ETHOS

ETHOS

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bruises

This year has been great! I know, it's only been three days and I'm acting like a neophyte, but having the advanced students at the beginning of the day really helps set the tone. I always tell my last period they better be my best class because if I go home mad I'll kick my dog. They always laugh like someone is punching them in the gut, which is, I suppose, the kind of laugh I'm the best at getting.

Who welds a balance beam perpendicular to the playground exit? Kids fall down. This is how my kindergarten playground was set up. It makes me wonder... I'm not teaching fiction writing this year and my lunch is at 9:55 am, yet I feel good.

I hope to teach some new titles this year. Among them are Grimm's Fairy Tales, Dubliners, and Crime and Punishment. I asked the advanced students to respond to 10 statements on the first day. The results were a lot of fun and inspired some discussion.


1. Humanity is a brief pulsation in the black hole of eternity

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

2. Learning about human suffering is not important because it teaches us nothing about ourselves.

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

3. The courses of our lives are dictated by chance.

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

4. I alone exist.

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

5. Dignity is an essential element to a fulfilling life.

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

6. Murder is always wrong.

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

7. Disney is the highest authority on Earth.

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

8. Society is just one way humanity combats the darkness inherent within the individual.

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

9. Thinking about the past and/or the future is a waste of time.

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

10. The printed word still matters.

-5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5
Strongly Disagree Strongly Agree

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