I had a hybrid class with a mix of public speaking and interpersonal communication. The public speaking part of the class ended with a group presentation worth 20% of the final grade. On occasion, a student would have a legitimate excuse for missing their group’s presentation (such as a car accident on the way to class). In those instances, I would offer this makeup assignment.
This assignment still required a class presentation but also helped to offer a student’s perspective to the class during the interpersonal comm unit, which I placed at the end of the semester.
This is a brief written assignment I’ve used to encourage students to find examples of facework:
Find and describe one example from a “non-scripted” TV show or online video where someone makes a face-saving move to attempt to avoid embarrassment. “Non-scripted” refers to a video where the participants are not following a set script and errors would not be edited out, such as reality television or a live news report. Describe why the face-saving was necessary (what threatened their face), how the person attempted to save face, and whether you feel the face-saving move was effective.
Simpsons: Season 7, episode 17
This episode features a couple of great scenes that show changing face. Mr. Smithers takes a vacation, leaving Homer to tend to Mr. Burns’ needs.
Under the pressure of Burns’ unreasonable demands (including a very funny scene shown in picture), Homer snaps and punches Burns. But rather than be angry, Mr. Burns undergoes a dramatic change and becomes self-reliant.
Several short scenes can be edited together to show this change in just a few minutes of class time. It would be a great lead-off to a discussion about changing face.
Photo courtesy Simpsons Wiki. Find an episode description here.
‘The Simpsons’: Season 6, episode 23
A lot of interesting things happen with regard to roles in this episode. Marge becomes a police officer. Homer assumes this means that he can break the law without consequence. This creates several scenes of conflict until Marge is forced to arrest him.
The role competence is particularly interesting as Marge wrestles with the conflicting goals of her roles as wife and police officer. The fact that he challenges her authority publicly is also a factor, as we see that Marge would likely react differently if there was not an audience.
I used the scenes starting with the poker game up to when she arrests him at the Kwik-E-Mart.
Photo courtesy Simpsons Wiki. Link to episode description: http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/The_Springfield_Connection
Video for interpersonal comm: facework
This brief YouTube video of a reporter covering a sled race is a great example to pair with facework. The reporter immediately goes to making face-saving moves including humor and trying to resume the broadcast as normal.
No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, novelist