According to reports from Intro to Linguistics discussion section 014, GSI Norman Stern allowed the entire class to wallow in 30 seconds of uninterrupted silence while several students experienced a “jarring sense of déjà vu” that harkened back to watching Dora the Explorer in their youth.
Students reportedly sank into their seats and actively dissociated as the doctoral candidate waited for one of them to pipe up and explain how they felt about the 60-second YouTube video. His prompts to not be shy carried a similar level of condescension, witnesses state, to Dora asking toddlers if they could find Boots, who was clearly visible less than ten feet behind her.
“I wanted to say something,” freshman Marco McDonell stated after class, “just to break the goddamn silence. But what do I even say, man? Like, it was 40 seconds long and just repeated everything we had just talked about, but this time with cartoons. I’m 19. I don’t need to feel like I’m participating, I just want to graduate.”
“Norman obviously had something he wanted us to say. It’s exactly like Dora. It doesn’t matter what you say, that stupid fucking blue arrow is just gonna tell you what the right answer is in a few seconds anyway. Just bring out the arrow so we can go home.”
“I’ve found in my time teaching,” Stern commented, “that students respond much better when they can directly engage with the material rather than having me preach to them.”
“It’s crucial for the development of children that they feel like they have control over their own learning,” the 26-year-old GSI added, referring to his 20-year-old students.
Stern was last seen making prolonged eye-contact with one of his students, awaiting a response to his question.