Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Be True! Be True! Be True!

I've had Nathaniel Hawthorne on my mind the past 24 hours. Partly because I'm thinking about next school year (already) when I'll be teaching me all-time favorite course: American Literature. He is not only in my lesson plans (The Scarlet Letter, Dr. Heidegger's Experiment, The Birthmark, The Minister's Black Veil, & Rappaccini's Daughter) but also on my summer reading list (The House of the Seven Gables). I happen to think he has a lot to say to contemporary young Christians who are in the midst of their great search for identity and purpose, so we read a fair amount of his works (relatively speaking) whenever I teach American Literature. So I've been thinking about Hawthorne as I'm planning for next year.

But I've been
thinking about him and his stated moral of The Scarlet Letter for another, harder reason ever since Friday afternoon when I discovered my online gradebook had been tampered with. It's a long story that isn't necessary here except to say Hawthorne's "Be true! Be true! Be true!" kept flashing through my mind. I wished that the young people involved had been true, that they hadn't compromised their names and reputations. That they had proven trustworthy and honest. Instead, the consequences of their actions will be drastic, and far-reaching. It makes me sad..

Photos: Nathaniel Hawthorne (c/o Wikipedia) and The Wayside, Hawthorne's home in Concord, MA (from a visit last summer).

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