Declaration of Icebreaker Independence

Photo courtesy of Flicker

Written by: Dhruv Taware

Every term at SFU starts with a lot of new things; new classes, new students, and new construction sites. But amidst all of these, there is one thing that hasn’t changed for years. No, I’m not talking about the fishes in the AQ pond or nobody knowing what the weird avocado statue really means — I’m talking about the awkward first tutorial of the semester.

The first tutorial of the semester is filled with awkward silences, getting lost trying to find your class, and simple icebreaker questions which you cannot answer. TAs try their best to break the frigid silence, asking a wide range of questions from “Tell us something about yourself!” to “Tell us ONE INTERESTING FACT about yourself.”

This is arguably one of the most difficult things to do; you start thinking to yourself, what is an interesting fact about me? Am I even interesting? Do I really need a college degree? Life is meaningless! How can you narrow down 19 years of life into one single fact?

Finally, when it is your turn to speak, you probably say something that someone else said earlier.

I decree that invasive questions that launch us into an existential crisis are out!

For 50 minutes, I want excitement, trepidation, melodrama . . . yes, I want a tutorial icebreaker that allows me to experience the entire plot line of National Treasure (2004) starring Nicolas Cage.
Here’s how it would play out:

The National Treasure Tutorial would ideally take place in the form of a team activity with the group dynamics of The Breakfast Club. This would not only make learning much more fun (just like how National Treasure made federal felonies fun!) but would also create a lifelong friendship between the group members. All of us will be united by our shared experience and eventually we will move to New York and continue being successful in life in a myriad of diverse and eclectic ways.

If all things go according to plan, they might even make a TV show based on our lives. This TV show would undoubtedly win an Emmy for best ensemble cast, and in our speech, we can recall how by sheer luck all of us met in a tutorial at SFU.

That’s right: now, tutorials have the power to CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
But I can only imagine such a possibility. For now, I can only hope that my tutorials get less awkward.

Written by: Dhruv Taware