Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Whose Expectations Are Unreasonable?

As I was walking up to school this morning, I noticed a young lady getting off the bus and was struck by what she’d brought to school to aid her in the pursuit of knowledge: a pencil.

A lone pencil is an interesting statement of one’s expectations for the school day. Arriving at school with nothing but a pencil says, “I’m fairly certain that no one in this building is going to give me anything (handouts or graded papers, for example) worth taking home, so I haven’t brought a backpack or a binder or even a slim folder in which to transport such items. It’s equally unlikely that anyone will ask me to complete an assignment I find meaningful enough to bother with, so I have no need for paper. However, I haven’t given up on them yet. There’s a slim possibility that one of these adults whose job it is to reach me and teach me might say something today of such interest and importance that I’ll want to write down. Thus, this pencil.”

I hope someone inspired her to use that pencil today.

More than likely, though, someone chastised her for being unprepared and tomorrow she’ll come to school with nothing, if she comes at all.

6 comments:

Brian said...

I know I've been away from the school setting for a while, but isn't that just "End of the year syndrome", experienced by students and teachers?

Megan said...

Way to ruin my plea for quality instruction.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she was just taking an exam and only needed a pencil. Or maybe she's very poor and can't afford anything more than a pencil. Did you ever think of that?

Megan said...

Yes, but it wasn't an exam day and she was getting off the wrong bus for poverty. Not to mention that neither option would have made for a very interesting blog topic, Anonymous.

lulu said...

Is there really a *right* bus for poverty?

Megan said...

Well, no, poverty's bad all around. But what I meant was that I was pretty sure, based on the bus she was getting off, that she was not poor.