CHICAGO—Ninth-grade Collins High School English teacher Melissa Hamlin told coworkers Monday that the one moment she looks forward to all year, watching her students reach the end of Shirley Jackson's short story The Lottery, is rapidly approaching. "Oh, my God, the looks on their faces when they realize the villagers are actually going to stone Mrs. Hutchinson to death right then and there!" said Hamlin, who added that she never allows students to read the story as a take-home assignment. "I'm almost too excited to sleep. Oh, it's so great! They're never gonna see it coming!" According to Hamlin, the rest of the academic year is a slow but predictably horrifying downward spiral of disillusionment and unending scholastic disappointments.
This would be the highlight of my year, as well, if I had to teach ninth grade English.