I am perhaps less sympathetic than I should be, but sometimes I just don’t care.
If I really sit down with an idea, I can knock out a 1,000 word essay in an hour or so, and still have time for at least one revision. Because I can do this, I sometimes forget that others can’t. I do remember that days when writing 1,000 words was difficult and that sometimes makes my heart grows one size those days.
However, when it comes to students at the school where I work, I’m much less sympathetic. My heart gets fairly small.
For example, today one of my 9th grade students passed me the text of his speech contest speech. He’s had since July 14th to work on it, but he had written fewer than 50 words of a speech that’s supposed to last 90 seconds to two minutes long.
This means that if he’d only written one word each day since he’d received the assignment his speech would be longer than what he presented me today. I told him to make it longer and he genuinely didn’t seem to understand what was wrong, even after I underlined the pertinent section in the Japanese language instructions.
He didn’t even seem savvy enough to copy the included example and simply change a few words as most of his fellow students did.
Luckily for both of us he listened to my advice and made it long enough that I didn’t require him to come in at lunch.
I still have a few students to chase down though. They might ruin my lunch, which makes me very unsympathetic.