Here’s one of those things that, if it hadn’t actually happened to me, I wouldn’t have believed it.
I received this email from one of my students on Monday:
I have to work tomorrow night and I will not be able to watch the Inaugural Speech and I don’t know anyone that has access of taping it or anything. Do you have any suggestions on how I can still get the assignment done? If you could get back to me as soon as possible I appreciate it Thank You, Carl.
Carl, REALLY?! Are you SERIOUS? First of all, Carl, the address was delivered around lunch time; if you didn’t have to work until the evening, you should have been able to see the damned thing on – oh, I don’t know - EVERY SINGLE CHANNEL. The fact that you’re emailing me would indicate that you have, you know, ELECTRICITY – internet, even. I’m certain that, with a minimum of effort, you can find Obama’s speech. Hell, I picked up a copy of the free town newspaper, and they’ve got a full-page spread of the text of the address. Did you try YouTube? How about CNN.com? OH! I KNOW! The White House web page. American Rhetoric? Have I offered you enough choices?
I sent him back a terse and no-so-polite email basically telling him that I was going to offer him the opportunity to figure this one out on his own and that, if he got REALLY stuck, he should email me back.