For Those of You Who Find Accounting Too Boring (or Exciting)

For the past few years I have had all of my classes video-recorded (which enabled the capture of my “walking into glass door video”):

I tell my students that they may find the videos helpful if they miss a class (and then they can judge whether or not they “missed anything important’), or when they want to study for a test.

But I also tell them that perhaps the best use for the video recordings is for those nights when they are having trouble falling asleep. Just hit play on a video of my talking about how to account for spoilage in a FIFO-based process costing system, and I guarantee they’ll be asleep in five minutes. I mean, that’s what happens in class, so why should the video be any different.

But I think I’ve found something that could be even more boring, and it’s a set of jigsaw puzzles that were highlighted in the Wall Street Journal. The puzzles are called gradient puzzles, and the photo above is a picture of the full set of five puzzles that are currently available. Here is a description:

Bryce Wilner’s Gradient Puzzle is a vibrant way to meditate on color. The act of putting it together is slow and deliberate, where the color of each piece is used to locate its proper position. We’ve used a thick stock and high-quality art paper, so the puzzle can be assembled again and again without losing its edge.

Now I like jigsaw puzzles, and always follow the same pattern when trying to complete them. First I try and locate all the edge pieces (and get doubly excited when I find a corner piece). Once I think I have all the edge pieces, I then work to complete the outside of the puzzle. Once that relatively easy task is completed, it is time to work on the inside.

But these gradient puzzles look like they could be quite challenging (not what I really look for in a puzzle, I’m usually looking for something that requires no thinking and little effort in order to complete). I am also guessing that the puzzle can be quite frustrating. The odds would probably be quite high that I would give up in a relatively short time period. I can’t imagine trying to distinguish one green piece from another green piece from another green piece.

So I’m thinking that perhaps I should provide my students with these jigsaw puzzles, and tell them they can spend 10 minutes per night working on them. My hope is that they would get so bored, that even doing accounting problems and watching my videos would seem exciting and more rewarding.

By the way, if those gradient puzzles appeal to you (and they seem to be selling well, since the bundle I picture above is currently out of stock), here is the web site. I certainly wish the company the best with their sales. It’s nice to know that the quality of the puzzles allows you to do them over and over, just like you can watch my videos over and over without the quality getting any worse (or better).

I’m also thinking that for the small part of the population that gets overly stimulated from doing accounting homework problems, these jigsaw puzzles could offer a nice way to calm down after an exciting night of doing cost accounting.

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