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.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Day In The Life . . .

Going back to school is hard work. I spend a lot of time studying although I am only taking two classes. That is partly because I want to get a good grade and partly because Precalculas is higher math and requires many hours of study to grasp. It would help if my algebra were not so rusty. Sometimes I will be doing a math problem and I will get to a point where I realize that I do not know what to do next. Not because I'm dumb, but because I forgot the next algebraic rule that I needed to remember to keep going. It is times like those that I am thankful for partial credit.

Other things that take up my time are work. I am working at a flower shop. You would not believe the amount of work that goes into getting people their pretty flowers. Those arrangements are worth the high prices, let me tell you. However, I do not intend to speak much of work because I am always cautious about that sort of thing. Suffice it to say I enjoy my job and no, I do not design flower arrangements.

Today I am supposed to do laundry. Actually, yesterday I was supposed to do laundry. Actually, actually, I was supposed to do laundry at the end of last week. Having a washer and dryer in my own home helps, but having to study for multiple tests and keep up with other house cleaning does not help.

I recently wrote the first draft of a short story. Do not ask me how I had time for that. I intend to revise it and get some second opinions. Then maybe I will send the story out to a magazine or something to see about publishing. A little supplemental income would be nice.

I have come up with dozens of rants to write. Taking an Intro to Psychology course with a whole lot of regular people gives me so much material. I simply have little time to write my rants. But as I am sure you are all anxious to hear them I will try to get some written. Also, my holiday monkey Neville seems to have gone missing. That's why I have not announced the Neville Chamberlain award for 2008. I have sent a sleuth known as Detective Scorch (he's a Ty Beanie Baby dragon and charges very high prices for his PI skills) in search of Neville and hope to post the award before the year is half over.

In other news the weather was getting nice and it turned nasty again. I wish spring would stop teasing us Iowans.

A Perfect Analogy

If you're feeling outraged about the stupid government giving money to people who have totally screwed up I recommend you read this (it's a short analogy, so it won't take up much time). It will make you laugh for a while. Then you can get back to crying when you realize how true the analogy is.