We’ve been doing PowerPoint presentations in International Business this week, and one of the presentations caused quite a stir when the words “this is PARTA!” (ie. Pacific Regional Trade Agreement) came on the screen, causing one student to be sent to the office for laughing too much.
Afterwards, the teacher addressed the class saying, “I didn’t think it was that funny”, and I realized that whole rationale just makes no sense. Different people find different things funny. This particular joke would really only be funny to people who’ve seen the movie “300″. So maybe the teacher just didn’t get the joke because she hasn’t seen the movie, and that’s fine.
Even so, there are other things that are funny just because they are. You don’t need to have any knowledge of physics to find people falling down funny. But maybe if you happened to write a thesis on how mathematically improbable falling down a flight of stairs is, you might find it extra funny. Or maybe you know someone who got seriously injured falling down a flight of stairs, in which case you might not find it funny at all.
So a teacher telling the class to quiet down because “it wasn’t that funny” is just plain faulty logic.
During the same presentation, the group flashed a screen that said “100%” a few times during the presentation. Afterwards, the teacher also addressed this, saying that “I wasn’t sure what you were trying to do… was it a, uh, subliminal thing?”. The kids said yes and she said, “well, I thought you should have acknowledged it or explained it, but it looked like you just didn’t want to for some reason, and you just showed it really quick, and I thought you should’ve said something about it”.
Boy, talk about taking all the humor out of something!
But then again, the fact that she didn’t get it is slightly funny, so I guess it all works out in the end.