I want you to take a moment and really look at that picture above. If I asked you what the problem the person in the picture is having, I assume you would be able to answer the question. It wouldn’t be too difficult, would it?
Well you would be wrong. That it turns out, is the most puzzling question/picture combination imaginable. No one could possibly guess what problem this girl could be having. Maybe its her final exam in quantum physics. Maybe she is worried about the 5k fun run she is going to do next week. Or perhaps the whole thing is a metaphor for the inevitable heat death of the universe. No one could really ever know! How is one meant to answer this question? I should forgive my students for being able to solve this enigma.
Ok, shit talk aside, over my last few weeks in China these moments of student incompetence became increasingly harder for me to deal with, up until the point where I no longer recalled how I ever managed to put up with this shit to begin with. There is a sense in which these occurrences just kind of ruin your mental health, as it leaves you with a sort of existential emptiness inside as you contemplate the
horror stupidity of the universe.
How could they be getting this wrong? Do they merely not want to talk? It can’t be that they can’t sort it out. Do they not know the words? Then why are they silent? Why aren’t they saying anything. Why aren’t they spit balling whatever words they do know in an attempt to piece it the fuck together. Why are they just starring at the damn picture like its masterpiece in a god damned contemporary art museum, studying it like its a slab of fucking heiroglyphics? Why? Why GOD DAMN IT WHY, JUST ANSWER THE FUCKING QUESTION IT ISN’T HARD SHE IS OVERSLEEPING SEE WAS THAT SO HARD-?