This semester I’m teaching my trademark course in Hispanic Civilization to upper-level students and as a Freshman Seminar to first-year students. The first lecture in this course was the same for both groups. And this is what I have observed. Freshmen are better prepared and more curious than the upper-level students. They know more in terms of history and geography. They ask many interesting questions.
This tells me that each new year brings us better and smarter students. Contrary to the dire predictions of the doom-and-gloom crowd that wants to see young people as getting more and more stupid with every passing year, the kids today are getting more intelligent and intellectually curious. Now our job as educators consists in not throttling this interest in acquiring knowledge.