Stay curious, my friends

With the semester rapidly winding down, I find myself looking back and thinking about what went well, and what I could do better the next time. I had a great class, and two fantastic labs to boot. As always, I spent a lot of time preparing slides, but hopefully that had a positive impact on my students’ understanding of the material.

Our final exam Celebration of Knowledge is this coming Monday night. At the beginning of the semester, I showed my students the following slide as a way of discussing the importance of curiosity:

My original meme which I put together at memegenerator.net.

For anyone who hasn’t watched television over the last ten years, the meme is based off Dos Equis’ brilliant The Most Interesting Man in the World advertising campaign. Here’s a compilation of just about all of the TV spots:

I thought it would be a good idea to do a very short pre-celebration recap of the semester and bookend the class with the same “stay curious” message I taught in the first class. For some reason though, I didn’t want to reuse that original meme image. And so I embarked on a quick Google Images search and boom, there it was:

The Most Interesting Man in the World,’ originally played by Jonathan Goldsmith (Dos Equis)

I was floored. Here was a photo that just begged to be used in my presentation. High resolution, already formatted for my slide deck (I go with 1920×1080), no wording or logos to have to mask out, and best of all, it’s awesome! All I had to do is add my “stay curious” line and I’m done.

Memes typically use the impact typeface. It’s bold and attention-getting, which is why they stand out so well when scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feeds. But this is going to appear on its own in a slide deck, so why not replicate the typeface Dos Equis used in their own ads? After all, those ads are slick! So, a little more searching found the original ad:

Original poster ad that got me thinking more bout my meme.

This photo is perfectly suited for my slide format as well, but I would have had to figure out how to remove the branding without ruining the rest of the image, and professor just ain’t got time for that. But now I could see how the stay thirsty, my friends tagline was presented. And I also noticed the enjoy dos equis responsibly message at the bottom, which immediately inspired me to add my own think responsibly message.

Both taglines are probably using some custom font that I don’t have the budget or time to locate. But I do use the Euclid typeface to compose equations in my slides (and yes, it’s my homage to LaTeX). After playing around with text placement in my weapon of choice, the final slide took shape:

I don’t always post memes on the internet, but when I do, I prefer to create my own.

I rather like this new slide. It’s a departure from the typical meme format but I think it does the photo justice while hopefully driving home the message. I hope my students continue to stay curious,  seek out the facts, and take truth over ego any day.

Then again, they’re young millennials in college, so I really hope they know this meme to begin with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *