Thursday, October 13, 2005

Opinions are like. . .

Here’s a sample of what’s been going on on my freshman class discussion board. I posted the first message in this series to give them something to talk about, and they took it from there. These comments are straight from the students, grammar mistakes and all. (I have deleted names to retain anonymity.)

Message no. 109

Sunday, October 9, 2005 11:54am

Subject: Worldwide disasters

I hate to leave such a gloomy message today, but this is what I've been

thinking about. This weekend there was an earthquake in Asia, killing

thousands of people. In Guatemala, people have lost homes and lives

because of mudslides. The bird flu is spreading from the Far East and

into eastern Europe, and officials fear the virus will mutate and cause

a worldwide flu pandemic. Here in the U.S. we have suffered through

several hurricanes and now flooding rains in the Northeast. A magma dome

is building under the Two Sisters in Oregon, and Mt. St. Helens in

Washington is still threatening to blow. Other hurricanes and typhoons

have hit countries in the Pacific Ocean region.

Lots of stuff has been happening over the last couple of months. Have

you been concerned about these events?

Here’s a response from a female student:

Message no. 111[Branch from no. 109]

on Sunday, October 9, 2005 5:43pm

Subject: Re: Worldwide disasters

The part that concerns me the most is that all this stuff is happening around the world

and the US is so quick to send help and send money and send aid but yet when it

happens in our own backyard, it takes us so long to get organized and get what is

needed for the people in Lousiana and Mississippi.

A response from another female student:

Message no. 115[Branch from no. 109]

Monday, October 10, 2005 11:03am

Subject: Re: Worldwide disasters

Being concerned about these events is probably on everyone's mind. I am a firm

believer that everything happens for a reason. In this world there are certain things

that "MAN" just can't control. They will never be able stop the volcanoes from errupting

or hurricanes from forming. That's something that most people just don't understand. If

these disaterous events happen who is to blame? Everyone wants to blame the

president who has no control over anything in the atomosphere. All he can do if aid

those in need. No one knows the amount of stress he goes through everyday. I get so

mad when the people of this country diss their own leader. If you don't want to follow

him and his authority to rule then leave the country and try to tell somebody else what

you like and don't like. Those people who don't like the president are literally idots in my


At this point, I thought I should interject a comment to remind students that the readership of this list is diverse in its political opinions (and, I admit, to express my own consternation at the “idot” comment), so here’s what I said:

Message no. 117[Branch from no. 115]

Monday, October 10, 2005 12:34pm

Subject: Re: Worldwide disasters

Call me an idiot then.

This response is from the same student that wrote message #111:

Message no. 121[Branch from no. 115]

Monday, October 10, 2005 6:08pm

Subject: Re: Worldwide disasters

alright i guess i'm an idiot then. but i have reasons to back up my opinion, its not just

because i liked kerry and i dont like bush. i would say this about any president that was

in office. they make the concious decision to send millions of dollars of aid to forgein

countries but when it comes to helping his own people, the same people that put him in

office, he can't do it, he drags his feet. look how long it took him to go tour Lousiana and

Mississippi, look how long it took him to listen to the people, to see the disaster with his

own eyes. just like in the countries that we're rushing to help now, the people that

couldn't leave the south are the ones that need the most help. the ones on welfare, the

ones without the means to leave, no cars, no money to put gas in their cars. you can't

help a person by giving them food stamps and giving them homes but then when their is

a disaster, we expect them to help themselves. it's not going to happen that way.

Another female response:

Message no. 131[Branch from no. 115]

Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:42pm

Subject: Re: Worldwide disasters

Apparently, there are many of us IDIOTS....i would be careful as to what i say to whom on these message boards. im an "idiot" as well, am proud of it, but i dont take lightly to being called as such. but, everyone has their opinion. just so its known though, many people DO NOT share that opinion. i would never vote for Bush. it's not that i dont like him, its that i dont like the way things have been handles, and think they could have been handled better if another person was in office. there, i said it.

And finally a guy jumps in:

Message no. 132[Branch from no. 115]

Thursday, October 13, 2005 1:13am

Subject: Re: Worldwide disasters

Add me to the idiot list while your at it.

This next message is from the same student as above. Notice that this comment was posted thirty minutes after the previous one. Apparently he stewed about it for a few minutes.

Message no. 133[Branch from no. 115]

Thursday, October 13, 2005 1:46am

Subject: Re: Worldwide disasters

While I'm at it..what's with the whole "If you don't want to follow him and his authority to rule" thing about? The term "Ruler" is reserved for titles such as king or emperor and

such. The president is supposed to represent the people who put him in office, not rule

them. Bush is mainly worried about helping out his it's getting them

appointed to an office or lining their pockets any way he can. Take the example of Bush

hiring one of his buds to head the FEMA department. The guy had no idea what he was

doing after Katrina hit and had to resign. I was kinda glad to see his approval rating last

week fall to least that means some diehard Bush supporters are comming to

their senses. I can't see how anyone would stand up for him after the crazy decisions

he's pulled out of his butt. I've always heard that the more you stir shit the worse it

smells. I wish more than anything that Bush could learn how to quit stiring and admit he

was wrong about many descisions he's made while he's been in office.

This little conversation got my morning started with a good laugh.


Tony Arnold said...

I thought it was hilarious that most seemed so offended by the one's comment that they missed the tremendious opportunity for some great, un-emotioanl sarcasm, e.g:

I dot get it?

Dear No. 115, what is an idot? Is it related to TDOT?

So what do you call someone who during a rant calls the rest of us idiots, "idots"?

You must be a Bush supporter, because you can't spell idiot.

Well, at least some of us idots can spell idiot.

Great spelling there Mr. Quayle.

By the way JMG, you will appreciate this from the Randy Harris talk I summarized on the MD blog: "I teach preaching among other things. Sometimes I have to listen to 6 sermons in an evening that are first the students have ever given. I will go to heaven for this if nothing else!


Ayatollah Mugsy said...

That lad needs to learn that such blind faith in an elected official can be dangerous. His reverence should be reserved for a certain furry religious leader.

jettybetty said...

I wonder how the *conversation* would have gone if you wouldn't have inserted that perhaps in that case you must be an *idiot*?

JMG said...

Good question! Lots of times when I put in my comment the conversation stops. It's like "Oooh, the teacher just said the definitive word. I won't say anything else." I hate it when that happens.