In August, as college started up again, I hadn’t quite finished my beach read, William Finnegan’s “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life,” so I brought it to my freshman writing class. I tried reading a few passages aloud to break the ice. I thought my students might relate to one in which the writer first wonders about turning his surfing experiences into something worth reading:“Our queer devotions, frustrations, little triumphs, and large peculiarities, plus a few waterfront characters, plus photos, could probably keep a blog burbling along.”
"The Soul-Crushing Student Essay" is from the April 21, 2018 Opinion section of The New York Times. It was written by Scott Korb and narrated by Kristi Burns.