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Writing is hard. Everyday I ask my students to produce a piece of writing – like note-taking, or a simple answer to an activity question – and I expect them to give me their best.

What arrives at my grading desk, however, hardly seems to reflect any worth or effort at all. One paper’s handwriting looks as if a cat used it as a scratching post, another is riddled with grammatical and spelling errors (they’re/their/there), and worst of all, some even come to me with a big, fat, “I DONT KNOW” (notice the lack of an apostrophe), and, after painfully glancing through these crumpled symbols of apathy and frustration, I feel overwhelmed by the dearth of energy and weakness. These students are products of an assembly line of teachers who have passed them on, knowing full well that most of them will be tossed to the ‘rejects’ pile at the end of the line.

And as I write this, I, too, am struggling to produce anything of worth. I ask my students to generate, create, answer, reflect, and to WRITE WRITE WRITE, but I hardly ask anything of myself. Because deep down, I am also afraid of writing, which can be an arduous, humiliating task. To read, to reread, to edit, to revise, to re-edit, to get the words right – these are verbs that English teachers toss around every single day but I hardly find myself putting them into action. This I must do in order to learn empathy and gain sympathy for the ones on whom I lay all my weight into in hopes of molding them into something…better? finer? nobler? I do not know what it is that I want to impress upon them, because I am also bewildered by life. Every single day I feel speechless and helpless and dumb in the piercing light of all the things I know and in the vast darkness of all the things I don’t know. I am bewildered. I am dumbfounded.

I am that idiot, who briefly frets and struts about the stage to tell a tale that signifies nothing – full of sound and fury.

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One Comment

  1. Yeah writing is very hard. It’s a recipe of two things: grammatical eloquence and vocabulary usage.


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