What I Remember From College English

I think I got started blogging in college. I know a lot of you are thinking, "yeh, that would be about the time I started," or something along those lines, but to put things in perspective, let me say that I was in college in 1989. Yeh. The Internet was barely invented, much less blogging.

My English teacher had us write a paper to turn in every Friday. It could be about anything we wanted, but had to be a full page story. Fictional, non-fiction, your opinion of cafeteria food, a gripe about the cost of tuition - truly anything. I mostly wrote about what I knew. I knew growing up on a farm, living in the country, raising animals, being outdoors - all the things a farm girl would know. I enjoyed that assignment, even though most of my classmates thought it was the worst form of freshman punishment ever invented. I consider it my start of blogging. I got to tell a story all on my own terms.

At the end of the semester, we were to choose our favorite Friday story and turn in for a grade. (The weekly stories were strictly considered homework, and we got points for Done vs Not Done.) I chose a story that painted a picture of a winter's day, the snow falling gently, the sun a bright glow in the sky. I was docked an entire letter grade because, and I quote, "the sun doesn't shine when it snows."

Funny how I remember that 20 years later.

This is for your, College English Teacher, because apparently you haven't had the privilege of experiencing such a beautiful winter's day.


Karen Deborah said...

wow she must have had a bad day. I would never dock a kid that loved to write for that. What is awesome is you loved to write and still do. I always got docked a full letter grade for puncuation and grammer which plague me to this day. i don't like excuses but part of my learning disability is flipping things backwards and I can't even remember the rules right. Looking them up drives me crazy and that isn't a drive it's a short walk.

(Keri) Auburn Gal Always said...

English teachers are basically kindergarten teachers that grew up and became language drill sergeants. Math teachers are usually less persnickety, and their subject is actually more "black and white" than language.

Language is an art form. There are rules to guide us its different uses so that our readers can make sense of what we write. It is perfectly acceptable to bend those rules to achieve our goals with our words.

What you wrote was technically fine. If she were grading you on that alone, then the grade shouldn't have been affected negatively. If she were correcting you for your meteorological skills or ability to remember or imagine a time when the sun shone while snowing, then she is in the wrong educational department.

Sometimes, the worst of the teachers are at the college level. The need for having good TEACHING skills is lower. College teachers are usually sources of information (lecture) and review (tests).

Basically, she was a jerk.