Tuesday, October 21, 2008
OK, so I played hookey today, citing 1) cramps; and 2) LINGUISTICS MIDTERM.

This is somewhat of a critical issue considering I have basically not done anything for my linguistics class for the entire semester.

See, we were supposed to read the chapters from our two books -- a grammar book and Elements of Style - before each class, and then we would "talk about it" in class. So I did that. The first week. At which point I discovered that my teacher literally reads the chapters aloud in class. Seriously. I mean, the teacher is this nice older very proper blonde lady (think: WASP) and she means really well, but I don't think she's doing the best job teaching the material. So I said, okay, I'll just pay attention when she reads the information out loud.

But that got really boring. So I made an effort to bring something else to class to read while the teacher read aloud. Even though I am usually a pretty good student and try to be conscientious. For example, I make an effort to not start packin' it up while the teacher is still talking just because the clock shows that our class is over. I sit there and "listen" attentively as to not be rude to the teacher. So for me to not care that the teacher sees I'm reading while she's speaking? That says quite a bit about my desire for something to keep me awake in there. (You should see the campus Starbucks before that class; everyone from class is in there seeking caffeine to get them through.)

Well, then I forgot to bring something one week, so that week I concentrated on trying to write with my left hand to look like I wasn't writing with my left hand. (Unsuccessful.) The next week, I tried to see how high a score I could get on Brick Breaker playing only with my left hand. (Not very high, although I theorize that I could do better if I weren't simultaneously taking notes.)

I got around to making flashcards for my linguistics stuff this weekend. I looked at them last night, and then basically tried to cram half a term of this class into 4 hours today. And even then it took all my will to stay focused on the material.

Ha hahahahahaha!

Imagine my surprise when I get to class and discover that she has written up the most bullshit test ever. In a real uh-oh way. Like, every time she left the room, everyone would just start saying, 'THIS IS FUCKING RETARDED!" Like, I memorized all the tenses, right? If I was told, "Tell me the 1st person singular form of the past perfect progressive of the verb teach" I would be able to tell you, "I had been teaching." (I think that's right.) But what did this teacher want us to do? "List the 1st person and 3rd person singular of all the 12 tenses for one regular verb and one irregular verb." It was obvious I couldn't come up with the tenses on my own since I ended up with 14. Whee! I told the teacher on my way out that I probably came up with a couple of new ones. You're welcome, you know. My contribution to the English language.

Basically, the teacher did not test us on the material; she was asking us to regurgitate the entire grammar book for her. It was horrid. I took up an entire blue book, both sides of the paper -- PLUS the back cover. My hand still hurts.

So we'll see. I knew the material surprisingly well considering my time investment, and am a pretty good bullshitter on tests for the folks who fall for it, but I couldn't guess how I did on this test and won't know for a week.

But at least it's over. Now I can resume reading that book I got about Marie Antoinette. And finally get back to processing some damn pictures!!!
i'm pretty sure you're right about the first person past perfect progressive of the verb "teach" being "i had been teaching"

if you ever want more amusing grammar-related reading, try the Chicago Manual of Style Q&A. i read it at work when i'm feeling too guilty to read stuff that has no work-relationship whatsoever, since it's at least sort of my job to know grammar and whatnot.
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I'm Stacey. I'm a 31(!)-year-old Wisconsin girl living in sunny South Florida. The highlights in my life are my lovely boyfriend, my aloof cats, my adorable/adoring stepdogs, my two lumbering tortoises, select family members, being outside, being underwater, taking pictures, yadda yadda. Stay tuned for lots of babbling!

Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States


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Making a difference

A small boy lived by the ocean. He loved the creatures of the sea, especially the starfish, and he spent much of his time exploring the seashore.

One day the boy learned there would be a minus tide that would leave the starfish stranded on the sand.

When the tide went out, he went down to the beach, began picking up the stranded starfish, and tossing them back into the ocean.

An elderly man who lived next door came down to the beach to see what the boy was doing. Seeing the man's quizzical expression, the boy paused as he approached. "I'm saving the starfish!" the boy proudly declared.

When the neighbor saw all of the stranded starfish he shook his head and said: "I'm sorry to disappoint you, young man, but if you look down the beach, there are stranded starfish as far as the eye can see. And if you look up the beach the other way, it's the same. One little boy like you isn't going to make much of a difference."

The boy thought about this for a moment. Then he reached his small hand down to the sand, picked up another starfish, tossed it out into the ocean, and said: "Well, I sure made a difference for that one!"

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