Sunday, June 01, 2008


Day 160, Friday, May 3

Yesterday, during the final period study hall, when the other 9th graders were outside romping around, I noticed Greg studying for his English exam by himself in the library. He sat quietly with his head bent over his notes, and stayed there for a good 40 minutes. This, as we know, is a boy who has often been described as a somewhat aimless and blasé student, but here he was acting like the most earnest student, by far, in his class. When I first saw him, I thought he might sit there for 5 minutes, at best, and then dash out with his buddies. But no, he was there when I checked back occasionally, and he was there 40 minutes later when the period ended. He carefully closed up his books and walked purposefully out the door. This is further proof of the transformation that has happened to Greg this year. He’s by no means become a perfect young man, but he has turned himself into a serious and ambitious student of English – and I admire him for that.


Today we did our usual Friday “freestyle writing” in the 8th grade classes – about 10 minutes of relaxing writing while listening to a song chosen by one of the kids. As usual, I was impressed with what the students wrote, but I was especially moved by Freddy's piece. There was charm, grace, depth, and wisdom in it. In his quiet, unnoticed way, he had produced one of the most moving and forceful Friday writings I’ve seen all year. Still waters do indeed run very deep.

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