Somebody once asked me what I sell. I said I don't sell anything; their response was everybody is selling something, what are you selling?
Hmmm. I guess I sell English.
I don’t know what they are talking about down in the science wing—something about thumbs, but the thing that makes us human is we tell stories. We teach our youth about culture, tradition, and history with stories. Whether oral or written, mankind has taught with stories from the dawn of creation. It is the stuff of English class that centers us in our world. Where did we come from? We didn’t just land here in the 21st century with our ideas in place. We are a progression of thought, thought that began with human language in a small tribe of bushmen in East Africa eons ago, thought that built upon the ideas that came before, thought that generation after generation tweaked to fit the time and place, thought that explains where we are now. You want to know why you think something, why you feel the way you do, read what others before you wrote.
The gang tradition causing havoc in urban centers today comes down to us from the Anglo-Saxons. The blood-feud is alive and well some one thousand years later, but it is Beowulf that teaches us the wergild, a way out of the blood feud. Without the wergild, only one person would be left, a lonely existence at best.
It is English class that gives us the skills to understand all the other classes that are content-based; English is the only class that matters. Stephen Crane skipped all his college classes except English. He knew. He understood.
I have stood in front of teenagers for 25 years selling English. I sell English. I teach students how to live.
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Common Core Standards