So I say to the kids, ‘Write three paragraphs about your favorite vacation. Introductory paragraph, development, conclusion …’. An assignment teachers have been giving since time immemorial.

Samantha raises her hand. “What if I’ve never been on a vacation? Never left the city?”

‘Ah, well, if you’ve never been on vacation, never left town, then write about someplace you’ve been that’s interesting.’

“Can I write about the first time I went to jail?”

‘That would be interesting.’

She’s fourteen.

I get three such papers.

I get quite a few papers from kids who write about rooms where they feel safe. Two write papers in which they dream about where their fathers live.


Filed under: Prose, Publius