Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's a good thing I'm not a drinking woman

Because I'd be hitting the sauce (at quarter past 8 am) over these student papers.

I very nearly wrote "WTF????" on one of them.

The "issue" (good God I hate having to do "issue" papers with students) was "should American citizens be required to submit DNA to a DNA bank for the purposes of solving crimes."

Now, I have to say, first off, I'm opposed to it. Because, mainly, "Innocent until proven guilty"? And DNA can be misused. And just the idea that I'm assumed to be a potential criminal.

Most of the students see no problem with it. (I worry for the future). Their assumption is, "I'm not going to commit a crime, and it makes me sad when the evening news talks about murder victims, so YAY DNA BANK!"

I doubt - given how most criminals lack a lot of foresight, which is why they're CRIMINALS - that Joe Childrapist is going to go, "Wait....if I diddle this kid, they could find me and lock me up because of the DNA bank." No. I don't exactly see that happening.

But what really is driving me up the wall? So far, several people have said, "DNA banks are good because we can use the information to cure disease." THAT IS NOT THE STINKING QUESTION.

One person - the nearly-received-a-WTF - made some comment about nuclear weapons, and how DNA information could be used to target and wipe out whole races of people, and how that was bad. (I don't quite get it. That's my best interpretation).

I don't know. The students are generally OK in this class, and the first couple papers weren't so horribly bad. BUT I think some of them have either reached the phoning-it-in point of the semester, or they're assuming I don't actually READ the damn papers.

I don't know. I can see myself ordering myself a little "sympathy gift" off of Amazon this afternoon when I get these done. I feel like I deserve SOMETHING for it.

Edited to add: once again, my non-trad students come through! They present more reasoned arguments, including one person who points out that a mandatory DNA bank could be seen as a violation of the Fourth Amendment. So maybe these 18 year olds whose heartstrings are tugged hard enough to tie up their reason will mature into folks who can stop and think and go, "Is this really such a good idea?"

1 comment:

Mr. Bingley said...

It's never too late to start drinking! I know my Bride and I declare it an "Honorary Weekend" often when she gets saddled with a stack of shittastic papers...