I walked into the library on the way to the classroom yesterday and saw a familiar man reading The Age of Innocence. I didn’t want to act surprised but I was. At first I thought he must think its about how to get out of jail if you are indeed innocent. Then I thought that was really obnoxious on my part. I felt even worse since I had just been quoted in the paper talking about the low level of education many of my students have. So I nodded hello and kept walking. In class we read aloud that same article. While stumbling over words one student said he was teasing when he said he did not know how to use a dictionary. While it didn’t seem like he was teasing at the time, I said it was indeed important not to tease about such things less people believe you, quote you, and see you as something you are not. He then proceeded to tell me how much he loved the class and that even though he was “forced” to attend, he would choose to attend regardless.
I am asked to give statistics for the class as a way to evaluate validity; age, ethnicity, number of classes, hours of class, skills taught, skills learned… sometimes its more about assumptions made, stereotypes dispelled, more assumptions made ad infinitum. Sadly, I am part of that crowd making those assumptions as much as I try not to.
As I left class I passed my Edith Wharton friend and commented “How is it going?” He told me “Well, I am writing a screen play”.
Love this program.