Those darned kids: cause for despair and celebration, I guess

Well, hell. This is fun.

I have now received three (3) student papers that discuss Iraq’s attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. All three papers mention it as an aside to another point. I’ve had two papers on the virtue of forgiveness that argue that if we had just forgiven Iraq for the 9/11 attacks, we wouldn’t be at war right now. I just read a paper on the problem of evil which asked why God allowed “the Iraq’s” to attack us on 9/11.

The thing that upsets me most here is that the the students don’t just believe that that Iraq was behind 9/11. This is a big fact in their minds, that leaps out at them, whenever they think about the state of the world.

There was a study recently that talked about the persistence of incorrect “memories” and “facts,” and I’m sure that plays into this (along with the sterling state of our educational system).

So I was about to start shaking my cane at some darned kids who were on my lawn, when this came across the transom.

From December 2007 until February 5th, 2008, your host John Tomlin will update this website every day with a video pertaining to the race for President of the United States. He will travel in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina covering both Democrats and Republicans. As a student at Union College in Schenectady, New York, Tomlin will cover the campaign from a new fresh perspective, so keep logging on!

So I checked it out, and I think this kid is onto something. The Bill Clinton episode was fun – I mean, how often does Bubba get heckled by a robot college professor who’s still pissed off about Sister Souljah?

Keep your eye on John Tomlin. He could be a rock star before this is all over.


  • Those damn kids. 🙂

    I love them so; I am convinced that their alarming malleability of belief is deeply connected to a lack of preconceptions and more openness to new ideas than most of them will ever know again. They may be ignorant; they may be easily led; but they are not jaded, and they are capable of infinite growth.

    All we need to do (and it’s everything) is teach them the joy and value of questioning what they’re told and thinking for themselves. Adolescence is the prime window of opportunity; if some days I believe in little else, I always believe in them.

  • I get papers like that, too. After I grade papers, I always go over trends I detected in them, in order to help my students become better writers. I also discuss the Iraq-9/11 trend, and I think I see some students understanding why they made the error. It is actually a very teachable moment.

  • Don’t these kids have to site sources? Do they get an auto fail if the site the Bush Admin? Just wondering how you would grade something like this. It’s weird I always hear about people who believe that Iraq attacked us on 9/11, but i’ve never met one. Sort of like how I’ve never met a Hillary supporter, yet she’s ahead in the polls.

  • ….And just look at them and siiiiiiggghhhhh……and know they love you…

  • 1) At the end of last year, Bona’s opted not to replace the retiring geography professor. Last week the paper did a story on how amazingly bad students did on a geography survey a reporter gave. I’ve decided that most people desire to be ignorant about the world around them, whether it’s current events or even where the damn thing is happening.

    2) This Tomlin guy is good. His peice on the media’s “seriousness” was great.

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