Colorful Student Writing Award

Mao swimming the Yangtze

Mao swimming the Yangtze at 72, in 1966

I asked for voice in the “Was Mao Really a Monster?” editorial assignment, and boy did I get it in this student’s opening:

The cool waves splashed against his chest, his glimmering green teeth glistened in the beautiful sun, his body moved majestically in the cool waters. This is not the image of a great brute, but of an excellent ruler. After seeing Mao’s adorable face, there is no way you can classify him as a monster.

I’m not making fun of the writer, by the way–the kid’s bright, and the sentences above, though obviously written in what David Sedaris might call a “kicky” (and academically heretical) mood, are pretty elegant for teen prose. (A webcam reflection he did this week made me recommend, in all sincerity, that he consider aiming to become the next-generation Pee Wee Herman.) And since he couldn’t resist going for the laugh–and succeeding in giving it to me, out loud, just now–I pass it on for your enjoyment.

(More on Mao’s historic swim below:)

And speaking of Pee Wee, here’s a blast from his amazing 1980s wonderland. It’s one of few children’s shows I watched religiously as an adult:

3 thoughts on “Colorful Student Writing Award”

  1. Can I email you? I have a funny story about using your blog in my classroom. I mean, it’s not Ha-Ha! funny, but, I’ve been giggling about it for a few days now. if you want you can drop me a line at givetherest {at} gmail {dot} com

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