Day 154, Friday, May 29, 2009
A girl came to class this morning and immediately asked if she could be the ‘server’. (I provide ice water and whole wheat crackers for the students.) I said we would be grateful if she would, and then, as she walked around with the container of crackers, I began to appreciate the significance of her request. She wanted to do the job – wanted to take minutes away from her quiet reading time and be a servant for her classmates. She wanted to work rather than relax. It was, perhaps, one of her favorite things about English class – the chance to wait on others. These reflections –realizations, really – made it clear to me that this theoretically minor feature of my class – this opportunity to be attentive to others’ needs – is of greater consequence than I had thought. Perhaps it’s neither minor nor nonessential. Perhaps it should be thought of as an indispensable part of my curriculum. I teach comma rules, literary analysis, essay writing, and service to others.