“His thoughts were unrelated to anything in our world”

Loughner was a model student when it came to attendance—he always showed up on time to the twice-a-week class, at least before he dropped out toward the end of the semester. But in other respects, he was a mess. He didn’t perform well on tests. He would ask questions that didn’t make any sense.
“His thoughts were unrelated to anything in our world,” says Slinker. One time, he handed in an assignment with geometric doodles instead of answers. Slinker also remembers that Loughner would have “exaggerated ‘Aha!’ moments just completely not connected to anything in class.” He was mentally checked-out. “He always was looking away, not out the window, but like someone watching a scene play out in his mind.”…

In retrospect, there were no conventional warning signs, says Slinker: “I never sensed violence from him.” Asked whether Loughner ever brought up politics, Slinker says “never.” The class didn’t talk about current affairs. That said, Slinker did point students to political ads for examples of logical fallacies.