ONE YEAR WITH AN ENGLISH TEACHER
Day 17, September 27, 2007
Stephen had a major success today. I returned an essay to him that was far better than anything he has ever written for me -- a lucid, tidy, and intelligent high school paper. There were a few problems scattered around, but in general it was an essay that any high school teacher would appreciate -- certainly not an 'A' paper, but one that wouldn't be out of place in any freshman English class. I was so amazed by it that I even checked with Chris to see if he had helped him with it -- but no, Stephen apparently created this startling success by himself.
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Jill had a wild ride in class today. At the start, I passed back a set of essays, and she immediately plunged into the depths of melancholy because of her disappointing grade. (I could easily see it her face.) However, a few minutes later, when we began discussing Great Expectations, she suddenly became the star of the class. Her comments about last night's reading assignment grew more insightful and erudite as the minutes passed. Even her classmates were astonished as they listened to her discuss minuscule details in the chapter that no one but she had noticed. As I listened, I thought she sounded more like a college student than a 9th grader. I spoke to her after class, pointing out how this often happens in life -- discouragement one minute and great triumph the next. We laughed together about it.