CLUMPOLOGY (or “the art of studying together while studying separately”)

October 28, 2014

OVERHEARD IN SPANISH CLASS: “Isn’t Consuela a place? No wait, Venezuela! Is that Italian? oh, no, Venice!”

Every week this fall, starting last week, I have another hat to wear. Except that it takes place in the Sanborn Family Library, so I can’t wear a hat. So I wonder if I should be here at all. In any case, that hat gives me a job to do, above and beyond the typical teacher-coach-advisor-eveningstudyhallproctor-coursecorrector-weekenddutycrewchief-adjunctfacultymemberofthemusicdepartment (breathe!!)-other stuff. Now, every dot 4, I also proctor a study hall for the intrepid students of DOT 4 STUDY HALL! We gather together every dot 4, find our seats, and engage in that time-honored tradition of students everywhere, through the ages- we watch youtube videos of cats running on treadmills. For example:



NO! I mean, we gather together in the joint pursuit of studying apart.  Just look at the following images of students studying together/apart:

Photo on 10-28-14 at 12.26 PM #3 Photo on 10-28-14 at 12.26 PM #2 Photo on 10-28-14 at 12.26 PM Photo on 10-28-14 at 12.27 PM


These are just four examples of something I see all over the place: Students studying separately, but sitting in big clumps. I call this the art of “Clumpology”. After some exhaustive research (I asked 3 of the clumps pictured above) , I discovered some things:

A: Some students only “look” like they are studying sometimes. (“Yeah, we’re studying…film class. You know, like, youtube class.”)
2: Some students are studying the same thing, but not together. Just “near”.  History is a big one during this dot 4.

As I dug deeper, I discovered that several of the “Clumpers” are in the same blended class. So as far as I can tell, one working definition of “Blended” might be “sitting in clumps in the library.” It seems to be working. They are mostly watching (all on separate computers) something called “Lewis and Clark: The West Strikes Back” (or something like that).

Maybe I can join a clump and find out how it ends.


Random Travel Photo of the week:

Know where THIS is?

Know where THIS is?



3 Responses

  1. Avatar Charlie Newell says:

    Hi there wearer of many hats!!!!!!!! A good research question for your students. Where did the word “DOT” in the Periods Dot 1, 2, 3 etc. come from ????? There is an answer and I know it. Could be interesting to see what students think since it is a word used every day. Happy leaf raking and good day !!!!!!!

  2. Avatar Alex Kerney says:


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