This year I shadowed one of our junior students at Mira Costa High School. Click here to read my blog entry. One of our big topics here is trying to improve the social emotional wellness of our students, and one of the ways we tried to gain more understanding was to shadow students for a day. As I was preparing to shadow my student, I learned that his class was reading Ethan Frome so I read the book so I would be able to at least know what they were talking about in the lesson. It is not the most uplifting book I’ve ever read. A story of love desired and love not achieved and it’s full of its share of sadness. Set that against a winter in New England and you’ve got a perfectly depressing book of classic literature. Reading books in English class reminds me of how Navin Johnson feels about the blues in The Jerk – “There’s something about those songs. They depress me.” Students in the class were studying different characters in the book, so I felt like I at least knew halfway what I was talking about as they were discussing it.