As this new school year begins, I am grateful for what Robin Williams gave, glad that his wit and generosity as John Keating inspire me this week to ask my 9th grade girls to stand on their desks to get another perspective on their world.
Too much homework is a problem, and the fast-approaching Common Core State Standards will probably make that situation worse. But there exist bigger problems in this world, too, and these overarching problems are not unrelated to who's doing how much homework.
College has been a heavenly vacation from the bleak reality that Exeter introduced me to. It's a reality in which shyness is considered a treatable disease; in which knowledge is no match for lung capacity; and in which breaking the mold is only acceptable if you make enough money doing so.
I just finished a fascinating book written by Richard Soghoian called Mind the Gap. Soghoian is the highly respected Headmaster at CGPS, an institution which he more or less single-handedly pulled out of near receivership and returned to its former glory.
I've now read 26 school novels and counting. My favorites depict adolescence at its most obsessive and raw. The young protagonists are often gravely misguided, but they struggle with a singular passion we don't often feel as adults.