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Homework Speech

July 4, 2005

[After discovering how many students are involved in sports or band]
I do not assign homework just for the sake of assigning homework. The time we have in class is too valuable to spend on the repetitions needed to master these skills; that is what homework is for.

As those of you who are involved in any kind of performance activity know, you cannot perform your best without practice. You may be able to get by with skipping it occasionally, but to truly be the best … whatever … you have to practice. Homework is practice.

Likewise, it doesn’t matter how well you do at practice, if you can’t carry it over to the performance or the game. Making the catch (or the interception) every time the quarterback throws your way only counts if it happens during the game.

Thus, as important as homework is, I don’t give it as much weight as the tests and quizzes. You need to show me that you understand what we have learned and can apply that knowledge. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t even include a homework average, since your test and quiz averages will show how well you understand. In fact, many college classes do not have a homework grade at all. However, I understand that there may be some of you who need the extra incentive that the homework average provides; thus, the homework average.

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