributes and will be more precious than gold, even though much of it is complete rubbish.

    A square for when the DH "recruits" the department to be the guinea pigs in his newest pet project.

    1. Combining 1 and 4 above would result in a square devoted to the word "pilot" (though I must say I've seen this word used in useful ways as well; basically, it can allow experimentation without jumping through all the requisite bureaucratic hoops. As with many things, it's a tool with neutral value in an of itself; whether its use is for good or for ill depends on who wields it).

    2. The edubabble definitely is going into one of my squares. Perhaps a square for "SLO" and one for "Institutional Effectiveness" and another for "Student Success."

  3. A square for someone who sets up more than two pieces of connected technology in front of them (e.g. phone plus tablet plus netbook) and spends the whole meeting jerking his head between them

    A square for a colleague who brings in a manuscript to referee and mutters "idiot!" and allied phrases not-quite under their breath

    A square for a colleague who steadily munches their way through a giant bag of children's gummy sweets, without sharing

    A square for a decision taken which is then overturned by someone smug saying "oh but Faculty just changed that rule, didn't you read the latest Quality Manual?"

    A square for when a colleague says "When I was at UtterCullerThumpia University, we always did X..." (where the university named is more prestigious than the institution where the meeting is being held). Bonus points (if BINGO has them?) if the colleague was only there as a VAP or similar and has been at Current Institution for ten years or more.

    A square if a bad joke comparing the meeting to the success or otherwise of the local (not university, town) football team is made within the first ten minutes [or US equivalent]

    A square if, when the discussion seems to have drifted to conscensus, the chair of the meeting says "anyone else want to comment?" and then lets at least one person repeat their previous point ad nauseum

    A square for the first person to kick their shoes off and have one go beyond their reach, causing them to have to try to casually slide down in their chair and fish for it under the table

    1. Re: Bonus points. My grading BINGO has a square for citing an author by first name instead of last, with bonus points if the author is female.

  4. The square labelled "Sed, Cogito..." is filled in when you notice that "free exchange of ideas" has evolved into Colleague A stating a point or idea, which is then rebutted by Colleague B, to which Colleague A responds "Well, I just think that" followed by a verbatim recounting of his/her previous statement.

    The square for "Agent Provocateur" is filled in when Colleague C states a point or idea, then Colleague D enthusiastically expands upon it to the apparent pleasure of C, but now the idea has become so outrageous that you can't believe anyone could think such a thing, least of all D who is typically quite rational, leaving you to wonder if D was just goading C into looking stupid.

  5. Ben, I'm sorry I missed a previous iteration of BINGO on AWC. But this was a fun exchange. Dare I ask for more? We have graduation coming up, and I foresee the following BINGO squares:

    - Anxious administrators try to herd cheerfully chaotic faculty into procession lines based on tenure seniority rather than friendship.

    - Bulges under faculty robes (other than my own) show where the cell phones, water bottles, eyeglass cases, and purses hide.

    - Dressed-up families in the stands wave large signs and balloons for a student who just managed to squeak by in classes.

    - Speeches start! A minute is wasted dwelling on the distinction between "graduation" and "commencement."

    - Obscene error in video captions makes jaws drop despite text being available in time to print it in the programs.

    - Talkative colleagues can't stop even during moving speech by student who overcame horrible circumstances to earn 4.0 GPA.

    - Stray lizard livens things up in the faculty rows.

    - So many bags of candy get passed that you don't even know whose you're sampling.

    - Degree time! Student struts to stage and dances for the video cameras. Big laughs and cheers ensue.

    - Then another student struts and dances. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another.

    - Family blows air horn for their student, obliterating names of next graduate and temporarily deafening nearby families.

    My playlist for the traffic jam that follows includes Bob Hate's "Ph.D. Blues" and Randy Newman's "Korean Parents for Sale."