*Names and identifying details have been altered to protect the innocent people who could sue me.

March 25, 2012

Wolf fish sightings: what have my students learned from this unit?

I finally - finally! - finished grading the 85 literary Night essays this week. (Just in time for the students to turn in their poetry essays on Friday.)

Anyway, I found some pretty good wolf fish in my grading. Some beautiful musings on humanity's struggle to survive in the face of tragedy, some thoughtful reflections on the nature of good and evil, some absolutely ridiculous attempts to end an essay with an A+ "make-it-matter." In no particular order, here are some of the wolf fish recently gathered:

"Being betrayed or ignored in life threatening situations is not only unsafe, but it also lowers the trust level in the relationship severely."

"Good people don’t do bad things, because if good people do bad things they became not good people."

"You are a good person, but I bet you’ve done something bad."

"Have you been scared, but made the best of it? This isn’t the same as the Holocaust, but humanity still survived during the Holocaust."

"In a sense there really are no good or bad people, because all people do good and bad things."

"Having your face torn off but not caring about the pain can prove that death is not the only way to die."

"You might feel sorry for the dead. Instead, feel sorry for those who live every day in death. Death is not the only way to die – sometimes living is worse."

"Can good people do bad things? Well I should think so."

"The road to freedom was bumpy, but nothing was bumpier than the end."

"Elie’s story proves that there is always a way out of the worst situations and always a reason to keep moving forward."

"Humanity can, and has, made it through the darkest of times and the book Night gives us hope it could do it again if necessary."

"And I would like to thank Elie for writing such a moving book. Up till now I did not even know how bad the Holocaust was."

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