I know that this will come as a complete and utter shock to you, but once upon a time, your very own Mrs. G was a member of a 7th grade. Even waaaay back then in the very early 90s, teachers assigned homework. There were worksheets, math problems, written assignments, group projects. Even, (gasp!) questions out of textbooks!
So you see, dear children, I am familiar not only with the terrible burden it places upon you but also with all the various tricks that the teenage mind can devise to get out of doing it. Your pets, I know, eat nothing but homework. Your cats will play with no other toy, only the assignment due today would satisfy your feline friend. Not only do you have no functional computer in your house -except the one you use for MySpace and AIM, of course- but you cannot hand write anything either because you suffer chronic injuries acquired every evening when it's time to pick up a pencil. Your printer is perpetually broken, your parents have never heard of ink. They've never bought you loose leaf paper. You spend your evenings in a bare cell with nothing but a TV and a telephone equipped with a special jamming device, one specifically designed to prevent you from getting any information about assignments from anyone else that you know.
I understand, really I do, what a terrifying thing it is for your parents to hear about your missing work, your attitude problems, your schoolyard fights. That's why I understand what a page ripped from your planner means, when it happens to be the page I wrote the list of missing work upon. The bus is frought with peril, your schoolmates -who, of course, have no names whatsoever and you have no idea what they look like- are hellbent on grabbing your backpack, rifling through it and removing any notes that might have been intended for your folks. These nameless, faceless assailants are also the ones that hide your textbooks, steal your projects and emotionally traumatize you to such an extent that you get migraines as soon as a test is handed out and absolutely *must* see the nurse or else you'll die.
See? I get it. 7th grade sucks.
However, you get through it. You get through 8th grade too, all of high school. If you're lucky, you get through college, and if you do, you may find yourself, one day, facing a pile of lame excuses and math-fed dogs owned by your very own class full of homework-phobic 12 year olds.
On that day, if you are fortunate enough to reach it, it will be your turn. You will stand in front of your class and say to them these same special words that I must say to you now:
"Yes, you have homework tonight, and yes, you have to do it."