I don't mean this in a hyperbolic sense. Dozens of students at the meeting, when asked to come forward, find their name card, find their IOU, and check the right box, simply sat in their seats. I can't say I'm sure of their reasoning. Perhaps they don't think they're graduating afterall. Perhaps they weren't listening and didn't hear directions. Perhaps they simply enjoy some last minute obstruction. But regardless, with such a simple task, I was amazed at how many simply stayed seated.
To me this connects to a larger issue: how easy is too easy? Over the past seven years (which is a small amount of time compared to others), things have gotten easier and easier for students. Paper are all online and autocorrect, citations are done on easy-bib, feedback is given instantly, and all work is available everywhere. Tasks that used to take hours (or multiple minutes) can be done in seconds. And yet the work isn't getting better. It's arguable that it's gotten a tad bit worse. Compare students' vocabulary now to vocabulary years ago and there's a clear difference.
In other words, do things need to be hard to make them worth doing? It sounds counter-intuitive, but perhaps its true. Does making people jump through hoops to get things at least make them...work for it, rather than simply sit and stew? I'm not completely sure, but I do know that making things easier and easier hasn't quite worked. We're still getting kids with one button to push...and they're refusing to push it.