“I finally convinced my students that writers are like magicians. They make something out of nothing. Turning a blank sheet of paper into an essay is like pulling a rabbit out of a hat, changing the properties of one thing to transform it into another.”
“And they bought that?”
“Because you hold their future, namely their grades, in your hands, you think?
“Maybe. Whatever it takes.”
“Sounds like teaching is a lot like extortion.”
“There’s a lot of ‘or else’ in life, not just in teaching. Everything is a matter of dangling carrots or dodging sticks: Pay your bills on time or pay penalties, finance charges or lose your electricity. Pay your bills on time and build good credit, so you can have more credit. Sticks and carrots.”
“Speaking of which, I’ll get the check this time. You paid last time.”
“Carrot. You want me to show up next week to reciprocate–or retaliate, right?”