*Disclaimer: This article is from The Brock Press’ 2018 satire publication, which followed the theme of ‘fake news’ meant to bring humour to our readers. All quotes are attributed to made up characters.
Brock faculty are looking to open a new course option next year for students and professors alike. This course will aim to further develop skills that can be applied in a variety of career paths. The credit is split in two parts: WALK 1P91 and TALK 1P92, which will be worth a full WALK&TALK credit.
“The skills taught and practiced in this new course are so universally applicable to all students in all streams of study, and they are vitally important to so many career options that our students pursue after earning their degree,” explains Dr. Mike Scholls, who has been recruited to teach the WALK portion of the course. His colleague, Dr. Alexa Siri, will teach TALK 1P92, focusing on clear, efficient communication methods and strategies.
“I’m looking forward to really interacting with the students and engaging in effective communication techniques with them,” she said. “Communication has developed and evolved so much in the last number of years, and it’s important to use all forms both efficiently and respectfully.”
While the skills taught in the course are applicable to career settings, students and staff alike are hoping to promote changes inside Brock’s halls. As a student, I know it’s frustrating to be rushing from your class in Academic South to your seminar in East Academic in the 10 minute window we have, and getting stuck behind professors. And chatting in the halls during their slow saunter over to the Tim Horton’s line doesn’t help. Similar complaints have been voiced by many members of the student population, and they are hoping to see a development of faster walking while talking from their professors in the halls. Similarly, however, it can be just as frustrating to be stuck behind students who are walking and texting, and the class will hopefully address this issue as well.
“Walking and texting is one of the most advanced communication skills an individual can master,” explains Siri. “Both require such high levels of visual attention, so we will hopefully teach students how to move each eye independently in order to keep one on the text and one on what’s in front of them.”
For this section of the course, a registered optometrist has been hired to help instruct. While you may have been taught as a child that crossing your eyes was bad for you and could cause permanent damage, new developments are causing the tactic to be encouraged.
“With the development of texting and other immediate forms of communication, slow walkers have become more and more of an issue in our society. We know that texting isn’t going away, so it only makes sense to cross our eyes so much that they become stuck that way,” explained optometrist Dr. Iris Lasik. With new research and technology in the field of optometry, experimental techniques are being developed to help not only cross one’s eyes horizontally, but also vertically.
“We are quite excited to be testing these preliminary strategies on Brock staff and students,” says Dr. Lasik. “A university is such an incredible environment from which we can receive test results, especially because university minds are the cream of the crop when it comes to mental activity. From there we hope to make corrections and changes as needed to extend this technique to caffeinated, sleep-deprived people as well.”
While TALK 1P92 is focused primarily on ease of living, WALK 1P91 will have a more political and societal drive behind it. Specifically, the class aims to address power structures and gender hierarchies both within the university community but in larger society as well. As gender binaries become more exposed and criticized, the issue of gendered fashion has begun to move to the forefront of concerns that many have.
Specifically, men’s and women’s footwear has been discussed as propelling gender and power inequalities in communities. For instance, the sounds of a woman walking in heels down the hallway can cause students to feel uneasy and belittled, as it is often professors that wear heels. Students have voiced complaints about professors drawing unnecessary attention to themselves and their power within the university through the ways that they amplify and over dramatize the sounds of walking in heels. This is one issue that will be addressed in WALK1P91. Dr. Scholls hopes to focus on teaching everyone ways to modify their shoes or their walk in order to minimize, and hopefully diminish, the different sounds that different shoes make, particularly heels.
Similarly, male students are finding that they feel a loss of power and respect when their girlfriends wear heels and are consequently taller than them, or at least the same height. The class will also focus on encouraging men to embrace a variety of shoe styles, including heels, in order to take power back from women. It will include a fashion segment on how to choose shoes and match them with different outfits to make them appropriate for different occasions. Dr. Scholls will also spend time teaching girls who insist on wearing heels how to walk with their knees bent at approximately a 45 degree angle in order to retain the gendered power that is so fundamental to society.
“I’m so honoured to have been asked to teach this segment of the new introduction course at Brock University,” says Dr. Scholls. “The disruption of patriarchy has gotten too out of hand, and it will be exciting to work with students and professors alike to help restore traditional order to their school community, and hopefully by extension to greater society.”