Around 1:40 on a February afternoon in a seventh- and eighth-grade English class, two sets each of 11 students watch and give feedback to student presenters. Zoom in on one group.
Presenter: So for this project, I decided to write an essay.
Observer #1 [scoffing]: You chose to write an essay?
Presenter: Yeah, [defensively] I thought it would be fun.
Observer #1: You thought it would be fun? [pauses, stunned] That's. Im. Possible.
Presenter: Um... [sheepish, stunned for a different reason]
Observer #2 [brightly]: I think it'd be possible if you cared enough about the topic. Like, enough that you're really curious about it.
Teacher [sighs, equal parts pride and woe]