I always thought there was no such thing as a stupid question. Even when I thought the answer to a student’s query was obvious, the college student apparently did not know the answer and thus my job was to respond to his or her question accurately and with patience. Even when a second student asks me the same question in class five minutes later, I think to myself that perhaps I didn’t explain the concept well enough the first time. However, something that one of my brightest and most engaged students (a finance major!) said to me has me rethinking my original hypothesis. At the end of class, he came up to me and wanted to know if I had all the grades in the class written down somewhere. After I looked at him with a raised eyebrow, even he sheepishly commented, “That was a stupid question, wasn’t it?”
A colleague topped that though with his sad but true story about a student who was doing poorly in class. When the professor questioned as to why the student was failing, the student’s response was that it was not his fault …his roommate had a learning disability and he thought he had caught it!