Professor Struggling To Find Anything To Agree With In Student’s Response
DEVLIN HALL — On Tuesday, students in the 10:30 AM section of Europe in the World looked on helplessly as Henry van Cumberbund (CSOM ‘20) provided what may have been the absolute worst possible answer to a question about the causes of World War II.
After Professor Laura Bourke posed a series of questions to prepare students for their upcoming midterm, van Cumberbund took the opportunity to hypothesize that the advent of women’s suffrage in the United States was the primary cause of the deadliest conflict in world history, completely ruling out unhealthy nationalistic tendencies and harsh economic sanctions imposed on Germany following World War I.
Other students in the class described a thirty-second pause during which Bourke half-smiled and contemplated the thought, eventually conceding, “Maybe!” She then recapitulated his interpretation to the rest of the class, while contradicting almost every point in his argument.
“Never before at this university have I thought that somebody’s answer was objectively wrong,” said classmate Erin Brownstein (LSOE ‘20). “But that was truly the most idiotic and poorly thought-out argument I’ve ever heard.”
Following the lecture, Bourke was visibly shaken by the blatant incorrectness of the response, retiring to her office in Stokes South saying that she needed to “just think things over,” according to a colleague in the History Department.
After failing to show up to teach another lecture that afternoon, Bourke was found absent-mindedly whispering to herself while playing with a Newton’s cradle. “She doesn’t even have one of those in her office,” her colleague noted. “I’m pretty sure she stole it from someone.”