Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Knowledge Gap

6th period I was covering an English class. They were finishing up a short story. One of the main characters' names was Marilyn, and the students couldn't pronounce it.

"Marilyn, as in Marilyn Monroe," I explained.

"Who?"

"Isn't there a teacher named...?"

"You've never heard of Marilyn Monroe?" I asked the class.

They claimed that they hadn't. This surprised me. I thought she was an icon.

Earlier in the day, I happened across two students having an argument. I got pulled into it.

"She doesn't think that Bruce Lee is the best martial artist of our generation," the boy explained.

"Your generation?" I asked. "Isn't Bruce Lee dead?"

(Note: this boy was born no earlier than 1993.)

"Fine, in this century, then," the boy said.

"Didn't he die in the '70's?" I asked.

This exasperated the boy. I let him have his initial point, though. If he thought Bruce Lee was the best, then so be it.

So, same day. They know Bruce Lee, they don't know Marilyn Monroe. Scary.

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