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English class was hard last week. Somehow I’d lost my good humor about the “Bring Your Own Device to School” policy the district enacted this school year, allowing kids to bring in cell phones and computers and other devices to aid their learning. It is a fine idea and the devices were coming in anyway. It’s just that witnessing kids exercise the authority to sit with what amounts to a television set at their desks and watch skateboarding videos and youtube.com phenomena rather than prove a point with arguments made in each paragraph of a wildly less interesting writing assignment, is disheartening.

Oh sure, some days I have what it takes to inspire kids to put away the toys and then trick them into accidentally creating thesis statements just by answering simple questions about their intentions, but some days I cannot believe the wayward state of our children, and I don’t want to try teaching anything.

Some kids seem so jaded that the free education we offer is apparently not worth the effort to accept.

And that is a slippery slope.

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