I recently asked on facebook if anyone had to copy the dictionary as punishment. The results were intriguing. Yes, it is still a practice used today, and to me shock, sometimes an entire class will be asked to copy the dictionary based on one person's "misbehaving."
That's right. Instead of a teacher asking a student to talk to him or her after class, etc., there is a shaming practice used, a humiliation to copy TO THE LETTER pages from a dictionary.
A teacher admits she will assign it, but not "that many pages."
Someone confessed they never pulled a chair out after being told to do it.
One person said he would have been in trouble mroe often if he had to do that.
I know it is in fun--in play--that the idea of copying the dictionary would be better than the hum-drum of sitting through class all day. However, why not try it yourself? Go on.
Or pretend I am telling you to know go get a dictionary and spend two hours copying it with a pencil on paper, and I am telling this in front of your peers, and you might not even know why you are being told this, but you will do this because you always do what you are told. You don't want to be in trouble. Yet, somehow you are.
Here is the irony. You want to be a good child, but you are always in trouble. You do what you are told, and yet you somehow don't.
You are labelled by a teacher who won't pay attention to you. The children know how the teacher feels about you, so they stay away to.
It's time to copy the dictionary in the hallway. You might get a chance to go get lunch and take it back to your desk in the hallway. Begin, and I will tell you when you can come back in. I want to see the first fifteen pages.
I will take your work from you. You will never get it back.
Also, I will never tell your parents about this.
Do you think this will encourage you to become a writer? Or to love words?
The carbon from the pencil smudges your hand.