So I'm teaching an essay I frequently teach in the first half of freshman comp, which looks at studies that link physical punishment of children with depression and low income levels later in life, an essay that usually, in this area, generates outrage and anger and, especially since I'm still touchy over Tonks' blog post and Zelda's story, I'm expecting more of the same.
Only not so.
Very little outrage from my students, first, though they did point out the problem with the essay (my attempts to get them to read critically are succeeding!) which is that it didn't provide sufficient evidence backing its main points.
But when I asked them why most Americans would be reluctant to believe this thesis, though they could tell me, they did not agree with the position. I asked for lists of reasons why we, as Americans, though it was a good idea to smack kids, and got silence, and then, from one of them, thoughtfully, "There aren't really any good reasons."
And a nineteen year old boy stayed after class to tell me how he worked at Wal-Mart, and he sees parents walloping their kids. "They always act worse after they get hit," he told me. "Always."
So, well: even in Arkansas, times are changing.
2 hours ago