Evaluating curricula—# 6
What does the team discuss on the way to the parking impound lot?
When we last saw our three curriculum committee members, they were getting into Alberto's car, driven by one of his employees whose name is "Dan", on their way to an impound lot where where they hoped to recover Jamie's and and Anna's cars that had been towed from the university parking lot.—JohnL
As Dan drove away from the university, Alberto explained that they would need to drop Anna and Jamie at the impound lot on their way back to “the store.” Meanwhile, in the back seat, Jamie and Anna began discussing the meeting with Professor Bebopp. Jamie was the first to speak.
“This parking thing is a real pain in the...the neck, but that meeting was something else.” Jamie looked at Anna and then out the window. “I don’t know. Maybe I am really stupid...uniformed about this stuff...research. I was so optimistic and then...bang...‘That’s not what we study. We don’t care about that...that... ‘stuff.’” Jamie was so disappointed that she could feel a combination of sadness and frustration welling up and threatening to come out of her eyes.
“I mean,” Jamie looked at Anna, “Did you feel like a little kid who’s showing her teacher, an adult, a picture she’s drawn and the adult says, ‘That’s not the way we do it?’ I was just, like...I don’t know....”
Anna looked at Jamie and could see she was about to cry. Anna reached across the seat and patted Jamie’s hand reassuringly. “Weeelllll...,” she lowered her voice an octave or two, imitating what they had heard in the meeting. “You know...,” and chuckled a little bit. Then, with her voice back in it’s usual register, she continued, “It’s been quite an afternoon. There’s lots going on here. Our cars got towed. We had a disappointing meeting with a famous research professor. But, let’s look on the bright side: ‘Doctor’ Montoya’s giving us a ride and we’ve gotten to meet Dan.”
As Jamie exhaled somewhat noisily—she didn’t mean it to let Anna know that she appreciated Anna’s offer of a break, but she knew it would—Alberto, who had turned around from the shotgun seat said, “We are grateful that Dan could come and rescue us.” After a pause, he continued, “I think we need to know more. I share your frustration, Jamie. It’s like we wasted some time, but I learned something. Maybe we all did. I learned that we might have been asking the wrong question or the wrong person…or both.”
Everyone was quiet for a few seconds, looking at the passing parade of stores, offices, industrial buildings, cracked sidewalks, train tracks, and parking lots that Dan was navigating.
Anna broke the silence. Ever the administrator, she said, “So what is our plan? I agree, Al, that we need another expert, maybe better questions.”
Jamie jumped right in, responding quickly. “That’s right, Anna. We need to restate our goal and go after it. Put our personal feelings...well, my personal feelings aside and focus on the job. It’s just like running a 10K. You have to have to prepare carefully, have a good plan, and then stick with the plan.”
Dan had gotten them to the impound lot and as he was parking, he volunteered support: “I don’t know about that 10K metaphor, Ms. Smythe, but I think the idea of careful preparation and careful execution is good, no matter the job.”
Alberto followed Dan’s comment pretty quickly. “Yes, plan and execute. That’s good, my man!” Turning to the back seat he said, “See I have great advisors!”
But the collegial committee members were not finished. Anna pushed them toward their next steps. “OK, we agree we refine the plan and get better help,” Anna said, though she meant it as a question.
Alberto nodded repeatedly. Fairly quickly, Jamie said, “Well, maybe I was harsh. Let me call Professor Bebopp and apolo...make amends and ask her for help with other sources and how to ask the right questions...about horse races.” She chuckled.
Alberto said, “Jamie, mi amiga, if you call her on the telephone, you need to make sure your heart isn’t stuck in your throat.”
Anna said, “That’s good. Both of you...very good. I’ll also follow up with other researchers.”
As Jamie and Anna left the car, Alberto and Dan nearly simultaneously said, “Good luck!”
==To be continued==