Don’t know much about math? Science? Reading? Don’t worry about it
By STEVE FRIESS
All you need to know about why Gov. Brian Sandoval must veto AB 456 you can learn from this parlor game my partner and I play in social company.
For one miserable semester in 2004, I tried to teach journalism at UNLV, except that almost every student was so functionally illiterate I actually taught remedial English. On election night that year, each student received unique orders to chat up a certain demographic or to ask about certain topics at political gatherings. The girl assigned to ask foreign policy questions rendered a story that included this “word”: Alkita.
It took me only a moment to decipher, but over cocktails, friends offer many answers. A breed of dog? No. A battery part? No. Someone’s name? No.
That, dear readers, was how this Las Vegas child spells the name of America’s worst enemy, Al Qaeda. How many kids in 1943, pray tell, wrote about the nahceez?
The best part: She later begged me for a B to maintain her Millennium Scholarship. Which is to say, this girl who couldn’t distinguish a comma from a Cadillac graduated a Nevada high school with at least a B average to qualify for that. When I refused, she growled at me, “All my other teachers say I’m a great writer.”
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