When I was in about the Seventh, Eighth or Ninth Grade, our Literature teacher assigned everyone in the class to write a book report on any book on her classics list, and then we had to give an oral report the following week. I most likely had what they call today Attention Deficit Disorder and hated to read. There was an attempt back then to produce comic books based on classic literature, called Classics Illustrated. So, I saw a shortcut and decided to take it.
I went down to the newstand and found a comic book on one of those books on her list. I read the comic book version in no time, and then sat down and wrote my report the day before it was due. I did a really good job and looked forward to a good grade.
The next day the teacher read my report and asked me to see her after class. After class she asked me two or three questions about the book and its plot, none of which I could answer. So, she said, “Its obvious to me, Mr. Diehl, that you have not read this book. So, you’d better hurry because that oral report is due next week and I’ll ask questions like that in front of your classmates.”
I made a bee-line to the library, rented the real classic book, read it over the weekend and was ready for my report. There’s nothing more motivating than the fear of being seen as a failure by your peers.
What’s teh greatest ‘shortcut’ lesson you’ve ever learned?