Long ago, in 2003, my mentor sent a beautiful teen-aged boy to my practice who needed help managing his homework and his writing, she told me. I met the family in their home, and the first thing I saw was how exasperated the father of the boy was with him.
“Look,” he said after sizing me up like the litigator he was. “I think you’ll be too soft on him. I want him to get A’s an B’s, I want him to turn in his work, and work harder. It’s Harvard or nothing, you understand?” He was furious with his son, and frustrated that the boy just couldn’t keep track of his assignments, didn’t seem to understand what was wanted of him in the deduction-based inquiry based curriculum in Chemistry. Writing for English when musing on theme? Forget it.