Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Q: Stupid or dumb? Dumb or stupid?
She is a poor, earnestly troubled soul asking me for help. The correct answer to one homework problem eludes her. Ah, the best part of my job - presenting the mysteries of the material world to curious minds! Half way through working out the
You know what? Screw the storytelling. She’s a senior in physical chemistry who can’t do freshman calculus. Sure, that means that she’s brighter than 99% of the world’s population but I don’t grade on that curve. She can’t do a simple calculation. (Here’s the equation. Solve it.) She "just doesn't get this math stuff." For a p-chem student, she’s pretty dumb.
How could she ever learn, she asks. She routinely gets C’s and some D’s in her major classes so this isn’t her first academic challenge. Well, you study, of course. The discussion devolves into me spouting all the advice that I give freshmen. Practice. Take notes. Do your homework. She gets a look on her face as if I’m revealing great secrets, like the season finale of Glee or something. Her epiphanic expression dissolves when she realizes that studying takes a lot of work.
“All I need is a D.” she says.
If you think that’s what you need, then you’re stupid too.
A: All of the above.