Even Subjective Questions Can Have Wrong Answers
My Shakespeare class was asking me a number of questions about how Shakespeare's plays were enacted in Elizabethan times, and while I had a few answers for them, I eventually had to admit that one of the best uses of a time machine would be to go back and see a production Hamlet or Twelfth Night at the Globe Theatre, and then I asked the class to speculate on this hypothetical question: if they had two chances to use a time machine to see something in the past (not alter history) then what was the other thing they should see-- besides a Shakespeare play-- and a student quickly guessed the other "correct" answer . . . which is a dinosaur, of course, and a few students debated my "correct" answers-- someone suggested the Lincoln Assassination, which I must admit is a pretty good thing to go back and see-- and I decided to ask my friend and colleague Kevin, who was teaching English next door, if he knew the correct answers to this thought experiment . . . and I am so glad I asked him, because my classes laughed about his answer for the rest of the day (and I will admit that it was before 8 AM in the morning and I caught him off guard, but still, his answer was egregious) and so after I posed the question, he thought for a moment and said, "So it can be anything in the past, personal or in history, right?" and I confirmed this, and then he thought hard, searching for the correct answer and finally said, "Maybe I should see my own birth?" and then he realized what he said, and I said to him, "You want to see yourself coming out of your own mother's uterus! That's disgusting!" and my class agreed that no one should want to see their own mother's distended private parts (and I know Kevin's mother, which made it worse) and Kevin realized his error and tried to back-pedal quickly: "Okay, I take that one back . . . how about a dinosaur . . . I'd like to see a dinosaur" and we all agreed that was a better choice.