Monday, November 19, 2007


"I'm driving to Alaska for Thanksgiving."

I wasn't really paying attention. I was trying to make sure that the students were on the program they were supposed to be on in the computer lab and not engaged in some forbidden activity (surfing the Internet, playing in Paint, etc.). But I got called into this one.

"How far away is Alaska?"

Having never made the trip, I didn't know. I did know approximately how long it would take to drive to San Fransisco (8 hours) or Eugene, OR (day and a half, with an overnight break). Other students nearby knew how long it took to drive to nearby states.

So, they asked the boy when he was leaving. He said Wednesday afternoon. And he was going to make it to Alaska by Thursday's Thanksgiving dinner.

Now, I don't know for sure. It could be possible. If the boy had claimed that he had done this before, if he had some argument to give, I would have believed him. But here his story really started to fall apart (and it was due to the incredulousness of the other students, not me--I promise). Each neighboring student had a different question, and the boy's answers got less and less plausible.

Then I asked about his passport. You have to go through Canada to get to Alaska, right? And I know that you need a passport to cross the border now. His response: he looked at me blankly. I asked if he needed to take a ferry, and he said he was going to sail on the Queen Mary.

We were all done at this point. But I wonder. Why lie? What purpose does it serve?

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