Department of Inadvertent Educational Benefit

From: John Lovoy

Dear Tom and Ray,

Here's an item for the Car Talk "Department of Inadvertent Educational Benefit."

My daughter is a senior at Auburn University, majoring in Social Work with an emphasis in elder care.

We were discussing her course work recently and knowing that I'm a big fan and regular listener of your show, she mentioned that Car Talk has become a part of the social work curriculum at her school. She went on to explain that one part of her course work involved a series of exercises that were intended to simulate the problems that elderly people develop as they age. For example, in order to demonstrate what it's like to be hard of hearing, students might be asked to wear ear plugs and then asked to hold a conversation with someone who makes no effort to compensate for their lower hearing abilities. In order to help students understand visual impairment, they would be asked to read something in very low lighting.

In another simulation, my daughter said students were asked to attempt to communicate and perform various tasks while listening with headphones to your show at high volume.

"What age related problem was that exercise for?" I asked.

"Oh," my daughter explained, "that was so we would know what it was like to have dementia."

Keep up the good work guys.