Merry Sherry's 'In Praise Of The F' Word

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Hunger, Katie SR “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word”

Background Merry Sherry has written many freelance articles and advertising copy over the years. She also owns her own small research and publishing firm, and has taught creative and remedial writing to adults for over 20 years. Her article “In Praise of the ‘F’ Word” was published as a “My Turn” column in Newsweek. “My Turn” started in 1972, and each week Newsweek would select one article from hundreds of submissions written over hundreds of topics. There was a slim chance of actually being chosen, but still many freelance writers submitted pieces. In 2013, when Newsweek stopped publishing its print magazine every week, the “My Turn” column ended.

“Young people generally don’t have the maturity to value education in the same way my adult students value it. But fear of failure, whether economic or academic, can motivate both” (10).
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Sherry’s own son, who always got by in school, was told by one of his teachers that he could either do his work or fail the class. The threat of failure motivated him to learn. She sees the resentment those students that were passed through school have for the system because as adults they value the education they threw away as teens. Sherry argues that teachers and parents must relook at the merit of failing because it can be a positive teaching
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