Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What inanimate object would you wish to eliminate from existence?

I take attendance by having students answer a question.

What inanimate object would you wish to eliminate from existence?

Some students used their wish for the betterment of all:

  • fossil fuels
  • plastic in the ocean
  • greenhouse gases
Others clearly hold personal grudges, whose explanations and origin stories I can only hypothesize:
  • mushrooms
  • sporks
  • red onion
  • fire moose
  • sandals
  • toe shoes
  • socks
  • aglet
  • ties
  • styrofoam
  • rocks
  • my hallmates' alarm clocks
  • stickshift cars
  • SSBM
"SSBM", based on a 10-second internet search, is either surface-to-surface ballistic missiles, or Super Smash Brothers Melee. Either way, it's destructive.

Some had very specific college-student-related ideas, ranging from "that makes sense" to "that seems actively hurtful towards me, your professor, I'm standing in this room right now trying to teach you":
  • problem sets
  • math
  • final exams
  • pens
  • this pen
  • sign-in sheets
  • this question
  • Swarthmore College
My favorite was the dull, "nothing", because it supports the hypothesis that we live in the best of all possible worlds.

This post's theme word is aglet --- a new word for me! --- which is the term to refer to the metal or plastic tube at the end of the shoelace that stops it from fraying. In a world without aglets, we bungee-cord our shoes on each morning and saunter about, oblivious to the alternate realities we have narrowly avoided.

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