The Siren Song of Summer

May 12, 2005

By mid-May most students, regardless of age or maturity, have checked out of school. The air smells like summer and the days have stretched to push bed times toward a dangerously unreasonable hour. 

I tell my students that they must treat the last weeks of school in the same way that they treat the last hundred feet of a race— they must find that hidden reserve of energy to propel themselves forward to a strong finish. Some can do this. Some can't. And on those days when every students is joining the great chorus of complaint about some trivial thing (like covering their mouth when they sneeze, or writing their name on their paper) I have to mentally give myself the same pep talk to get through the day.

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