Friday, August 6, 2010

Must Love Grammar

Get down off that desk, John Keating. Put away those fancy AP calculus equations, Jaime Escalante. Take off that leather jacket, Michelle Pfeiffer from Dangerous Minds. There’s a new teacher in town who makes a difference in students’ lives.

Miramax and Warner Bros., pay attention. You may want to option this. Here’s a sneak peek at the pivotal scene:

I am sitting at my desk grading papers. My hair is in a bun kept in place by a pencil. I reach back and take the pencil out of the bun and my hair comes flowing down over my shoulders. In slow motion, I shake my head from left to right as my hair perfectly frames my face. As the last strand settles, a student enters my office.

Me: Hi, Beth, where have you been? I haven’t seen you on campus for ages.

Beth: I went on the Paris Study Tour.

Me: Oh, how wonderful! (Inside, however, I am seething. I want to go to Paris! Thanks to Audrey Tautou and Marion Cotillard, I am currently going through some serious French envy.)

Me (Cont.): How was it?

Beth: It was amaaazing! (And here she goes through the litany of wonderful things she got to do that I didn’t while I sat behind this stupid desk grading papers.) And, I met a guy.

Me: Oooh. A French guy?

Beth: No, he lives in France, but he’s British. We’ve been emailing. She blushes.

Dramatic Pause

Beth (Cont. with tears of emotion welling up in her eyes): Every time we email, I am so grateful to you for being so strict with me about my grammar and punctuation. He is so well-written, and I would have been so embarrassed to write to him if it weren’t for you.

End Scene

Can I get an, “Oh Captain, My Captain?”


Anonymous said...

AWESOME! You must have been so proud! It is kind of like (I know not close to the same thing) when one of my preschool kids come up to me and show me they tied their own shoes! I just beam with pride...

Beth Mann said...

Who is this girl and why is she living MY life? Paris AND a British boyfriend?

Oh, wait, this was about you...WAY TO GO, TEACH! ;)

WalksLikeAnEgyptian said...

Yeah! High five!

Wendy Ramer said...

Oh Captain, My Captain! That compliment is worth missing the chance to go to France. (Or maybe not.)

Miriam S. Forster said...

*stands on desk* Oh, Captain, My Captain! *salutes teacher awesomeness*

Excellent complement. :)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

:D (I really have nothing else to say. I will TOTALLY buy your movie when it comes out. :P)
Sidenote: isn't British grammar somewhat different from US grammar?

Palindrome said...


James Garcia Jr said...

I'm sorry. You removed a pencil from your hair and I don't remember too much after that.
What'd I miss?

Anonymous said...

Being married to a Brit, I find that both hilarious and sweet. Good for you for doing your part to facilitate wonderful around the world romances between grammar conscious lovebirds (who are probably practicing safe verb conjugation because of you.) - G

DEZMOND said...

do you know what's funny? You won't runaway from hearing and solving your students' love problems even if you leave your job :)) I quit teaching three years ago, and some of my students still call me or Facebook me when they wanna chitchat about their love problems :)))

James Garcia Jr said...

Hey, M.P. I have a little hardware over at my blog that I was recently given, and I'd very much like to pass it along to you. Pleae stop by whenever you get a chance and claim it.

Julie Musil said...

That is awesome! I wish I had you sitting next to me each day as I write. I'll just have to visit your blog more often.

The Barreness said...

Ah, the Brits and their beloved language...

As a current Ameri-Brit (can I get an, "Oh Crap") I can vouch for the tears shed by your young student - they are absolutely flipping MILITANT about the English language over here.

That is, of course, when they're not screwing it up royally.

Examples of this phenomenon include simply NOT PRONOUNCING CONSONANTS and then laughing at ME when I ask for Lie-ces-ter Square (?!), TAKING decisions (as far as I'm aware, there is no decision TAKING process), and/or pronouncing their "th"s as "f"s. ((shiver))

On another note, you should get to Paris IMMEDIATELY, if not sooner. I suspect you'd fit in perfectly - they're also fairly grammar-crazed. (Bloody words with sexes...!) ;-)

Digging the blog, Miss P, and always very pleased to find other hot, smart b*tches blogging. (You mean it's possible to be attractive AND intelligent?!?!)

Long may we verbally prosper and our followers multiply.

- B

Cruella Collett said...

That is too cute! She's got a good point, though - proper grammar really makes a big difference in how we perceive someone's writing.

And I hear you on having a case of the France. I have been to Paris several times, and I always want to go back. Though next time I'd prefer not to bring back the souvernir I got on my last visit (a nasty stomach bug).

Alesa Warcan said...

“Oh Captain, My Captain!”
Verily, 'twas a fair bonny bit of course plotting there.

Meg O. said...

Awesomeeeeeee!!! Love it! I am a grammar and punctuation nazi with my students, too, and I teach theatre! They know not to bring me documents unless they've gone over it a billion times. I love your scene. I'm glad I'm not the only one that writes scenes in my blog. ;) New follower!

Theresa Milstein said...

Oh Captain, My Captain!

This should be a tale to your students so they'll pay extra attention in English.

Grammar + Trip to France = British Guy/Maybe Love

It's a math lesson too.