An Open Letter to My Teachers

Dear Teachers,

The answer is no, I did not do my homework last night. “Why?” You ask, waiting for an excuse that will be dismissed before the words leave my lips.


The excuse: “I had too much other homework to do, I didn’t finish, I’m sorry.”

The response: “Oh? And my class is last priority? I assigned this days ago!”

Yes, teacher, it is true that you gave us time, but take your time to consider this. We come home from 10 hours of school, tired from the mental effort it takes to live up to the standards we and the system sets for us. We note exhultantly that we have no homework due tomorrow, but are filled with dread seeing that we have copious work due the following day. What would you do? Grind yourself through another few hours of factory-like memorization and formulaic essays only to lessen your inevitable workload for the following night? Or would you celebrate by taking a day off to rest, to do an activity you enjoy, and to go to bed at a "pm" rather than an "am"? If you answer the former, I congratulate you. You appear to have an endless abundance of scholastic motivation. You have successfully repressed the instinctual need for social interaction, free time, and relaxation, the instincts our school systems have so painstakingly tried to eliminate. I envy you. If you answered the latter, you understand why I do not have a piece of homework on my desk for you, and why I am feigning shame in hopes that one day, if I fake it enough times, the shame will work itself into my conscious, and force me to do homework right when it is assigned only to evade the guilt. Then, and only then, I will be able to conform myself to fit into the little box labeled “good student”.

This poem is about: 
My community
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