Prospects for good

In my first semester teaching freshman English, I had a student who was on the football team. He'd spent a lot more time learning to block and tackle than learning to write or develop his vocabulary. So his first efforts at writing compositions were pretty discouraging. He and I both began to worry that he might not receive a passing grade in the course.

One day I gave the class an hour to describe a beautiful landscape they'd seen recently. He strained and struggled with each sentence and then seemed to just run out of words. For about twenty minutes he stared into space. Finally, with a burst of inspiration, he squeezed out one last sentence—one I'll never forget. "In conclusion," he wrote, "the sight was all good-looking!"

Exploring ideas together
April 27, 1992

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