My day didn’t start off very well.  I was up late working on a prospectus for my English class so I didn’t get much sleep.  I woke up too late to make a cup of coffee so I got on the bus tired and undercaffeinated.  There were plenty of seats on the bus.  And I happened to find the seat next to the guy who smelled like booze.  I love bus people.  For some reason a guy and a girl, who both got on a stop or two after mine, decided to stand in the middle of the aisle right in front of the door.  Every time the bus stopped to let people out the exiting passengers had to shuffle past these two stubborn morons and their bulky backpacks.  There were a half dozen seats in the back of the bus alone.  The girl could have reached out and literally touched an unoccupied seat.  I understand when people stand in the aisle if they are only going a few stops, or if all the seats are taken, but these two remained on the bus for the entire 20 minute ride to downtown Iowa City.  They were still on the bus when I got off.  And this is the part that really pissed me off.  I had to get past these two idiots to get off the bus.  So when my stop came I assumed I could just walk between them.  Nope.  The girl was looking at her cell phone, which for some reason was attached to the something on the inside of the man’s backpack .  I don’t know what there could have been in there that she needed to have her phone plugged into it while riding the bus.  I not very politely said “excuse me” when I tried to exit the bus.  This caused each of them to move to opposite sides of the aisle so that I could pass between them, as I had originally planned.  However, the girl was still holding onto her cell phone, which was still attached to the man’s backpack.  This created a barrier across the aisle.  So here I am standing there in front of these two.  She, with her death grip on her tethered phone, and he, with his oblivious blank stare.  She looked at me and kind of danced back and forth as if that was going to solve the problem.  I rolled my eyes, shook my head, and pushed between her and the side of the aisle and exited the bus.

How are people like this able to make it through the day without getting hit by a car or choking on their lunch?  I am constantly amazed at how stupid people make it through life.  When I become a college professor the first course I am going to propose is a freshman course on basic social survival.  How To Get The Dumb Out 101.  The first week of class would cover how to cross the street.  You would be amazed at how many college students haven’t figured this one out yet.  Other lessons would include things like:

  • How to dress yourself
  • How to write an e-mail to your professor that doesn’t begin with “What up _____”
  • How to treat people in the service industry
  • How to speak intelligently in class
  • How to take notes in class (this doesn’t involve texting or Facebook)
  • How to write a coherent sentence
  • Basic U.S. history (I once had a student who had no idea the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776)
  • Why bikes don’t belong on the sidewalk
  • How to solve your own problems without calling mom and dad every 3 minutes
  • How to treat and talk to people in general
  • Why you are not entitled to anything you think you are entitled to
  • Why 1980s fashion should never come back
  • The difference between Karate Kid and whatever that movie was with Jackie Chan and the little Will Smith.

I could go on and on, but I have some work to do and you get the point.  Why is it that I have to adapt and conform to the stupid people in society when there seems to be no expectation for them to try to emerge from the dumb cocoon into a bright and intelligent member of society.  We, as a society, seem to have given up trying to help improve those around us.  Isn’t that what education is supposed to do?  Aren’t educators supposed to at least try to make people better and more knowledgeable citizens?  Why do we cater to the lowest common denominator?

Kill the dumb, save the man.