Thursday, April 02, 2009

Pranks: successful but not satisfying this year

I was unable to think of a good April Fool's Day prank for the blog. Certainly nothing to match the success of 2007. Several co-workers set their clocks ahead. I also learned that ESL teachers are not math teachers as they worried about being late for work - April 1 was a Sunday and most caught on before the day ended, but if they hadn't fixed their clocks they would have been early for work.

This year, I had two pranks in mind. We ESL professors move from class to class through the day. Each Wednesday, we attend the same rooms but the schedule is hard to memorize. I check my schedule until late May, not needing it for the last class and exam.

Three professors have thumb tacked their schedules to a bulletin board in the staff room. One of them had too much handwriting for me to replace, but the others were relatively simple to change. Relatively: I tried at home but the template was a challenge so I gave up after two minutes and asked a secretary to open the original files and I changed a few classes for Wednesday and printed them up.

The prank was not completely smooth; I tacked the new schedules up over the old ones but put the wrong one on top. One of the professors thought something was wrong as her schedule was in the wrong place., but accepted the change as puzzling but minor.

On Wednesday, I saw her read her schedule and head to her (wrong) class. I chased after her, unnoticed, and set my camera to video. She did go into the wrong classroom and was suitably surprised but I probably won't post the video (even if she does give permission). She might have had some media relations training as when she didn't know what was happening but did know she was being filmed (by this point) so she just didn't say anything. I tried to goad her into saying something but come off as a jerk in the video while she appears (correctly) as sweet and innocent and very good-natured about the joke.

Her husband's schedule was also changed but I had to leave the university to return home before he was exposed to the changes. I will find out on Friday what he did. He's kind of a big, muscular guy so I hope he took it as well as his wife (He will, he's also as good natured as his wife).

In another prank, I convinced a co-teacher to come to my class to threaten me (I do this often - When the teacher leaves, I ask the students to describe him for the police). He came in and my students were prepared with sticks and swords and trained a Lord-of-the-Flies sort of chant, "Kill the teacher, Spill his blood, Bash his head!"

This was late in the day and he was prepared for April Fool's type pranks. He was maybe a little surprised but not terrified or anything.

I may have to take a year off or plan my pranks for earlier in the morning when others might not be aware of the date.

Another reason to not post video is that the files are so large - the new camera is higher definition than the old one - I should have set it on a lower setting. The files are huge but maybe I can shrink them.

Six boring months until the next great day: Hallowe'en.


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Catherine said...

1. I literally laughed out loud at the last prank. Mr. Domesticbliss had to wait until I was done laughing for me to read that part to him. The nosy man always wants to know why I'm laughing.

2. I laughed again because this, of all your entries, is the one that is "last piece of puzzle which can make something perfect." Ah...a true taste of what it's like to be an English teacher in Korea.