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One More Shot

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I suppose I am talking to myself here as much as to you. For if I am to help my students the way some of you helped me, I must remember who I was as a student; I must remember everything, honestly. All of us must remind ourselves that kids do not blossom at the same time the way the buds do each spring on the apple tree in my back yard. But this does not mean that they do not need our care and encouragement. Out there is a student, the student I once was, who needs your light, who secretly, despite his public resistance, thirsts for your attention, who, if you talk with him just one more time, may grow into someone useful, grateful, even excellent.

-Jim Burke The writer teaches English at Castro Valley (Calif.) High School.

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