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06 Feb 2017




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The very first time I taught VALUES in a writing class, I told my students to visit home and jot down as many strong experiences because they could consider in their lives. Alongside each, they were to create out a powerful reversal which was closely associated with each strongly positive or strongly negative experience and according to further experiences using their lives or from the lives of people they personally knew.

I provided several examples around the white board so that they would be sure to understand, so we discussed those a bit. And I explained that the assignment was to enable them to identify material they could talk about in the several types of essays they'd be completing throughout the course of the class. They appeared to 'get it.'

However, prior to the next class period, two unhappy students found see me. They were having trouble finding values in their lives they could reverse.

The first student, Jared, stood before my desk and said, 'I don't see what you mean by positive and negative values within my life. I guess I've got a stable but boring life,' he laughed.

I laughed, too, and responded, 'Well, how are your experiences, your relationships, in your own home? Do you know the values-really positive, really negative? Just so-so, absolutely nothing to brag about or complain about?'

'Just so-so, I suppose. We obtain along okay, actually. No real problems. Nothing really wonderful, either, I guess.'

I chuckled and said, 'Okay, I know what you mean. What about your wellbeing? How's that? Great shape, bad shape-what?'

Jared offered, 'Well, my health's okay, too, I suppose.' He paused. 'There is one thing, though.' He looked down at his feet. 'I've got diabetes, but it is in check. I eat right and take my insulin in the right times. No problem.'

I smiled and replied, 'I think you may have something to create about there, Jared. So how do you think most people take a look at or view or value diabetes, what exactly are their overall expectations about diabetes-do they view it positively or negatively?'

He looked off into the distance, the window, and said, 'Actually, my friends kid me about all the great food I can't eat anymore, like hot fudge sundaes. But, guess what happens?' Jared seemed a little defensive, and that he got a bit animated and energetic at this time. 'Because I watch things i eat, I eat much better than they are doing, and I take better care of myself due to my diabetes. In twenty years, I betcha I'll be in much better shape than they will be in!'

'Bingo! You have it, Jared! Some people see diabetes like a very negative value and also have negative expectations about it, you value it as an experience which makes you discipline yourself so you take care of the body, and you'll be better off over time for it!'

'Actually, now that I believe about it, it's paying down in the short-run, too, Mr. Drew. I'm already in better shape than my friends. They eat all sorts of unhealthy foods, and they stuff themselves once they shouldn't.'

'Okay, then! You have your thesis for the first essay within our class, a cause-and-effect paper-now go jot down more strong values with strong reverses!' Grinning, Jared left.

The 2nd student, Pamela, started out within the same negative way: 'I guess I've got a do-nothing life, Mr. Drew. I'm not sure what to do with this assignment,' she said in a monotone, looking at her feet.
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'Well, Pamela, once we showed on the board in class, just write down some positive things you feel strongly about and a few negative things you feel strongly about. After which write down reverses alongside them.' I motioned towards the chair beside my desk, and she sat down.

'What positive things? Since my parents got divorced eight months ago, nothing's been positive,' she mumbled, dull-eyed, staring downward.


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