What to Expect From Your New Student

Dear Mrs. Harris:

Having had Amitai Schlair in my AP history classes for the past two years and now for a third, I feel I am eminently qualified to share some wisdom I have gleaned from our Zen-like experiences together.

He is exceptionally bright, as bright as one can possibly be without being a liberal. However, he is prone to coasting on his ability. He tells me that he has solved this problem; I suppose we will both have to wait a quarter or two to determine the verity of this assertion.

He has no qualms about class participation. He does not utter as many words as his peers, but he chooses them much more precisely. His writing is just as terse but not as complete, often lacking important detail. He recognizes his shortcomings in this area and has improved considerably since his sophomore year.

I expect you will find him eager to learn this year. He has told me on previous occasions of his impatience for the classes he is now beginning. This is the one in which he has the shallowest background: he has probably been a stellar math and science student since he was born; he has taken all kinds of English courses before (no matter what the quality of that department, a certain gorgeous redhead notwithstanding); he has taken history before, God knows. This is his first foray into economics and I am sure he will make a go of it.

I'll be honest here: Amitai is one of the brightest students I have ever had the pleasure of not being able to teach. He is too damn stubborn. If you can get anything worthwhile out of him, let me know which torture device you use and we'll work out a lease.


[signed] Michael D. Rosenzweig

Ethan's father