Remember the student I love--from a couple of posts down -- the idealist who stood up to his older peers?
He wrote a really lousy rough draft of an essay. I spent a lot of time mulling over that draft, trying to find my way into its interior workings, trying to find the key to help him revise.
While we were discussing his essay in class, as a group, I made some apologetic gesture toward my comments, which were fairly critical in content (if kind in tone). Trying to be careful not to hurt his delicate (possibly left-leaning, a kindred spirit in a foreign class) feelings.
His response? "Oh, I knew it was bad. I just sort of pulled this one out of my butt."
Lovely. Here I remain, stranger in a foreign land.