The college students are back, folks. With a vengeance. Everywhere. Still figuring out the crosswalks. I love them. I want to squeeze them. Let's teach them some rhetoric and then go out for breakfast, shall we?
A big part of teaching writing turns out to be helping adolescents to understand the difference between objective experience and subjective experience. To whit: what happened to you on Saturday night with the jello shots was not, in fact, LITERALLY the worst thing ever. It might be, OBJECTIVELY SPEAKING, the most horrible thing that happened TO YOU, but that doesn't take into account, ahem, the suffering of others.
These are the lessons I try impart on my freshman in the first crucial weeks of college: crosswalks (use them--somebody loves you), breakfast (eat it--or else you'll lose your mind), subjectivity (it's a thing--I promise).
Primarily, though, I try to drive home the fact that without breakfast, the other two are pretty much impossible.
And since we all know that the best part of teaching is breaking your own rules, so I also tell them that, objectively speaking, the best egg sandwich in the world can be had at the Swiss Bakery in Springfield, VA. Literally. Ever. If you happen to think that another egg sandwich is better, you are wrong.
Perfect square of omelette, melty cheese, a soft, tender cloud of a bun call a SNOWFLAKE ROLL. Don't argue with me-- just go get one. And a swiss coffee. And an amaretti cookie.
Objectively speaking, in these first rough weeks of the semester, you deserve it.