Zombie Battle & PWR office hours in Green Library

April 3, 2015
Felicia Smith
Picture of student instructor library staff zombie battle xBox

Friday April 3, 2015
Media Center, Green Library
PWR Instructor: Kathleen Tarr
Assigned Class Librarian: Felicia Smith

Green Library recently hosted Program in Writing and Rhetoric (PWR) office hours for a Zombie Tournament in the Media Center to build relationships between students, instructors and librarians. This particular session had a stress relief component and was a fun way to introduce students to Green Library’s media resources. It allowed students to get help with their PWR assignment from their instructor, in a fun atmosphere. It also allowed students to meet librarians in a relaxed setting and build rapport. Hopefully, this will reduce any anxiety when approaching librarians for assistance at the Information Center Desk.

The students met with their instructor just like they would for regular office hours. However, unlike normal office hours, it was located in Green Library. Another difference was that while they waited, the students could battle zombies as well as librarians and staff, in Call of Duty Black Ops Zombies on Xbox. 

Scores were tallied and users were given 3 chances to get their high scores. No one was able to beat the instructor's score. This made the assigned librarian wonder if that had something to do with the game selection. The assigned librarian was convinced that she could beat them all in Ms. Pacman on the Atari console, which was also in the Media Department's collection. This discussion led to a discussion about a "Chasing Ghosts: Beyond the Arcade" Documentary, wherein the “1982's Video Game World Champions share their philosophies on joysticks, groupies and life.” Groupies? This was something most people in attendance had never heard of, so counted as new knowledge.

It led to a discussion with a couple of students about their surprisingly detailed and well-thought-out Zombie Apocalypse survival plans. The students elaborated on their thoughts on life and drew parallels to their survival plans, and approach to research and writing. Their class is focused on Rhetoric, after-all. This led to another librarian explain that, in her PWR class about the Apocalypse, she uses photos and stories from her time working for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The NTSB investigates and reports on aviation accidents, certain highway crashes, ship and marine accidents, pipeline incidents and railroad accidents.

During the tournament, two librarians met with a student who agreed to help them with a student-created video project they are planning for the summer. This video will share student research success stories and be used in future library workshops.

The aforementioned discussions are just a few reasons that this experiment was very successful and participants plan to do it again, on May 1st.

There was a lot of great advice imparted by the instructor, to her assigned librarian. Specifically, "Keep moving, stop standing still and staring at the ceiling!” These are words to live by. The most profound and existential admonition was “Stop standing in the fire!"

There were even more words of wisdom, shared by the students for the benefit of their assigned librarian. Specifically, "Don't hold on to two grenades!" To which the librarian replied, "Oh I (mistakenly) thought I threw both grenades out of the window." Famous last words! 

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