Some people say pop quizzes are abusive. They say they don’t have much of a positive effect. They say, it’s self-indulgent to surprise your students. They say, it’s sickening to mess around like that. They say, you should make things more fair for your class.
I don’t really disagree. But I wouldn’t get my mind blown by the action. The choice to make things so fucking frustratingly random, is it really something worth pumping your heart full of rage over?
There are lots of games, video and otherwise, where you may employ strong luck-based effects. Collectible card games often have incredibly high-risk, high-reward cards that can fuck over either player at any point. Damage all over the place, entire hands discarded, hands stuff full, board states changed completely, a clown fiesta of fate.
If those cards become strong in the meta-game, it’s best to play around those cards, if you can. Keeping your hand not too full or empty, being ready to destroy enemies that wouldn’t normally be summoned, cards that can cancel the activation of those cards, or reap some other advantage after the hurricane of luck is done.
Slamming a sudden challenge on a student’s desk like a random test is, despite its egregiousness, quite the character builder, since the real world can be so random. And an employee, excuse me, a professor, should find fulfillment in casting that randomness onto the battlefield that is a classroom.
And yet, in some ways, it’s less dignified than the examples I provided, isn’t it? Because in those, the person doing has to take risks of their own, right? The teacher barely does, they have no quiz to pass.
Oftentimes, the gamer has to make other sacrifices to make the randomness activate, even then, it can go very, very poorly for said player. Yogg-Saron has been known to eat himself despite its summoner playing so many spells in a state of hope and praise.
Well then, let me explain. Where the teacher gets his or her very spicy vibe. Why they feel like more than someone merely savoring the ecstasy of subjecting their subjects to the fires of fate.
It’s because students getting upset at you, or all getting grades worse than you expected or desired, or your very classroom becoming a shitty place for you to want to walk into as a teacher as a result…..are risks that you take.
Those risks are what truly make you feel hot inside. Knowing that you are playing hard with people makes you hot inside. It’s so fucking human.
Teachers, no matter how unpleasant, are aware that playing around with students’ hearts in the context of exams or assignments or participation or anything….can be turned back onto them.
Even maybe to the point of the teacher’s own pride and dignity being hurt more than a bit.
Depending on how the students act, a teacher can really get their ego burned the fuck out.
In a classroom, especially a school for children and teens, the students are the adversary.
And nothing generates good vibes like being in the presence of people who must play according to your rules. When you know your rules aren’t perfect or reliable.
And the students treat you like a villain who knows only to control others!
They don’t get you at all! You are a player! Not a ruler! The job is the game you play, for fuck’s sake!
How very spicy, how holistic, how enriching, how enchanting, to be a frustrating teacher on purpose.
To savor the randomness in this world, to use it to advance yourself, and others, without any guarantees.
It’s not worth feeling too much rage when somebody else does so.
What’s more worthwhile is not getting so high yourself, when real people suffer anxiety and regret and misery and anguish for such very perfect and delicious reason as being mediocre at your games.
I would prefer we contain that shit within that which is called a game explicitly and universally.
Is that a decent dream?
To make people fall out of love with their good fucking vibes?
For people to not be hypnotized and charmed
by the lovely banality of doing Karen-like things?
And know exactly what playing hard feels like?