The 08-09 BC Capstone students discussed The Amazing Race (TAR) applications they completed for class this week. Several students successfully decoded my hidden agenda created under the headline “Preparing for the Reality After College Through Reality Television.” TAR application is my springboard into their capstone experience. Some of the reasons behind my decision include:
TAR application prompts reflective responses as students consider their short and long term goals. They ponder their motives for applying to the show beyond the fact that I have required them to do if as a class assignment.
- Name your favorite hobbies?
- List three adjectives that best describe you.
- What is the accomplishment you are most proud of?
- What are your phobias?
- How do you blow off steam?
- How do you resolve conflict with your teammate?
These questions are similar to efforts employers use in job interviews. While some of the questions in TAR application would be considered “illegal” in a job interview, they are designed to generate deeper insight. Such questions demonstrate the importance of how to communicate who you are effectively. You are forced to consider how you showcase who you are beyond list of bullet points on a resume.
SHOWCASING BC EXPERIENCES & SKILLS
The TAR application process requires capstone students to produce a three minute video on VHS (yes the producers still ask for a home video format). This affords these capstone students an opportunity showcase themselves as experienced broadcast communication professionals. It’s a chance for each of them to create something fun and outside the domain of our broadcasting classes. Their videos will have a certain level of polish compared to the amateur with no background in video production. The students are also permitted to substitute this video for their senior practical/production skills exam as long as they demonstrate minimum professional standards.
CREATING A COHESIVE THEME FOR THE CLASS
TAR application process creates a solid theme for the class with the metaphor of life as an adventure and journey. Contestants on TAR do not know where each leg of the race will take them. Challenges in the form of roadblocks and detours test their resolve and we see first hand how relationships, communication, game strategies, ethics and even luck play out in the competition.
TAPPING INTO THE POWER OF METAPHOR
(Embrace the Liberal Arts Mission)
Other metaphors also dovetail in nicely with applying to TAR as students develop career and life goals as they have prepared and are ready to transition to a rapidly changing world. TAR and these metaphors will also work well as I map out activities with Titan Traverse to bring in “adventure learning” components to our activities.
ENJOY YOUR YOUTH
TAR application provides one final benefit by allow students to consider their situations as young, single, soon-to-be college graduates. They have the freedom at this stage if their lives to pursue passions such as travel and adventure. They can start a new life in a
Finally, some students have expressed concern about what will happen if the show producers decide to cast them on TAR. I am not really worried about that as a problem. You can always bow out gracefully if such an offer comes your way or you can accept it with a chance to be on television, race around the world and have a shot at winning one million dollars.