Why Are People So Stupid?

After opening my email this evening, I was struck with a thought. What makes a person stupid? Actually, my first thought was that it’s illegal to strangle stupid people; then I thought what makes a person stupid. I’m not talking about intelligence here. That’s determined by a number of factors. Just because I can read and write (haltingly), or play the piano (I can’t), or add and subtract vast arrays of incomprehensible algebraic functions (I can’t do that either), doesn’t make me smart, but it does allude to the idea that I have some level of intellect that has allowed me to learn such things. So then why is it that so many people that I come into contact with on a day-to-day basis act like such incompetent, moronic imbeciles? Is it their complete lack of logic, a deprived childhood without fluffy toys, or just an inane desire to annoy me?

Let’s take this lovely email. My students (now, now, don’t judge, they’re people too you know?) have to do group projects which will culminate into a class presentation this Friday. Three weeks ago they were told that they would be put into groups, and to email their choice of topics before the next class so that I could sort them. Some (the good ones) did exactly as they were asked, others (the ummm… bad ones) did not, so I had to randomly place them into groups so that we could move on with the project. Last week, they assembled in class, were given their group listings and were required to continue on their merry way doing the group assignment. One teeny, tiny, little problem – my class is filled with ghosts (aka the umm… bad ones).

And that’s where my email comes in. One of the wandering spirits has emerged, with a message: Choice 1 – Group xyz; Choice 2 – abc; Choice 3: pqr. Sorry, to tell you this Casper, but you’re already part of a group; a group that has already met, decided what they’re doing, and came up with a plan to work around your vaporised presence. And before I hear complaining and whining and oh, oh, oh, oh, that’s so unfair and you need an extension and, and, and, try this – come to class. If you’d bothered to be there in the first place you’d know what was going on. Actually, if you’d bothered to read the material placed online, or your course material, or your emails, you’d know what was expected of you. So, in reply to your plea for an extension: NOT MY PROBLEM!
In reply to your group’s plea to deal with you: IT’S NOT THEIR PROBLEM – CARRY ON AS IF YOU WEREN’T THERE!

Reading this back to myself, I realise I sound incredibly nasty and fed up. But truth be told, I am. And this was just the icing on the cake. When you are constantly forced to deal with lazy and incompetent people (not students!) it does drive you a little crazy. For example, in reply to an email which someone I know sent, they asked where an administrative meeting was to be held, along with a number of other questions relating to administration. The reply from the receiver was: if the student is in Durban send them there, if they are in PMB send them to PMB. Huh? I thought the question was about where a meeting was being held and admin, not where to send students? But at least I’m not alone in dealing with the brainless undead, other people around me have to deal with it too………… HANG ON! Brainless undead?! People aren’t becoming stupid, it’s the rise of the freaking zombie apocalypse! Screw strangling them, bring me my chainsaw!

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Posted on April 28, 2012, in email, students, stupidity, zombies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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The ramblings of an overworked underpaid grad student in South Africa



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