Looking for the Poetry in Every Student During the Pandemic

A few days ago my parents, in a fit of fall-cleaning, boxed-up assorted artifacts from my youth that were collecting dust in their basement and dropped off a surprise trip down memory lane on my front porch. And so my daughter, who loves such fragments of “the old times,” as she calls them, and I spent the evening digging and laughing our way though old photos, newspaper clippings, and momentos until we got to a large stack of papers at the bottom, the sight of which froze me in mid-sentence.

Sitting there was something I’d long given up as lost–something that is now of great professional interest to me: my high school and college papers, complete with the feedback my teachers gave to me.

As I began to draft Flash Feedback three years ago, my initial hope was to start the book by reflecting on these old secondary and post-secondary papers and feedback that I received as a student, but after months of unsuccessfully looking for them, I eventually wrote them off as lost to a pre-digital age and moved on. And yet, years later here they were, perfectly preserved in all their analog glory.

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