So I teach an Ethics course at the technical college in town. Most of my students have never formally studied anything humanities-based, and our discussions frequently lapse into arguments over which Halo game has the most morally sophisticated (which really means, the most killing-oriented) plot.
I should have known this would be a troubled class when I asked for their emails on Week 1:
Yeah, that last guy dropped the class… Anyway. Their first “reflection” paper was due last week, which posed a new set of problems.
My African student inadvertently renamed the red herring fallacy the “redhead” fallacy. (Luckily, he didn’t try to redefine it accordingly, which would have incited a host of anti-discrimination codes.) It took one of the “gamers” three drafts and three revision comments by yours truly to understand that the assignment was about Kant–not about how believable the characters are in Mass Effect II.
And three students didn’t even bother to turn in an assignment. That’s three out of eight. In other words, 38% of my class doesn’t give a shit about me or the authority I ostensibly hold.