So there I was--stuttering through our "group" project (a commercial). We'd got there an hour ahead of time, did some practice stand up and sit downs for the lecture part of the project--much easier when no one else was in class, and made people laugh. Pretty much what we were going for.
Out of a list of four projects--(there are four teams in small groups) two groups picked "a commercial", and two picked "produce community change". The other group with a commercial had the same problems we did--no one was really a Youtube'r, so the commercials were pretty cheesy. But...those groups who got involved in community change? I dunno. Maybe it's just me, or maybe I have low tolerance to people who are holier than thou--but, talk about boring. Databases and spreadsheets, evangelical stumping, pitches for raffles, and long boring stories about the reasons behind their good deeds, how good they felt doing their good deeds, and why other people needed to do good deeds, preferably for "their" chosen charity?
The critique sheet said, "was the presentation exciting and engaging--in other words, not boring?"
The kid across from me fell asleep and the other kid started to doodle. I wrote 75 percent of my scenes blog post and forty minutes later, they were still droning. When they got to statistics about things so random they only had a peripheral bearing on the subject, I wanted to run and hide. "Please, just stick to the four minute time slot. Please...stop talking about world hunger and societal change in an objective sense. And NO!! DON'T back the PowerPoint up again--I got who the guy running the charity was, how he met his wife, how different he was in college and what he's doing recently, including closeup screen shots of each database, the tax implications and statistical breakdowns for the entire country and most of the civilized world." I felt like I was in an employee meeting--trapped without danishes.
In each group, the oldest guy had taken on the role of leader, and they were totally amazed the two groups that'd done commercials didn't have leaders. In a way, reporting their good deeds almost obscured the deed itself.
Later, we did the abuse of power. The teacher runs this video on prison abuse in Abu Ghraib and there's this huge warning--turns out some of our troops running this prison in the Middle East had one of those absolute power corrupts absolutely moments, and of course--took hundreds of cell phone pictures. So the teacher says, "This warning is pretty accurate. If violence, torture and sexual degradation bothers you, you need to turn away." So I watch the first three pictures--realize he's absolutely, without a doubt right in a turn my stomach, this is way over the top way, and look down, but the entire rest of the class watches the whole thing. Seriously--I had to wonder. That stuff was sick and wrong. Why the hell didn't they look away? It was like torture porn and they were getting off.
I once read this book called, "On Killing", where the author talks about desensitization as the first step in producing killers. It's pretty sad when a group of people who range in age from seventeen to 50 can watch stuff that extreme without a twitch.