Saturday, April 28, 2007

thought crime in America

Imagine you are back in high school. You are sitting in English class (it is a state graduation requirement). The assignment for the day is "Free Writing- write non-stop for a set period of time. Do not make corrections as you write. Keep writing, even if you have to write something like, 'I don't know what to write'. Write whatever comes to your mind. Do not judge or censor what you are writing."

Does the assignment suggest a theme? NO
Does the assignment require a topic sentence? NO
Does the assignment encourage you to proofread your work? NO

Well what does the assignment suggest? Write whatever comes to mind.
What if I'm in a lousy mood? Do not judge and do not stop writing.
What if I'm a potty mouth? Do not censor what you are writing.

Ok- so you want to know what I am thinking about right now?


Here is what one student turned in.

Blood sex and Booze.

Drugs Drugs Drugs are fun.

Stab, Stab, Stab, S…t…a…b…, poke.

''So I had this dream last night where I went into a building, pulled out two P90s and started shooting everyone…, then had sex with the dead bodies. Well, not really, but it would be funny if I did.''

Umm, yeah, what to wright about……

I'm leaving to join the Marines and I really don't give a (obscenity) about my academics, so why does the only class that's complete Bull Shit, happen to be the only required class…enough said.

The model citizen would stay around to vote in new board member to change the 4 years of English policy, but no one really stays around to vote for that kind of local crap, so whoever gets there name on the Ballet with a pretty face gets to do what the (obscenity) ever they want with local ordinance.

A person is smart, but people are dumb selfish animals. We can't make rules for ourselves so we vote others to do it for us, but we can't even do that right, I meen seriously, Bush for President? And our other option was John Kerry who claimed to parktake in Vietnam Special Forces missions that haven't been declassified….(obscenity) Bull Shit.

So Power Flower Super Mario.

Pudge, hook, rot, dismember ''Fresh Meat.''

Mostly new/young teachers are laid back, and cooperative with students as feedback and input into the curriculum and atmosphere.

My current English teacher is a control freak intent on setting a gap between herself and her students like a 63 year old white male fortune 500 company CEO, and a illegal immigrant.

If CG was a private catholic school, I could understand, but wtf is her problem. And baking brownies and rice crispies does not make up for it, way to try and justify yourself as a good teacher while underhandedly looking for complements on your cooking.

No quarrel on you qualifications as a writer, but as a teacher, don't be surprised on inspiring the first cg shooting.


What did we learn about the student from this essay?

- Fairly macabre sense of life. Uses profanity.

- He wrote whatever came to mind without judging or censoring it.

- He's joining the marines.

- He resents being required to take 4 years of English. But doesn't care enough to vote in changes to the school board.

- Seems to think that individuals are smart but a group of people are dumb selfish animals who need the government to take care of them.

- Doesn't think highly of politicians especially the presidential choices.

- He likes or is familiar with Nintendo games.

- He doesn't care for his english teacher or the fact that she bakes treats for class.

- He thinks she may even inspire the first school shooting.


That's it. That is all that we learn about the student from his essay.

Now- what are the results of this essay?

1- Did he complete the assignment- YES
2- Did he write whatever came to mind- YES
3- Did he judge or censor what he wrote- NO

So- what grade did he get on the assignment?

Well let's put it this way, what Allen Lee, an 18-year-old straight-A student student at Cary-Grove High School, heard about his essay was this...

''You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you at interrogation time and at court.''

He is charged with two misdemeanor counts of Disorderly Conduct- which carries a penalty of 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. Normally Disorderly Conduct is filed for pranks such as pulling a fire alarm or dialing 911. But it can also apply when someone's writings can disturb an individual.

In this case the teacher was disturbed.

Thought crime in America.


Sean the Blogonaut said...

No counselling. $50 bucks says he shoots someone before he gets into the marines.

Jacob said...

I think I share your concerns about thought crime, but it seems to me - just from the way it was written - that he was just looking for attention.

(It scares me that he wants to be in the Marines. Oh lordy, let's hope not)

johngalt666 said...

Ok, this kid is obviously not going to win any popularity contests here. Nor do I think he should.

But arrested!!!!! Are you kidding me?

His timing was atrocious, I grant you. And I can see a case where the school sends him to counseling or maybe even suspend him (though I would argue that too). But arrest him. For a writing assignment that he did as asked?

I don't think so.

If this is the case all students had better drop all writing classes or at least stop turning in assignments that they haven't purged for the thought police.

Hell, we better all stop blogging or they could all show up at our door with cuffs and guns next.

Are you ready?

look_an_atheist said...

Maybe he was looking for attention.

Maybe he was bored.

Maybe his thoughts really were that gory.

Though the "title" of his piece is taken from some lyrics to a song.

People do have weird dreams. And I have had times where I wished someone would off one of my teachers.

Didn't you guys ever sing these lyrics to Battle Hymn of the Republic

Glory Glory Hallelujah
Teacher hit me with a ruler
Met her at the door
With a loaded forty-four
And she ain't my teacher anymore.

Cripes we were singing that at recess in 3rd grade. I guess the recess monitor better not catch modern kids doing that or the whole 3rd grade class will be led away in chains.

All he did was write. He didn't claim to be the one who would do the shooting, merely the teacher was agravating enough to deserve it.

Come on Jacob, didn't you ever wish your maths teacher would meet a bad end? :-)