Writing inspiration is all around you, unless you live under a rock or in one of those dark, dank artist’s attics that we’re supposed to inhabit. I love it when I stumble over something that I can’t wait to add to a story. I just did my daily check-in at salon.com and ran right into one of those delightful details that not only reminded me of my own school days (and not in a pleasant way), but demanded to be written into A Well-Educated Boy.
Down with classroom icebreakers: Can we all just start teaching instead? is by a teacher who probably remembers his own school days, and has some excellent advice for teachers who insist on boring the pants off their new classes as a way to start the school year. I don’t remember if I had to sit through recitals of the entire year’s syllabus, but I do remember icebreakers, and not just from school.
As a very private introvert, right from birth, probably, I detested those “getting to know you” sessions that rarely do more than embarrass the hell out of everyone who’s forced to participate in them. It’s another of those social rituals that are rarely disrupted by someone with the courage to say that they have nothing to say. Everyone meekly reveals their name, their favorite whatevers, and heaves a sigh of relief when it’s all over.
Every time I read some bit of news about how schools have found yet another way to violate kids’ privacy, sense of self, sense of safety, I look back and wish I could do it all over again, but with my mature experience of life and the perspective it’s given me. I would like to be the one who says “I don’t give a damn about everyone’s favorite whatevers and I’m not going to tell you mine.”
I do believe that’s what Hart is going to do. And it will be another black mark on the record that sends him to an alternative school to learn to keep his mouth shut and follow the rules.