The Importance of Being Furnace
Arctic High School
Furnace is an absolute joy to have in my homeroom class, and it has been a pleasure watching him grow this year. At first we all thought he was shy and reserved, and then we realized he was sleeping. Once we encouraged him to participate, his kindness, humor, and inquisitive nature quickly made him a favorite among his classmates.
He once told me that homeroom was his idea of a perfect class, because there is no teaching. At first I was a little put off by the remark, because I am a teacher after all. But let’s face it, who really knows what homeroom is for anyway? We don’t actually do any teaching in a classic sense. Then I realized what he was saying. He enjoys learning without being taught. He’s very wise, that one.
While I don’t teach lessons per se, I do encourage learning through discussion of topical events and ideas. Although he’s not one to start a conversation, once engaged Furnace’s relentless curiosity and an uncanny ability to grasp a large central idea that links a series of disparate thoughts, and can cut right to the heart of an issue in a way that no one else can. What’s more, his gentle and fun-loving demeanor brings a calmness and cohesion to the entire group.
Furnace does tend to struggle with an appetite control issue. “Furnace ate my homework” has become something of a running joke amongst his peers. But hey, who can question his appetite when he’s such a good cook? Normally it’s school policy that no food is allowed in the classroom, but we readily make an exception for Furnace. His steamed plankton rolls with seaweed infusion and krill sauce had the whole class licking their chops. Honestly, I don’t think my waistline could take another semester with Furnace, but I sure will miss him next year.