Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Cleaning

I was planning to go to the gym this morning. Instead I got my workout doing spring cleaning. My muscles are much more sore than they usually are after a gym workout. I guess climbing on counters and step stools to dust cupboards and trim will do that to you. The amazing thing is I am nowhere near done with the cleaning. Although, I think I have cleaned the dirtiest spots in the house.

In my psychology class last week I was surprised by another student. We will call her K. K is about my age and bright. She is more of a follower than a leader type, but she's a regular girl. She's mildly earthy in that cocktail waitress sort of way. I met her in class my first day and so far I like her. She is definitely not generic. Last week I sat in my usual spot. I mean, I thought it was my usual spot. It turned out that someone had moved all the chairs around and I confused my usual spot with another spot. Consequently, I did not sit next to K like I ordinarily do. K sat in her usual spot. When our teacher, we'll call her Bobblehead, announced the beginning of class K raised her hand to ask a question. I should have mentioned that we received back some papers and a recent exam all graded.

K asked, "To get the full 10 points on my papers do I need to have no errors of grammatical?"

Bobblehead appeared not to comprehend the question. Understandably. After a moment Bobblehead told K that grammatical errors would reduce the grade.

I did not want to laugh at K. She's a nice girl and I like her. But I was rather shocked that any student would think she would not be downgraded for grammatical mistakes in a paper. In my college days I learned quickly not to split infinitives, splice commas, or dangle participles. Nobody got away with that kind of funny stuff at the 'Dale.

I know I am attending a community college now. I know the standards and requirements are less than the effort I accustomed myself to back in the day (I feel like a dinosaur). Still, I could not help but want to make this story into a funny anecdote to tell other intellectuals -- or to tell myself as the case may be.

Later in class we had to gather in groups and write a sentence to define something we were supposed to be learning that day. The sentence that my group constructed included a big fat dangling participle. I pointed this out and suggested we change it. I received blank stares from my classmates and some muttering about having no memory of such complex matters.

In conclusion, I think I will not make the "errors of grammatical" story into a funny anecdote to add to my repertoire. I think I will just let it slide. I am relieved that I can still get good grades if I keep to the established grammatical rules.

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