Recently there was a minor “outrage” because 33% of SAT-takers were lucky enough to get this question:
“Do we benefit from forms of entertainment that show so-called ‘reality,’ or are such shows harmful?”
Apparently this is a terrible question because it isn’t fair to kids who don’t own a TV or watch “crap” TV. One student explained his reaction in this way:
“”I guess the kids who watch crap TV did well,” said one honors student at LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. “I was completely baffled; I watched ‘American Idol’ four years ago.
“A lot of what we did in SAT prep classes was to use historical events or literature in our essays. It was so difficult to try to connect something you’ve learned in school with that topic. Some of my friends don’t watch TV at all. They are really, really scared.””
Um. No. We should all have been so lucky to get this question. Speaking as someone who recently took a fairly pointless exam designed to “test your ability” in school (even though I am fairly positive my ability to solve quadratic equations will have little effect on my grad school career), I would have loved this question. In fact, a few days before I took said exam, I dreamed my question was “Describe your journey to attaining the level of fame you have today.” IF ONLY.
But I digress. First of all, the question did not ask something like “Discuss the relationship between fame and capitalism, using the Kardashians as an example” or “In 500 words or less, describe how Snooki exhibits problematic drinking behavior.” Anyone with half a brain can answer this question even without ever seeing a reality show. Which brings me to my second point: if you do not know how to BS your way through a paper or class discussion, you will not succeed in college or the real world. There will be a time when you only skimmed the chapter (or didn’t read the book because you were too busy watching Cheaters at 4:20, either one), and that will inevitably be the time the teacher calls on you. Even if you do read every single chapter and memorize every single note taken, there will be a time when you freeze up and draw a blank. Shit happens. And if you can BS your way out of it, your life will be a lot easier.
But what do we know? It’s not like we both graduated w/honors and got into grad school or anything, with one of us now being responsible for the education of future fame-mongers. Whatever!