That said, I personally enjoy using C when it seems to be appropriate. I would much rather write a piece of OS code in C and drop it into a linux distro than using Java to do something that would rarely be used in the real world. I've had problems with C that I wouldn't in a language like python, but if the task is better suited for C, I'd rather work through those problems and learn because of it. My personal opinion of students not learning C because it's hard is that they don't belong in a CS program. If you won't take the time to learn the best tool for the job, you won't do the job right, and no one will have benefitted because of it.