Then, their mother walks up, but I don’t know that she is their mother. I know her as the second organist with nine children. I ask, “Are these your boys?” “Yes,” she says.
Both boys are friendly, forthright, respectful, and attentive. Their father teaches AP Physics and Algebra II. From my perspective, the boys and girls at St Stephen are set apart, like Altan, the 13-year-old I tutor (5’11). Altan is taking AP Geometry this fall. They are the future.
I assigned “The Last Question” by Isaac Asimov to Altan. I can’t wait to hear what he says about the science fiction story. I’d rather hear his reaction than a college student’s. He is intelligent and unspoiled by an educational system that pushes contemporary goulash.
He has been accepted by what I consider the most prestigious high school in San Francisco, which is Catholic, and he’s not Catholic. I tease him about it. I said, “If I saw you in the school hallway, I’d be on your case.” Sometimes, it scares me that his parents have placed so much trust in me.
Isaac Asimov (1920-1992) was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. During his lifetime, Asimov was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers.
Most seem to agree that the top 10 genres for teens are Fantasy, Young Adult, Adventure, Classics, Self-Help, Autobiography, Science Fiction, Romance, Thriller, and Horror. I have assigned stories from all these genres and one detective story, but not Self-Help, which is not on my list and never will be. The Romance I assigned is romance humor, not adult.
Here is a link to the audio version of “The Last Question”, which is narrated beautifully. The actor does several different accents, including child and robot.