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Steven Carter, USA


I've always considered myself an insightful teacher in reading the students in my classes; recently I learned otherwise.

A wonderfully serious Finnish girl brought to mind every cliché in the book: quiet as a church mouse, sober as a judge, a shrinking violet, etc. Never said a word in the ten–yes, ten–English courses she took from me at Cal State, both undergraduate and graduate. A straight-A student, she came to my office one morning, unsmiling as always, and quietly insisted that I change one of her A's to a B because she didn't feel she'd earned it! To add another cliché to the litany, my jaw dropped, but I honored her request, her petition was so genuine and heartfelt. Indeed, when I initially balked at the idea, her eyes filled with tears.

This summer she graduated and ran off to Las Vegas with a professional hypnotist.

the possibilities


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