The Wondrous Joe Polin Has His First Published Essay

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I do go on about those University of Pennsylvania students I have the privilege to teach, but why shouldn't I?  They are brave and beautiful and bold and lovable, and they have talent coming out of their ears.

I'm not typically able to show you that talent, but today I can.  That's because Mr. Joe Polin, an engineer (mind you!) who was enrolled in my class last semester, has just published this beautiful piece, his last work in our class, in the magnificent Pennsylvania Gazette.  It's called "Off the Rails."  It's about Joe's Cuban grandfather.  It starts like this, below, and to read the whole, simply click on this link here:

Santiago de Cuba, 1933:

The doctor examined the newborn twins, his forehead wrinkled with concern. He bent over the nearer one to listen to his breathing.

“Are they okay? Are they healthy?” the father asked.

The doctor finally straightened up, meeting the father’s gaze. After a moment of consideration, he said, “Give this one your name, he is perfectly healthy. This one”—he pointed to the smaller of the two twins—“isn’t going to make it. He’s too weak to survive.” 

I miss those students as fall gets underway, but in the spring I will be back.  If I see Joe Polin while he's rambling down Locust Walk some Tuesday, I'm going to give him a hug, whether he likes it or not.  For that matter, if I see any of those students .....

Thank you, editor John Prendergast.


Unknown said...

Joe's piece was amazing - well-written, well-paced, and extremely touching. He must have had a good teacher. :)

Thanks for sharing!

Anna Lefler said...

Congratulations to you student, who is so lucky to have had you for a teacher!

:-) A,

KFP said...

Read it. Loved it. Very well done.

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