(I'm not responding to you in particular, but this seems like a relevant branch to post in.)
I don't get why people think that it's not a real education unless you call malloc and free (or their equivalent in other languages). malloc and free are still automatic memory management because you're not implementing the details yourself. Yes, it's good to know how automatic memory management works, but calling simply malloc and free doesn't teach you that. Have you implemented your own memory management scheme from scratch? Unless the answer is 'yes', learning about memory management is something divorced from learning the language.
Complaining about automatic memory management is as silly as complaining about these newfangled languages like C with their automatic floating point arithmetic! CPUs didn't (and some still don't) have hardware floating point support, so floating point math was/is a software blackbox that gets used just like automatic memory management, but no one seems to complain about using the floating point black box.
Why? Because very few of us were brought up on languages without floating point support (I'm looking at you, FORTH), so we don't see floating point arithmetic as the black box that it is. However, many of us were brought up on languages without automatic memory management, so we can spot that black box.
Let's take the black-box problem to its, ahem, logical extreme: you're not a real programmer unless you can build your computer from scratch with NAND gates alone. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?
Just let the kids have their automatic garbage collection, easy pointers, etc.