Power games in Higher Ed

Hulking administrative bureaucracies do not want students, faculty or staff members to be playing power games. It's presumed the system will run smoothly if everyone conforms to the dictates of policies, schedules, assignments and advancement protocols. Anyone who begins to play a power game becomes a target for scrutiny and get labeled a high maintenance troublemaker.

Even Level One players in the Higher Ed Game monitor the location and scheduled time of everything in their game. It all seems dictated by authorities or the hulking administrative system. In other words, it's out of their own control. The player is powerless. If asked, each student can tell us where and when:

  1. classes meet
  2. groups get together for class projects
  3. tutoring sessions occur
  4. meetings with the instructor can happen
  5. submittals may be dropped off
  6. tests are given
  7. grades can be picked up

Each of these are designed to convince the students to remain powerless, compliant and submissive. They entice the players to show more interest in their competing work, family and social games where they have more choices and control over locations and schedules. These seven dictates frame the challenge of becoming powerful as the futile quest to change the already scheduled time and/or location.

The Power Games within the in Higher Ed Game do not begin by taking on the system on its own terms. That's an inherently powerless maneuver which terminates this new game instantly. The Power Game begins by playing a bigger game than compliance without resorting to defiance of the system. Students pull off this amazing advance by:

  • changing their own location to realize more convenient access to the dictated locations of the system
  • arranging their personal schedule to accommodate many of these smaller schedules dictated by the system
  • creating blocks of time when they are nearby and/or unscheduled to respond to unforeseen opportunities
  • disrupting their old routines of unquestioned obedience, compliance and submissiveness
  • combining scheduled locations which save them time, shorten their travel or make showing up more convenient in other ways 
  • inventing other routes to take, means to get there and places to use time wisely between scheduled events
  • reducing how much control the dictates of the system have over one's personal freedom, discretion and maneuverability

None of these impressive maneuvers in a Power Game require the additional tracking of tests or grades on the inner dashboards of the students. These maneuvers increase a player's supply of personal power while simply facing the challenges of dictated locations and schedules. These plays abandon familiar commiseration about powerlessness which instantly terminates any Power Game in Higher Ed. They claim power in situations where the hulking system presumes it's participants can only be compliant or troublemakers. They set the stage for entering the third level of the Higher Ed Game while thoroughly exiting Higher Ed Hell.

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