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328/365 – Blah, Blah, Blah, Improv, Blah
© 2012 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. Dear God, he's still on how to bag your sandwich.  Can we please just eat now?

328/365 – Blah, Blah, Blah, Improv, Blah

The surest way to know if someone is not confident in their knowledge is if they over explain something.  Actually, it’s probably a better indicator of someone who is uncomfortable with their communication skills.  Somewhere inside these people lies a deep rooted fear that the people who are listening won’t get what they teaching.  To compensate, they just talk forever, hoping that something will get through.  It’s just painful to listen to a teacher talk and talk and talk, hitting the nail on the head so many times, beating that dead horse with that nail and then recording the echo and playing it on a loop.

The hall of mirrors is really the best visual representation of this problem.

Now think about having to sit through a lecture like this but you already understand the concept being taught.  This was my day today.  We had a substitute teacher for my level one improv class and it was just painful.  We were learning “game” which, simple enough (if I were teaching) would be explained as so — it’s simply finding a pattern in a scene.  Once you recognize the pattern, build on it and heighten it.  That’s it.  It’s not rocket science.

That’s like making a 150 page manual for this game.

But this guy just wouldn’t stop talking.  Whenever a scene was actually performed, he would break it down like a Tourette’s kid dissecting a dead frog in 8th grade biology class; just making a mess of everything.  He would focus on unimportant details.  He would be really vague.  He couldn’t even get a simple class warm up started without confusion.  At one point, he told the class that once you find the game, “yes and” stops . . . WHAT!?  If you do improv, you know what a bullshit statement that is.  Most of the class was lost.

It’s like having this teddy bear explain the plot to Lost.

Let’s say, for example, you, my readers, are a class.  Okay?  Got it?  Great!  Now here’s my lesson.

So, people get hungry.  And that happens like, you know, maybe 3 times a day.  Some people get hungry 5 times.  I don’t know.  Me, I’m like a 3 times a day person.  I mean, if I was to go through my day, I’d be a about 3.  Maybe a snack.  On Average, though, 3.  So, okay, it’s noon.  NO!  It’s 12:30 pm . . . 12:23 . . . ummmmmmmmm . . . You guys understand, right?  Okay.  So it’s like 2:23 pm.  Now, at this time, at least for me, and if I haven’t eaten in the morning, you may feel this grumble.  Or some call it a stomach pain . . . It’s not a gas pain.  I’ve had gas pain.  That’s caused by gas.  Not hunger.  I mean, you can have gas pain, I’m not saying you can’t.  People have it all the time.  I’m saying you have an empty stomach.  Right?  Got it?  Understand?  I think you do even though all your faces are squished up in confusion and no one is saying anything.  Okay, well, I’ll just keep taking because if I keep that up, someone will understand.  So, it’s like 11:56am.  And you have an empty stomach and it’s like, “Grumble grumble grumble.”  Right?  With me?  It’s like, “I’m so empty and sad, I need something.”  And the throat is like, “Yeah, I can hear you and . . . ”  I mean there’s so many examples.  Right?  Got it?  So, you should go to the kitchen because it’s 6pm and you need to fill that organ down there behind your belly button.  Right?  Got it?  I can tell by the deafening silence that you do.  But I’ll keep talking.  So, you should go to the pantry.  You may not have a pantry.  You may have a cupboard or a drawer — I have a rack.  Anyway, hopefully you keep food there.  You know, food?  It’s in a kitchen.  A kitchen has appliances for making food and usually a sink.  It may have a dishwasher, if you’re lucky!  Ha!  Oh man.  Right?  Got it?  I can tell you do by the fact that you’re all looking down avoiding eye contact with me.  Okay, so grab a slice of raised, baked yeast food.  Yeah.  2 actually.  That should be good.  I mean if I was doing this, I’m not saying I’m right, but if it were me, I would use two.  Just two.  Actually, once you have two, just forget about three.  Don’t use three.  Okay?  Got it?  I can tell by the glow of your cell phone you do.  But I’ll keep going.  So, get some mashed peanut goo.  I mean you can use almond.  But for this example, peanut is good.  Now, grab a knife . . . . . . . . . (AND ON AND ON).

Dear God, he’s still on how to bag your sandwich. Can we please just eat now?

Here’s the Timmy Tamisiea version:

If you get hungry, you can make a peanut butter sandwich.  Take two slices of bread, spead peanut butter on the bread.  Put them together and eat.  You can slice the sandwich in two if you want.

That was my day.  Listening to a teacher who shouldn’t be a teacher.  I could have taught this class.  It was maddening.  And my poor classmates felt like it was their fault, like not getting it was a symptom of their ignorance.  No.  It’s a symptom of a system that won’t screen instructors.

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