Blogging U: Day 7 – Lessons

Fremont High SchoolAssignment: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue.

I have to admit that today’s assignment left me at a loss. It has taken me some time to sort it out. I delved deep into my past and realized I had had dialogues like this many years ago when I was teaching writing classes to high school students. I was a young teacher with high expectations.

“Time to pass in yesterday’s assignment,” I said. I do not remember what the assignment was.

Notebooks opened and students passed papers forward down neatly aligned rows of desks.

That night I sat down to read those assignments and found one missing. It was from a young woman who always finished her work and said little.

The next day after class I asked her to see me after school.

‘You did not hand in a paper for yesterday’s assignment. You always hand in your homework. What happened?”

She looked down at the floor in shame. And then started to cry.

She finally looked up and said, “It is my mother. She will not learn English. I don’t know what to do.”

I knew her parents were Japanese and her father worked as a gardener, but I had never met them. She was a good student and very quiet. But this afternoon she revealed to me her conflict as a first generation American. And I, who was raised in middle class Midwestern America, learned more from her than she learned from me.

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