For my Satire Elective . . . and possibly some of you.
An analogy I like to use regarding homework is that it’s like pushups. If you tell me you want to get stronger, I will tell you that you need to make sure you do pushups 6 times a week. If you skip your pushups, or try to borrow someone else’s pushups, or watch someone else doing pushups on Netflix or in a video game, then you won’t get stronger. Years later, when you face a critical moment in your life — say, saving your nephew from falling off a swing or pushing your stalled car out of the danger of incoming traffic, you simply won’t have the strength. It’s really as simple as that. Do your pushups if you want to get stronger and save lives. Don’t do your pushups if you don’t care about getting stronger or your future nephew. But be honest about what you want so that we’re both on the same pushup page. Like all analogies pushed too far, that one just died. Anyway, when I ask you to read something, read it as hard as you can for the allotted time. When I ask you to write something, do all you can to put the best words in the best order. Do both of these things again and again, and you’ll become a better reader, writer, and thinker. You’ll build stamina, speed, perspicacity, a bigger vocabulary, insight, and precision — all traits that will slowly but surely give you an advantage in almost any career and, I believe, almost any life.