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Condensed courses causing craziness



Getting a post-secondary education is a time-consuming business, but UFV’s own Dr. Raymond Auger claims to have found a way to instill the educational content of a full-length course, in less than one quarter of the time.

“I knew there had to be a better way,” said Auger in an exclusive interview with The Cascade. “Most students will skim and speed read the assigned material, so I decided to implement this as one half of my strategy. Since this is what students instinctively do, it must be the best way for them to learn. The other half is the saying ‘a picture is worth a thousand words.’ A picture can convey more information more quickly and more accurately than a written description ever can. Combined in a ‘pressure cooker’ environment, this teaching strategy produces more than the sum of its parts, like milk that is compressed into delicious caramel.”

Auger explained his method to us. Classes consist of four-hour sessions, Monday to Friday over two weeks. These are followed by a homework assignment due at the beginning of the next session, and concluded with a final exam held sometime on the third week. Students are placed in special chairs that keep them immobile, and administer mild electric shocks to keep the student focused and energized. Their eyes are held open with clamps, and are periodically lubricated by a teacher’s assistant. This is to prevent their gaze from wandering, or falling asleep. The students are then shown special videos that are six hours in length, played at 1.5x speed.

The trial run of the new Hyper-Compressed Courses (HCCs) conducted over the summer showed promising early results. Nearly all students passed their assignments and exams with flying colours. Auger considers this an unambiguous success.

However, students of Auger’s HCCs have started showing troubling symptoms and behaviours since the trail program ended. One former student woke up in a luxury hotel room with no memory of how he got there; one was found in a trance-like state, typing the words “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” ad infinitum; and another allegedly tried to commit suicide by throwing himself out of a third-story window. Many others have reported feeling dizziness and nausea whenever anything reminds them of the course material.

We spoke to a former HCC student, who identified himself only as Alex. “It’s a sin!” he said. “It’s a sin! The human mind was never intended to take in this amount of info at once. I can’t take it anymore. Dr. Auger has to be stopped! It’s a sin!”

This may prove troublesome for the HCC program. While the short-term results are undeniable, the knowledge gained by students through this process is rendered useless if it drives them to madness every time they think about it. So, given that the negative effects are no worse than with conventional courses, the HCCs are likely to continue.

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