August 01, 2005

Many years ago during a summer course in middle school, I was given the homework task of each day writing a paragraph on an assigned quote. Only now have I discovered that I had done it completely wrongly: that I had been intended to approach the assignment as self-referential, not as referencing and having relevance to life outside the book or poem. It made for some serious difficulties later in the same field, where the now full-length essays were expected to be self-referential -- I remember those first assignments as something of a shock -- and yet, perhaps, on that original unexpected and incorrect approach all else hung?

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