Back when I taught high school English, I’d sometimes call on a student who was unprepared to join a class discussion. He or she hadn’t done the assigned reading or homework. But rather than admit it, the student would usually try to fudge their way through. Peeking at the back cover of a novel, craning to see the keywords on the blackboard behind me, they’d stammer, “Um, I think that this chapter was about identity . . . and like, what happens when man, like, searches for truth . . . and identity . . . in the world . . . you know . . . “
I wasn’t such a sadist that I’d want to expose the kid in front of his classmates, so I’d move on to another student.
Much like Katie Couric probably wished she could’ve done with the clueless student who sat before her this weekend. If you missed it, it’s on YouTube.
Just as the kids in my class all understood that their fellow student was unprepared, I think that people in America recognize the sad and absurd spectacle before their eyes. At least I hope they do.
Of course, the stakes are a lot higher than they were in my high school English class. We’re talking about a vice presidential candidate to a man who is a 72-year old cancer survivor with a Krakatoa temperament, in what may be the most important election of the last hundred years.
Something to consider.