Friday, April 29, 2022

The Use of Seltzer in the Classroom


I wrote this for a distinguished academic journal sponsored by the university, "What's a matter U"

A bottle of seltzer has always been a comforting, humorous beverage to me. A bottle of seltzer can interrupt the ravings of a pompous ass, it fizzles and sizzles with comic energy--it is the great whoopee -cushion of the beverage world. The fizzle of seltzer down my throat brings to mind my father and me as we watched the antics of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, The Three Stooges, not to mention the Marx Brother's, on the black and white TV. One of my close friends  jokes that I have not entered the 21st century yet--I am decidedly a man of the 20th. He is probably right.  I always talk to my colleagues about ways to engage students in the classroom.  I had a crazy idea to use seltzer as an educational prop in class. Now mind you--I teach Creative Writing--so the class is a bit looser than other classes. Usually when I look over the weary students in my Creative Writing class (at 8AM )--I think of a way to wake them from their sleepy doldrums. So I step back and slowly turn the cap on a seltzer bottle to let the seltzer slowly rise--finally the liquid foams out through the cap(which I hold firmly) and eventually a literal font of creativity flows madly out of the Adirondack Cherry/Vanilla seltzer bottle.  I make sure not a soul is touched by this creative fountain, and after the waterworks are done-- I take a sip and say, in a very Jackie Gleasonish way-- "How sweet is!." My parched throat is relieved, the students are laughing, and the conversation about writing seems to have a new spritz of energy. This has now been a very much-in-demand ritual.  Indeed, how sweet it is!


  1. Anonymous5:08 AM

    Ah, yes, traveling down memory lane. "How sweet it is, indeed! There's a lot to be said for nostalgia and humor.

  2. This is great Doug. Takes me back to my teaching art,and sparking the interest of my students through humor,and that any experience can inspire, no matter how simple or taken for granted.