Everyone could use a laugh these days.
For me that laughter arrived unexpectantly in the form of about 130 pages of hilarity, unfortunately at the expense of the next generation of leaders here in the United States as well as abroad.
"College in a Nutskull: A Crashed Course in Higher Education" is a compilation of the work of some of today's college students, culled right from their actual exam books and edited by Anders Henriksson, chairman of the history department at Shepherd University in West Virginia. He has published numerous articles on student "bloopers" and has appeared on NBC's Today show, CBS Sunday Morning, as well as on National Public Radio.
While reading this book, it is easy to imagine an unprepared student, attempting to make sense of a topic by dancing around the question. For example, when asked to describe two types of crimes, a creative co-ed's rambling response was: "Felonies are crimes that we might sometimes want to committ (sic), but the better part of deception tells us not to. Middle-sized crimes are known as mister meaners (sic). They are more serious than little stuff like mooning cars from the team bus."
The spiral-bound book features 17 chapters, including Religious Studies, Music, Language, History, Political Science, Economics and much more.
Here are a few more samples of some of the entries:
"Quakers spread the gospel by mouth to mouth resurrection."
"Telepathy is a condition linked by scientists to excess cell phone use."
"Rome was built in a day. Homes came with garden moratoriums. Amazing aqua ducks supplied fresh water."
"Checks and balances are what the police do to catch drunk drivers."
"The goal of all bankers is to become transparent so they cannot be seen getting into trouble."
While this might cause you to tremble at the thought of this next generation of thinkers running the world, Henriksson says take heart. It's not all that bad.
"The malapropisms, blunders, and skewed associations which comprise this book represent a tiny fragment of the student writing that my faculty contributors and I have read over the years," writes Henriksson in the book's introduction.
"For every student who thinks that Egypt, is an island or that the U.S. Congress is prohibited from making laws, there are scores of well-informed, articulate undergraduates eager to learn. Really!"
So sit back, relax, pick up this book and enjoy.
"College in a Nutskull: A Crashed Course in Higher Education" is available at bookstores and through Amazon.com.