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Having endured six years of tests, quizzes and homework at this school, I know that there is always some sort of assignment that consistently gets put onto the chopping block. When it’s late at night or you’re just too burnt out, it’s the first thing you decide you will miraculously be able to find the time to complete the next day (but obviously never do). For a lot of people, this “I’ll do it later” piece of work is the daunting English reading: 30 or so pages of a book you maybe have no interest in, and can read on SparkNotes in three minutes. But allow me to tell you why my English assignments have never been cut.
We’ve all been there. It’s midnight and you are face to face with a Shakespeare play or a 300+ page novel that doesn’t quite fit your YA fantasy to-read list. However, what I have learned over the years is that to get to the good books, many of which have become my all time favorites, you have to struggle through the ones you’re not a huge fan of too. Take “The Great Gatsby,” for example. Call me basic, but I was absolutely infatuated with this book, and I now own three (yes, three) different copies of the novel. My love for “The Great Gatsby” is owed to being “forced” to read it in my 10th grade English class. And yes, I actually did read it cover to cover.
I’m not here to judge those who don’t completely read the assigned books in English class. As I started out this article by saying, I understand everyone has to do what they can (and cut what they can) to keep themselves afloat amid miles of homework in front of them. I just know that I can never let an English assignment go unread, because reading makes me happy. Even if I don’t love the book, I love settling down with a pencil and if I’m feeling fancy, a cup of tea and immersing myself in a world that has different (and usually bigger) problems than my own. As a senior, I can now also appreciate the books I don’t love as much because they make for even better in-class discussions (shoutout to Post Apocalyptic Studies with Ms. Benson at I period and “The Road”!). I actually remember the only book in my Marlborough career that I never finished on time: Romeo and Juliet in 8th grade. It was right before winter break, I was drowning in work, and I already knew the ending. A week later, I felt so guilty I hadn’t finished the play that I spent part of my winter break reading the ending to Shakespeare’s classic.
If it wasn’t already clear, I love English and I love reading so much that the homework doesn’t feel tedious and is something I’m usually looking forward to, regardless of the time. It’s totally fine if you have different interests than me. The biggest thing you should take away from this article is that it’s always a lot more fun to do work that you are passionate about, and don’t beat yourself up if you miss an assignment or worksheet once or twice. I promise it doesn’t matter in the long run (8th grade Lucy, you really did not have to feel guilty for not finishing Romeo and Juliet). And with that, I leave you until next time, and if you need me, I’ll be doing my English homework.