Fifteen Things I Like About You

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I like teach­ing high school students because…

  1. I can come to school the day after watch­ing Amer­i­can Idol or Project Runway and go over every song or dress or emotional melt­down with a handful of students.
  2. When she was assigned on essay on the Bluest Eye, one student said the pedophile made her so angry, there was no way she could write about him and his place in the story.
  3. A student gets uncon­trol­lable giggles while showing me the Talking Carl iPhone app.
  4. When asked to write about free will and fatal­ism, one student stated in his essay that this is some­thing he thinks about a lot and then came up with an inter­est­ing analogy involv­ing time machines and tomatoes.
  5. In creative writing, a student writes a line like this: Trem­bling in death’s dry cellar, we shall not be liber­ated. Let our own light shine. It is our light.”
  6. …of the inven­tive Frisbee games they play on the quad.
  7. All the guitar players sit in a circle under a tree and chal­lenge each other with the differ­ent songs they can play.
  8. …of the seri­ous­ness and delight they bring to class discus­sions, express­ing sympa­thy for Billy Pilgrim’s sad state as a POW, or annoy­ance with Jean Rhys’ blatant symbol­ism, or delight to find out they like the monster, Grendel.
  9. The violin­ist and the cellist provide incred­i­ble, spon­ta­neous duets outside Guy’s lab while I’m teach­ing Creative Writing.
  10. When we read aloud and dissect the famous To be or not to be” speech, they see the beauty in it and tell me later that Hamlet is one of the best things they ever read.
  11. I love music and students turn me on to new and differ­ent music all the time. The latest? The Civil Wars.
  12. One student enjoyed Shal­i­mar the Clown so much, she began reading other Rushdie books, while another student vowed to read every Vonnegut book after reading Slaugh­ter­house Five.
  13. I always find the student who shares my love of My Chemical Romance.
  14. When I ask them to find pictures in maga­zines to repre­sent the main char­ac­ters in The Odyssey, there is always at least one boy who popu­lates the story with South Park characters.
  15. They are eager to learn, trying so hard, deeply emotional, and happy to be here.

–Amy Sedivy
High School English Teacher