Simple pens are used to take notes in courses.

Misadventures in Teaching —
There Is Such a Thing as a Stupid Question

Some people say "There's no such thing as a stupid question."


Ha! Only the naïve and the deluded would say that. I've been teaching one-week continuing education courses for a training company since the mid 1990s, and writing course material for them since the very late 1990s. I'm not going to name that company here, because... There are stupid questions. Loads of them. Some are simple, like the person who, half-way through the fourth and final day of a server-focused Linux system administration course, said: "You keep mentioning this 'Linux' thing. So, 'Linux' and 'Unix', are those two separate companies, or are they two types of machinery built by the same company?" Really. On day four. Of a class on how to build and run servers.

Below are some more involved examples of questions and complaints that are, well, let's call them unimpressive.

The majority of the students attending these courses work for U.S. federal government agencies or their lucratively paid contractors. This is the government and its contractors that once sent men to the Moon. Given my observations, I don't see how.

Teaching horror stories

Other forms of nonsense