April 16, 2004
Can I just say again how much I love my students? Yesterday I got accused of not being pro-American enough in class. Me. Not pro-American enough. Hysterical. I spoke somewhat cynically about how our justice system doesn't always work as well in practice as it should in theory, and one of my students jumped on me for being too critical. As he and I "argued" back and forth, I realized we were basically saying the same thing, and when he concluded with "Well, I don't care because the United States is still the best country ever", I had to smile and realize that he was simply hurt that I had spoken ill of something he values so much. And believe me, I know how that feels.
It's just so nice to stand in front of a class that groks the same things I do. When I say the word media, I hear boos in the back row. When I said that images of 9/11 cause a strong reaction in many Americans, one soldier (an immigrant American) mumbled, "Yeah, they make us want to get the mo@#&%kers." When I ask them to write about an incident in their life that makes them who they are today, the majority of them wrote about joining the Army and how it changed their life; they had been drug dealers, gangsters, and battered wives who have found personal strength and meaning in military values. They're my students and I adore all of them.
If I could teach writing classes for soldiers forever, I would.
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