Friday, August 28, 2009

There's Hope for the Boy, Yet

Edna St. Vincent Millay wrote a thoughtful little poem titled “The Courage That My Mother Had.”

The courage that my mother had
Went with her, and is with her still:
Rock from New England quarried;
Now granite in a granite hill.
The golden brooch my mother wore
She left behind for me to wear;
I have no thing I treasure more:
Yet it is something I could spare.
Oh, if instead she’d left to me
The thing she took into the grave!—
That courage like a rock, which she
Has no more need of, and I have.

I do not know what caused the temporary insanity that led me to assign this poem to General Mayhem, or to believe that he would intelligently read and discuss her literary effort. It might have been some drivel about expanding his horizons or a misguided attempt to broaden his experiences. He’s 12. He’s a boy. He’d rather be blow the limbs off of Tuskin Raiders with a Cryoban Grenade on Star Wars Battlefront II than breath. I found this poem in A Beka’s Of People literature book. Being the good English teacher that I am, I assigned the follow-up questions.

1) Why couldn’t the daughter inherit her mother’s courage just as she had inherited her brooch?

The lad thought about the question for .00000000013 of a second before reaching for a blank sheet of paper. “I guess her DNA didn’t work out the way she wanted. At least, that’s what I’m writing.”

I was so proud.

Later on I discovered that he had written, “You have to find courage in a situation where you need it, and the daughter probably hasn’t been in that situation.”

There’s hope for the boy, yet.


CrossView said...

Are you sure you haven't stolen my youngest? Or maybe they're long lost twins?

I have such a hard time with answers like the first one. I get tickled. Which just encourages more of the same.

Kellie said...

Aaaahhhhh....Abeka's Of People...I taught from that for two years in a Christian school. And I had similar answers turned in for those Think it Through questions.

And, by the way, I got an awful case of head lice when I was doing my student teaching in a public school. My hair is very thick, at the time was almost waist-length, and it took two home treatments (Big D did the combing) and finally I went to the Navy infimary and they gave me some prescription stuff that I had to take a pregnancy test in order to use(???). It worked, but my hair has been curlier ever since. True story.