My wife teaches speech, debate, and dramatic arts to high school students. I love it when she asks me to help her with her lesson plans, because it gives me the chance to take a subject that she has to teach, however uninteresting it may seem (especially if you’ve taught it for 10+ years in a row), and blow it up into something that is the foundation of everything.

Here’s an exchange we had this spring:

Me: What’s the curriculum?

Her: Persuasive speech.

Me: All speech is persuasive speech.

Her: That’s not helpful.

Me: But it’s true!

I always encourage her to start new topics with audacious statements that demand defending. I’m not sure if she ever does, but I think it is important to tie everything you learn about writing and speaking with the fundamental forces that drive communication.

In another life, I would have ended up teaching English at some level, too. I think I would make an excellent high school teach for one or two very smart kids, and a potentially disastrous one for everyone else.