Hopelessly, whitely beautiful as was the night and sweet and bitter the wind and attractive the conversation of the mallards, we got blue with cold and our ears felt like wounds. We rushed back to the warm house and played the whole album of the Benny Goodman concert at Carnegie Hall. The only difference was that we played it much louder than the original could possibly have been. I drank a beer and the kids made a horrid mixture of chocolate that poured like fudge. Then we went to bed, half praying for a snowstorm. The Point is wonderful when the good snow blows over it riding the wind like a horse.
(Note 1 — Must winter-spray my fruit trees tomorrow if possible.)
(Note 2 — Take lawn mower to town to be repaired
against the time when we will have a lawn.)
(Note 3 — Stay off their backs.)
We slept sweetly and long.
– John Steinbeck, Conversation at Sag Harbor
When I was younger, I never did my homework. I don’t remember getting homework in Britain, but when I moved over to the US in 4th grade, we most certainly had homework, which I most certainly did not ever complete. Both my elementary and middle schools had many ideas to develop this habit in their students: they gave the students daily planners for free, and required the students to copy down all assignments in them… then required parents to sign them. Eventually, notes went home to parents complaining that their child would grow up to be a delinquent if he/she did not cultivate at least some habit of doing homework. These procedures were to no avail. The system failed me, because I refused to participate in it at all.
I obviously came out okay, but it was no way in thanks to my limited ability to complete nightly assignments.