I worry about the intelligence of our students

So I asked a graduate student to send me the information written on .. um.. a business card, shall we say, something with different information on possibly both sides. I told him if he could just take pictures and send it to me that’d be great, thinking it’s a very simple thing to do. A couple of days later he calls me and asks me if I want the information on both sides. A long second of silence ensued, during which I fought very hard and resisted the urge to auditorily slap him in the face (i.e. smack my phone on the table). Yes, both sides, thank you.

I worry about the state of our country if we’re producing students of such caliber out of universities, and a graduate student at that. I mean, can’t anyone with more brain capacity than a head of lettuce figure this out? The point of the task was to convey information, and the marginal effort is minimal (flip it over, press shutter again. Maybe click a few more times to send two files instead of two if he can’t figure out drag and drop). Is it really that difficult in this case to do just a tiny bit more even if he’s unsure whether the information is pertinent? The additional energy expenditure is surely less than dialing then putting the phone to his ear. What exactly did he imagine would be the risk of doing this particular task wrong? What did he think would happen if he sent me one extra picture that I didn’t need?

I guess one scenario would make his actions more plausible to the normal mind: Imagine if he’s a spy, and he’s got a LOT of information on his SD card, information upon which the fate of the world rested. AND he had only space left for ONE picture, and taking that extra ONE picture would entail deleting information on his precious card that may or may not lead to our fair country bursting into flames. If that were the case, then I offer my sincerest apology and salute you for protecting the fate of this world (though I’d like to see the current Taiwanese government burst into flames, figuratively. But I digress)

Honestly I am worried for future of our country. Sure he’d be good at asking “do you want fries with that?”, oh yeah he’d nail that. But do I really want my tax money to subsidize something like 18 years of education for someone to be good at asking me if I want to super-size my meal? My not-yet-existent pet dog would have better use for a human-sized brain: He’d be Satchel, and he’d be funny.

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