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Why do Homework Well?

Valerie Ferrara

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.  –Genesis 2:15

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands. –Psalm 90:17

With a soft-spoken manner that belied her wit and sense of humor, Dr. Anna Rozonoer (Maria Kruk, '22) delivered a brief but essential message in Wednesday morning's Chapel.

Titling her talk "Why do your homework well?", Dr. Rozonoer confessed that as a young girl, she had a propensity to do sloppy schoolwork. Her mother would look at her sloppy scribbles and make her do every assignment over until her homework met her mother's approval. "Why did my mother make me do this?" she asked the students. Dr. Rozonoer then showed a list of possible reasons, including things such as having to succeed in school, needing to learn, acquiring good study habits, getting into a good college, avoiding working at McDonald's for life, etc.

Dr. Rozonoer asked which of these possible reasons the students thought was the one that most concerned her mother. The real reason, she said, was none of those. Instead, her mother's real concern was for the teacher. Referring to the messy work, her mother would ask, "Why should the teachers have to work their way through this? Why doesn't your teacher get more respect?"

There was a shift, Dr. Rozonoer explained, from thinking about "me" to thinking about the other person. "The quality of your work is an indication of character and an understanding of the Golden Rule," she said. "What you do matters in consideration of the person for whom it is done." She called attention to Colossians 3:23-24, which says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." That was what her mother emphasized, Dr. Rozonoer said in closing. "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart."