Commentary 02 Mar 2009 10:19 pm

Carry your own skis

In my freshman English classes today, we read an essay called “Carry Your Own Skis” by Lian Dolan. I hadn’t heard of the author, but her essay is impressive. Her point is that we need to be more accountable for ourselves and our belongings, to be the kind of people who carry their own skis from the car to the slope and back again, instead of relying on others to do it for us.

The piece gives plenty of examples of people in everyday life who have not learned to carry their own skis, including co-workers who never organize, contribute to or attend office birthday parties, unless they are the guests of honor.

I hope some of my students picked up on the not-so-subtle message. The author includes references to high schoolers who call home for parents to bring them homework assignments. I’m going to incorporate “carry your own skis” into my daily lexicon with kids; it’s a neat metaphor, and oh so true.

The essay, printed in our Prentice Hall Literature textbook, is also available along with writings by Lian’s four sisters in Satellite Sisters’ Uncommon Senses, named for the public radio show the five siblings share. It is also available by scrolling to the bottom of the book’s listing on Amazon. If you haven’t already, click the link and give it a read. As a bonus, it includes more examples of people who carry (and don’t carry) their own skis throughout life.

4 Responses to “Carry your own skis”

  1. on 12 Mar 2010 at 1.a person said …

    We’re studying this right now. I think it’s stupid as shit, but to each his own.

  2. on 27 May 2010 at 2.Monica said …

    I love the story and most of my students got the message too.

  3. on 05 Sep 2010 at 3.Ziro said …

    I love that essay. Its a good way to get people to listen to what they do in the world that harms others. Such as not being responsible for your school books or binders and backpacks and what-not

  4. on 31 May 2011 at 4.reem said …

    i have a test on it tomorrow. jooyyy

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