Here is a speech I long to give to my students at the beginning of the school year. Maybe this will be the year. (Most effective when read with Liam Neeson’s voice.)

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are just looking for a grade, I can tell you I don’t have grades in mind. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for students that just want a grade. But if you let the idea of getting a mere grade go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not bring it up again; I will not let you get by with receiving a mere grade and not learning much. I will work with you. I will help you. And I will teach you.”