I love my office, I love the way the sunlight streams through the window hitting a crystal and shooting rainbows across my walls.
I love the books, I love my desk, and most of all, I love looking out my window and watching life unfold.
If I look down, I see an informal car drop off and car pick up, angry people and sad people and happy people and kissy people parading under my window unaware they are observed sliding into and out of all sorts of vans and mopeds and minivans.
I love that my office is situated just right and angled perfectly so I can see the airspace above the airport, and yes, sometimes I stop what I’m doing (grading, reading, eating cheese grits - if it’s a good day all three) and watch the plane cross my window and disappearing into the rest of it’s journey from here to there.
But all is not perfect in my office. Ask Dr. V, the professor whose office is next to mine, sharing a small hallway.
He will tell you I have a problem with my window, a problem I’ve had for years, one that has gotten me in trouble, repeatedly.
No one is allowed to open their windows in our building. Opening a window causes a whole domino falling chain of chaos that leads to someone knocking on my door and telling me to close the window. Once I opened a window and a hard window blew and it stuck open – then the rain came and I had to call for help. A nice tool-belt wearing patient man was dispatched (…in the rain) to go get on a ladder to fix this thing (did I mention it’s raining both outside and inside my office?) that shouldn’t have happened if I had only followed the very few rules they give me.
Since then, I’ve tried to keep my window closed but Dr V will tell you he’s found me leaning out the window more than once, breathing in stolen air of freedom.
Dr V has snuck up and surprised me more than once, shouting BAM while pounding his fist on my door and making me shriek. Once I jumped so hard I pushed one of my plants out the window and then had to make a run down to the bushes below to rescue the poor plant, knowing full well that on the other side of the dark glass a whole class of students was looking at some crazy lady rescuing a jumping plant.
Every day I remind myself to not open my office window but when I see a a WW2 plane land right outside my window, I can’t help it.
Some of these landings are crazy, like the pilot really might kill himself and all of us watching. Some are smooth.
Each of them is beautiful.
I thought I was imagining these planes (ok, I am, you know that, right?) until I found out that right outside my office window is a WW2 landing strip that was part of Dale Mabry airfield.
While I’m busy reading 100 books this semester, I’m also obsessed with learning more about this airfield, about the planes, the people, the impact WW2 had on this area in general and on individuals.
I’m willing to pay you to help me with this project. Please make sure you understand the rules before beginning.
Part 1: Due March 7, 11:59pm through Safeassign on Blackboard.
Use a variety of sources to research and learn about Dale Mabry airfield (ex: look at photos, maps, read stories, ask people, go to the library and ask for help there…) then write up a 400-500 word overview conveying to me what you learned.
I expect the submission to be well written and carefully proofread and 100% in your own words (ex: no long quotes or sentences stolen from wikipedia). You may discuss your sources in your essay or list them at the end.
Phase 1 Assignment - Deadline: 3/7 11:59pm on Blackboard
Phase 2 Assignment Deadline: 3/28 11:59pm on Blackboard
Phase 3 Assignment Deadline: 4/11 11:59pm on Blackboard
Phase 4 Assignment Deadline : 4/25 11:59pm on Blackboard
Because this is a game, you will not know what your 2nd assignment is until the first 1 is completed and you are cleared to move on to the next stage.
Students who complete each of the 4 stages will earn $100 total and may use that money towards class assignments etc OR they may elect to ask to buy a letter grade improvement in the course.
Students who have $100 but do not qualify to complete this project will not be allowed to use $100 to buy a letter grade.
I encourage all of you to think about attempting this and taking it seriously.
If you play, play to win.
There are two ways to get kicked out of the game.
Disqualification #1: Failure to submit any part of the project at the time it's due and in the format requested results in an automatic disqualification. In this case, students must repay all money earned from the project.
Disqualification #2: The bottom 3 submissions from each class will be disqualified from moving forward to the next phase. These students can keep whatever money was earned up to the point of disqualification.