Well, duh.

I love giving quizzes in my writing/literature classes. I find that the less time people have to think, the funnier their writing tends to be. Snippets:

I am very obstinate. And I don’t always like to change my opinion…

As opposed to the more common breed of obstinacy that is dying to change.

The color in this ad is very vibrant and alive. It makes the reader feel calm and serene.

The only explanation I have is that the colors at first energize you so much that you feel alive, but the effort that goes into being alive exhausts you and eventually calms you down.

We cannot censor speech until we censor the words that come out of our mouths.

Infallible logic.

I hate writing. I would much rather use words.

It’s true! Writing without words has always been puzzlingly difficult for me as well.

Chinua Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart to show Africa had a rational past. African was not a wild ferret.

I have to say, I was stumped by this one. Africa, latest studies have shown, is in fact NOT a wild ferret, and might never have been.

Verbal responses can be equally funny—sometimes more so since students process their thoughts even less. For instance, once this student raised her hand after I’d given about a 15 minute lecture on history and relevance of the Berlin Wall. Her question was, “So is the Berlin Wall the same thing as the Great Wall of China?”

Days like that, I’m proud to be a teacher.

4 Responses to Well, duh.

  1. Kris says:

    Whoaaa, slow down, Sparky — Africa’s not a wild ferret? Are you sure?

    I have some 3rd-grade text books to rewrite.

  2. Matt says:

    But the same studies that show Africa is not a wild ferret also prove that the Berlin Wall and the Great Wall of China are the same. Perhaps that’s what causes confusion.

  3. Aakaash says:

    Why are you guys talking about Africa? The student clearly stated that AfricaN was not a wild ferret, which I understand it is not. Also, the student never said that’s what THEY thought, they said it was what Achebe wanted to prove. Now if any of you have read Things Fall Apart, and you finished it thinking that AfricaN was definitely not a wild ferret, not even a feral stoat perhaps, I think the student’s point has been made.
    Seriously guys, get your acts together and lay off the poor students.

  4. Pulao says:

    You’re right, I’m way too harsh on my students. It’s like this thing that one of them said when I was giving them some “background” on (once again) the Berlin wall– “I thought this was supposed to be an English Class!”

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