These punk-ass kids, as my wonderfully witty and entertaining capstone seminar professor so aptly named them (or us, at the time), are doing absolutely nothing but wasting both their time in college and mine. If you're not going to actually try to do the homework, even to the point of mediocrity, why bother turning it in? Consistently getting 2s and 4s out of 10 points on homework is not going to help your grade that much. And the seriously abysmal ones always take so much longer to grade because I either: a) can't read their handwriting, b) can't figure out how they could have possibly gone so wrong, or c) can't find enough margin space to write everything that's wrong with their answer.
It hit me last night, as my poor little brain was hanging on by a thread to both sanity and wakefulness, that these students are not just a bunch of punk-ass kids--they are the biggest group of underachievers I have ever encountered. I'm an achiever myself. So underachievers are, by definition, unacceptable and often useless human beings that are just sucking up too much oxygen and failing to recycle too many valuable resources.
OK, that may be a bit harsh. But I do worry. Seeing so many underachievers--even in a class that may not be that enjoyable or useful to them--in one small corner of my microcosm worries me. This is the future of America's youth? I may as well move to Canada and be done with it. Why would you bother doing anything if you're not going to at least try to do well in it? Maybe you'll fail. But putting forth so little effort and still expecting to see results from it seems absurd.
I don't know if the reason for this is laziness, lack of motivation, or just this mentality that if it's not easy, it's not worth it. I don't particularly care for this class that much either, but I'm still putting forth a substantial amount of time and energy to do well in it. I'm not doing an outstanding job, and I probably should be putting at least another hour or two's worth of time into it each week to be excelling in it, but I am doing the work. I am trying.
Maybe I'm just venting because I was so inhumanly depleted of energy last night, and seeing what poor effort was put forth by these kids was so incredibly discouraging. But still, it has always baffled me that some people can be so blasé about things. Even if it's a class you hate, it's still part of your education, and if you value your education at all, it seems that you would have to put in a certain amount of work if you want to at least pass the class.
I really hope these kids try to do something useful with their lives besides playing beer pong and video games for the next ten years out of their parents' basements. The world is in poor enough shape as it is without a bunch of underachievers bringing up the ranks of the new generation.
You've gotta ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya--punk?
-Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry