Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Grading today

This is the introduction a student wrote to their bibliographic essay. The assignment asked them to survey the existing canon of scholarly research for their topic and present areas in which original research was possible. Tonally, this usually produces papers rather bland and matter of fact. This introduction, however, made me laugh out loud like seventeen times. So I'm posting it in its entiry because even though it means this post will be longer than my normal posts, you'll probably laugh seventeen times, too.

"After days of research, I discovered that no one besides politicians have much of an opinion on nuclear energy research. Everyone who supports it is actually out using the technology, not sitting down at some desk somewhere writing about it. The only people who write articles about nuclear energy are speakers for the Department of Energy or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and they are very boring, old men. Most resources on the pros and cons of nuclear energy exist only on the websites of nuclear associations in a short-sentence, bulleted format so the tired students who actually look that junk up for their class papers can read it quickly and get back to taking naps and partying and other such useful endeavors.

Topic: the implementation of nuclear power plants across the country would be most beneficial because of the environmental, economic and future benefits of nuclear energy.

No one actually writes on that.

Because there is a lot of room for original research. This research can be conducted in 10 years when nuclear reactors are more commonly used in the United States. Also, waste disposal is an area that needs to be studied a lot more. Should waste be hidden away in some mountain in the middle of nowhere, or should we research reprocessing plants to reuse the uranium fuel cells until we suck it completely dry and there is nothing left of it and we toss it out in the road for the dogs to eat like all the other garbage? But then if we accidentally throw out some uranium we could have giant, three-headed dogs that are super-intelligent and take over the world and walk around people on leashes. So of course the Democrats don’t want us using reprocessing plants, because a world taken over by mutant dogs (probably anti-goat cosmic calf dogs)[this is a class inside joke, BTW, and pretty funny; KCS] is not a world that they want to live in. But repositories aren’t a good solution either because we’re going to throw radioactive waste a thousand feet into the ground so there can be a major earthquake and all the uranium will get into the groundwater and contaminate the entire world and we’re all going to die. I guess either way it looks like we’re all going to die. Which is why this needs to be researched a lot more. I’m not ready to die yet.

Also, as a good Mormon I have to support nuclear technology. It is evident from my reading that nuclear power is going to create some disastrous accident that will make everyone some kind of creepy mutant which, obviously, is how the second coming is going to be brought about. In the end, that will be a good thing even though we have to be horrible mutants first.

I hope I get to be a ninja turtle.

Seriously, though, nuclear technology is incredibly fascinating. It is a potentially renewable energy source that comes at a cost smaller than that of any source of energy used today (besides, maybe, having small children run on giant hamster wheels, but I think there are laws against that sort of thing). Generally it is not dangerous. There have been several accidents in the past, but there have been no accidents in the United States where it has been proven that a uninvolved citizen was harmed. Using nuclear reactors for electricity will also open doors to all kinds of new nuclear technology like nuclear fuel and increased hydro-electric capabilities. It is good that the United States is taking steps to use this technology and learn."


Swanky Mommy said...

Oh WHY don't I get papers like this? Probably because I am not as brilliant as you. Plus, "her priority is her family, not her job" is why, according to my last student evals. On a brighter note, did I tell you I'm finally being published in Segullah? Check me out in the Fall issue. I'm brilliant. (HA)

Mark- TCM said...

Just felt the need to drop by and say "hi"......Hi! :-)