Last night about dinner time I received an unusual phone call. It was the parent of a student I taught last fall. Alexxa graduated and had just attended her first day of college classes. The phone call was from her mother -- also a teacher -- who wanted to pass on a nice word from her daughter.
It seemed that on the first day of college freshman English the instructor terrorized the class with tales of MLA citation-mania. My former student had called to tell her parents about her classes and said that she wasn't worried about English because she had been so well prepared with my citation-hammering in English last year. She said something about the teachers that seemed so tough were actually the ones that taught her the most. Whaddoyouknowaboutthat?
Sometimes I thought I was preaching to the wind about good old MLA. I love citing sources.... "pretend it's a game," I said. "Pretend it's a code that you have to decipher. Pretend it's a puzzle to solve. It's easy, just follow the rules." But, many of them just couldn't be bothered. It was easier for them to triple space, number entries, and create their own unique citation style every time.
Thank you, Alexxa. You make it all worth while. Encourage your student to let their teachers know how they made a difference. It could just be the one thing that keeps them going this year.