Monday, February 25, 2008

Day 112

One student. One student out of my two classes today. One student out of my two classes today knew what Abraham Lincoln is most famous for. One student out of the 50-odd African American teenagers in my 2 8th grade classes.

When I asked "Does anyone know what Abraham Lincoln was famous for?" these are the responses I got:

  • he invented the piano
  • he discovered electricity
  • he was the first president of the U.S.
  • he had a weird tall hat (at least this one is true)
  • his fat, fly beats
  • an f-ed up grill
  • he's on the penny (again, at least true)

Oh well, I've taught classes of sophomores and juniors at the college level who barely knew any more than these kids do about history.

John Wilkes Booth was a local boy, and is buried at Greenmount Cemetery in B'more. The kids were interested in that at least. We read Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain!" but had to spend a lot of time on context.


1 comment:

brad said...

Astonishing.

I guess we are moving into a post-literate world. Not to say your kids are illiterate, but they certainly don't read anything. I think this next generation will simply look at things, rather reading them.