The students in Matt Webb’s eighth-period English class at Roosevelt Senior High School in Petworth were having a tough time getting started on a long research paper. So Webb made them a bet that they could write a five-paragraph essay in only 30 minutes. The 12 students, all freshmen and sophomores, didn’t think it could be done but banged out the preceding paean to D.C.’s indigenous music in a half-hour.
“I did it to break the ice,” Webb says. “It was a way to produce something without it being perfect.”
One of the students, who didn’t know a thing about go-go, got a shout-out in the essay; his name has been redacted at Webb’s request. The orginial remains posted in Webb’s classroom.