I took a required speech class in high school in which the teacher wanted to call attention to the poor speaking habits some people have when doing public speaking... things such as stuttering, long pauses, or stringing thoughts together with "and" or "but". His idea of a good way to stress the disruption such mannerisms have on the listener, was to implement the use of a tin coffee can and a bag of marbles. One person in the classroom audience would be appointed to drop a marble in the can each time the speaker hesitated or did anything else that interrupted the flow of what he or she was saying.
Needless to say, the sound of marbles clinking into a tin can was highly disruptive. For those students who found public speaking a challenge to begin with, the effect of this technique was to stress them even more, making it yet more difficult for them to continue on with their presentation. This created an uncomfortable situation for the entire class; we disliked this teacher's intimidating tactics and we hated his marble can!
The situation reached the boiling point one day when a shy student, being badgered by clanking marbles while she attempted to speak, dissolved into tears. Now days, parents would be paying a visit to administration over such harassment, but back then it wasn't done, you were expected to handle student/teacher conflict on your own. So a few of us students took matters into our own hands and descended upon the classroom early the next morning prior to the teacher's arrival. Retrieving the marbles from their can on the shelf, we opened the small ventilation window and flung the marbles onto the grassy lawn three stories below.
Needless to say, the missing marbles didn't go over well with the teacher, but he was unable to find anyone willing to tell him who was responsible for the crime. Apparently he got the message though, as he never attempted to use this method to stress his point again. Personally, I think he was lucky that they were thown out the window and not at him!
I'm linking up with Brenda at Pondering With A Purpose
where this week's theme is "stress"