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Ain’t Miss Debatin’

Every semester, I teach two sets of information literacy sessions for one of the Speech Communication faculty, one session to work with the students on their informative speeches, and one for their persuasive speeches. These include one marathon day of back-to-back-to-back classes and then one lone class on another day.

Way back in the other lifetime that was pre-COVID, in the fall of 2019, the marathon sessions for the persuasive speech happened to fall on Halloween. Another QCC librarian and I had been talking for weeks about dressing as Tina and Louise Belcher from the animated show Bob’s Burgers and even though this fell through (she had to go to a conference–not sure if she took the bunny ears), I decided to stick with it and dress as Tina.

I was a children’s librarian for a long time so thematic programming is ingrained in me and I knew that if I were dressing as Tina while teaching three SP211 classes, it needed to connect with something. I am a big fan of the show and wracked my brain until I finally rewatched the “Ain’t Miss Debatin'” episode (S07E15) and found the perfect fit. I prepped a clip from the episode where the characters discuss how everything can be debated, laced up my black knock-off Chuck Taylors, fastened my yellow barrette, and went to class.

I’m at the age where I feel completely out of touch with popular culture, so it was immensely gratifying that the students immediately knew I was Tina Belcher. For the rest of the day, walking around the library, I would hear “Oh my God, she’s TINA!” in excited hushed voices and then I’d be called upon to dance (I declined) or groan.

In the SP211 classes, the students laughed at the clip from the show, enjoyed a piece of Halloween candy, and seemed to make the connection that while everything can be debated, it’s important to have good supporting evidence for those debates. I’m not sure that there were any additional impact on their learning (I am the assessment librarian, so I probably should have looked into that) but I am pretty sure they remember the librarian who dressed up like Tina Belcher that time, and that’s not a bad thing to be remembered for.

 

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3 Responses to Ain’t Miss Debatin’

  1. Beth Evans says:

    What a great story, Vikki! Take the show on the road and come visit our students at BC!

  2. Stephanie Margolin says:

    Vikki, I love this post. It reminds me of the magic of being together on campus. I love that you tied your costume to a lesson — also magic! Thank you for this post.

  3. Emma Antobam-Ntekudzi says:

    Vikki, this post was a breath of fresh air and perfect for some beginning of the week laughs. I’m not really in touch with pop culture either and I didn’t realize that meme I’ve seen everywhere for years with this character dancing is named Tina. I learned much in this post! Thanks for the links to the gif, IMDB episode guide, and the YouTube video of Tina’s groaning. I’d consider that just enough supporting evidence.

    I imagine the students from the SP211 classes are still speaking about this even today. I don’t think that kind of learning needs to be quantified. Sometimes it is okay to just learn to have fun.

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