I sometimes think of my students and me as “the chosen ones”, not in any biblical or religious sense, but simply in the sense of being a special selection of people brought together in a classroom to complete extraordinarily essential tasks. I imagine us being carefully selected for these particular sections of 8th and 9th grade English – being hand-picked, first–rate candidates for some significant awards in scholarship and schooling. I sometimes make believe that we few students and a teacher have been carefully chosen from a choice group of thousands of the best and brightest, and have been brought together in a small classroom in Connecticut to create educational miracles beyond explanation. Strangely enough, this fantasy scenario is, in some ways, absolutely true. The measureless universe will somehow set my students and me down in Room 2 on Barnes Road tomorrow morning, and there will be no other collection of learners exactly like us in the wide world. Autumn winds wander every which way and deposit leaves, by some means, just where they should be across lawns, and, in a similarly incomprehensible way, each of my students and I have been brought together for this year of finding new knowledge. We will be a one-of-a-kind group, a Number 1 band of brothers, sisters, and one old-time leader, all looking to learn whatever there is to learn about the way words work in this old, odd cosmos.
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