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Reality High Test Results, September 14 – 21: Two Ways to Create Ethnic Diversityby Belle Book -- 09/21/2006
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Welcome back to Reality High! This time, my students are the contestants from The Amazing Race 10 and Survivor Cook Islands – 44 of them! The first thing I did when I returned to teach the new class was to check my supplies.
44 pens for the students? Check.
A new lesson planner? Check.
A new attendance book? Check.
Pink slips to give to those students I have to send to Detention? Check.
A new bottle of Excedrin? Check.
Several new buckets of slime in case I need them? CHECK!
There’s been a lot of controversy about how the contestants in Survivor: Cook Islands were divided into four tribes of five people based on race. Some think it’s a bad idea, claiming it doesn’t promote racial harmony. I can see where those people are coming from. Unfortunately, the goal of Survivor isn’t to promote harmony between the races… or the sexes, for that matter. The goal is to win the million dollars, and only one person can do that. Fortunately, the tribes will be mixed up later on, so there’ll be a chance for individual contestants to choose whether to stick with their original tribe mates (like Rupert did in Survivor: Pearl Islands) or form different alliances (like Judd did when the tribes got switched in Survivor: Guatemala.)
As for The Amazing Race, it’s still my favorite reality TV show currently on. And it’s gotten four Emmys for Outstanding Reality Competition Show! It has just about everything I love: different cultures, constant travel, a cool theme song, teams of two people getting along (or not getting along), and interesting challenges. And then there’s Phil Keoghan, who has created a new phrase for eliminations: Philimination. He’s a great host and a really funny guy, too, especially when he raises his eyebrow at contestants. And like S:CI, it also has a very diverse cast: an Indian-American couple, a Muslim team, an Asian-American team, an open lesbian, and an amputee. And best of all, they achieved this diversity without resorting to controversy. What’s there not to like?
In any case, my latest students came into the classroom and I handed out the tests. I informed all 44 contestants that the first five questions would relate to the Cook Islands contestants. The second five questions would relate to the AR 10 teams. Before all the contestants or teams that were still left in their respective games left, I’d give them each a grade based on their responses to the answers on my test. The eliminated team or contestant would wait until the others were gone before I gave them their final grades.
So without further ado, the contestants or teams wrote their answers to the questions and handed them back to me. Once I received the tests, I looked at the replies, and I groaned when I saw Cao Boi’s answer to the first question:
1. True or False: It’s a good idea to refer to ethnic stereotypes when there’s already concern about avoiding ethnic stereotypes.
Cao Boi answered “true,” and I had to tell him he was wrong. True, he may have been just joking, but he already irritated one of the women by referring to the Asian stereotype of being little people, and she told him, “No Asian jokes.” Add to that mistake the fact that he’s so much older than most of the Puka Puka tribe (aka the Asian-American tribe) is, and the fact that he just looks different from the others on his tribe and he’ll be an early candidate for the boot should the tribe ever go to Tribal Council. In fact, next week’s previews indicate that he’ll be getting on the others’ nerves. On the bright side, the Puka Puka tribe won the challenge, so he’s safe for now.
I then groaned when I looked at Jessica’s answer to the second question:
2. You have hidden two chickens under a box to keep them from getting loose. What is the best thing to do?A. Avoid opening the box until you need to get the chickens for food.
B. Open the box but take precautions to make certain the chickens don’t get loose before you do so.
C. Open the box and fail to take those precautions.
Jessica answered “C,” and I had to tell her that she had the wrong answer. Of course, she probably realized it when the chickens got loose and ran into the forest, but by then it was too late. She really should’ve taken precautions to make certain the chickens weren’t loose before opening the box, like creating some kind of netting surrounding three sides of the box. Better yet, she shouldn’t have opened the box at all. Unfortunately, she did, and lost both chickens – including the one Jonathan took from Yul of the Puka Puka tribe.
And speaking of which, I began wondering if I’d need Excedrin very soon after seeing Jonathan’s answer to the third question:
3. True or False: It’s always a good idea to grab a chicken that belonged to a different tribe.
Jonathan answered “true,” and I now began to suspect that the Rarotonga tribe (aka the Caucasian tribe) wasn’t all there when it came to basic common sense, let alone the finer elements of game play and strategic thinking. True, I’m pretty certain he didn’t mean to grab the chicken that Yul had gotten – it was pretty chaotic out there, and that lent itself easily to taking a chicken that someone else had gotten, allowed to fall overboard, and brought back, all without realizing until later what had happened.
However, it proved to be very bad news for Jonathan because he was forced to admit what he’d done at the immunity challenge, and when the Manihiki tribe (aka the African-American tribe) lost the immunity challenge, they won the right to choose which person to send to Exile Island among the other three tribes. And Nathan and Sekou remembered what Jonathan had done (even though Jonathan hadn’t stolen their chicken), so they chose Jonathan to head on over to Exile Island.
And the decision of the men in turn led to the fourth question:
4. What is the best way to assume leadership in the early going?A. Work really hard and avoid either annoying others or isolating them.
B. Work really hard but annoy others by being a martinet.
C. Be seen as lazy and isolate various members of your tribe.
Before I could do anything, however, Roger, a contestant from Survivor: Amazon, came rushing in with a slip of paper that looked a lot like my test, and a “B” marked for the fourth question! I said, “Roger! That’s still not the right question! Being a martinet isn’t a good way to assume leadership!”
Jolanda from Survivor: Palau stuck her head in and said, “I told you not to bother Belle and not to write that answer!” When Roger began to protest, Jolanda stepped into the classroom and dragged him off. Obviously, she had learned from her experience, even if Roger still hadn’t done so.
Moving on, Ozzy from the Aitutaki tribe (aka the Hispanic tribe) answered “A,” and I had the pleasure of telling him that he was right. When Billy, a fellow tribe mate, proved not to know how to build a shelter, Ozzy took over leadership of the tribe. What’s more, he did so without apparently either annoying other members of the tribe by being a real martinet or by isolating them in some way. He clearly is someone to watch.1 2 3 Next-->
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