It’s no big secret that society is getting progressively dumber, if the current state of the executive branch of our government is any indication. At this point, it seems as though our only hope lies within the children to keep the world from turning into full-on Idiocracy over the course of the next century, and if that’s the case… Well, this probably isn’t going to be of much comfort.
Although the saying goes “there are no dumb questions, only dumb answers,” let’s face it — sometimes there are also dumb questions. Case in point, teachers of Reddit rounded up the most stupid questions they’ve been asked by students, and again, I wouldn’t put much stock into our future generations going by some of these gems.
I once projected a picture of the Earth onto the front white board. A student asked, “How do astronauts stand on a planet like that?”
I’ve shared this before, but as a high school biology teacher, a 16 year old student once asked me “Wait, aren’t rhinos made of mud?”
Private writing instructor. A couple of years ago, I had a student ask me if commas were real or imaginary. He was equally dubious about semicolons, which he referred to as “imitation periods.”
(Since people have asked, he was 26. Edited for clarity.)
At the college mid term, I had a guy comes up to me that I’ve never seen in class. He proceeded to ask me what his grade is. Checked the sheet, he never turned in a single piece of homework, no quizzes, never attended a test.
What did you think you’d have? You’ve got a solid F.
While I was student teaching, I had a student ask where Texas was on the map I was projecting on the screen. The map was of China.
Not a teacher but in 8th grade sex-ed class, we had a box where students could submit questions anonymously. One day, the teacher read aloud one of the questions which asked, “My dad’s penis is circumcised but mine is not. Does this mean he isn’t my dad?”
Yes, he believed circumcision was hereditary.
A girl in my honors science class asked the teacher, and was 100% serious, if ramen grew on ramen trees.
I was asked by a crying student once if there was a second moon. We were outside for recess and as happens sometimes, the moon was visible. I said Nope, why and she pointed to the moon and asked but aren’t the sun and the moon the same thing? 4th grade student, not special needs or anything. She was crying because the other kids were making fun of her for thinking the sun and the moon were the same thing. After I explained to her the sun did not turn into the moon at night and then back into the sun in the morning (she actually thought the moon was the sun ‘turned off’), I did an impromptu science lesson that afternoon with the whole class.
After a lengthy explanation of the effects of volcanic eruptions on human communities, I had a grade 6 student ask me why on earth people even make volcanic eruptions.
In 7th grade science class during sex ed they were talking about oral sex. Mormon girl in class “wait you can get an STD just from talking about sex?” I wouldn’t call the question stupid, just no exposure at all to the topic beforehand.
How do islands not float away? Really big anchors. He wrote it down.
9th grade ELA, a few chapters into Of Mice And Men:
“What kind of work does George do on the farm?”
“I’m not sure. Probably the same work that everyone else is doing.”
“Oh. It must be hard for him to help out, since he’s a mouse.”
As part of teaching U.S. Government I ran a zombie apocalypse scenario where the students had to respond to an ongoing crisis in real-time using the actual powers of the government as different parts of the government. It was my favorite activity all semester and I went all in, including with a large map of the U.S. that would be updated for every day that passed.
As part of this activity I prepared a handout of a fake news story about the zombie apocalypse beginning in our home town. It had pictures of zombies shambling around and was written all newspaper style.
One day, after handing these out, an 18 year old student raised their hand and said “Mr. CrowSage, did this really happen?”
On the plus side, I am hearing positive early buzz about Ass: The Movie.