Breaking the Ice

I feel as though I should have some grand first entry, some elaborate introduction to the cyber world, but I suppose enough of my personality will become known soon enough.  For now, I’ll just jump right in.

I had a particularly good class Wednesday.  I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it took me until the third week of class to stimulate good conversation, but once the dam broke, it was pretty magical.  I got my students’ attention with a possibly-inappropriate discussion of how the Coolidge Effect relates to the psychological construct of “dishabituation“.

Back in the newlywed days before they were comparing themselves to hens and roosters…

By the time I ended class, I had a line of students forming, not to provide excuses for missed classes or assignments, but to tell me stories of suicidal beta fish and  drowning people, examples that related to the just-discussed concepts of “sign stimuli” and “fixed action patterns“.

Apparently  all I needed to do to break the ice with this class was to mention the antics of a presidential couple of yore.   If only I had known sooner…

I’m curious.  What do you guys do to break the ice?

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