Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Best Friends Forever", oil on linen, by Roxanne Steed

Teaching Journal

Day 128, April 22, 2009


     Just before class started, I overheard a girl saying that she had done almost no homework the last two nights because she was reading a good book and “just couldn’t put it down.” Her statement created mixed feelings in me. On the one hand, I worried about how her teachers would react when she failed to hand in homework, but also, a surprisingly strong feeling arose that said the teachers should understand and forgive. Assuming it was a rich and worthwhile book, I almost admired her. It almost seemed like she had made the exact right choice in sacrificing homework for a powerful book. Yes, she will have to suffer the natural penalties that come with  missed homework assignments, and it would not be judicious of her to do this on a regular basis, but is it possible that she gained more wisdom from her book than the assignments might have given her? In an institution of learning, can we be lenient toward a scholar who spends a few nights learning truths from a novel?   

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