They Just Don’t Teach Grammar Like They Used To

I walked into the kitchen to find Eliza hard at work-at something-I was not sure what. Apparently she had written a paper on her iPad and used her dad’s Bluetooth keyboard to type it. I thought all of today’s devices had spell check, but I was apparently wrong, because when she handed me her printed out paper to read, I was aghast at the errors! There were uncapitalized i’s, run-on sentences, and she had even started a sentence with the word but! I was an English major. Well, I would have been. I partied my way out of the University of Georgia and was asked to leave. I prefer to say that I got a PhD in partying. At any rate, I did not graduate, but I do know how to write a paper. It is not how I write creatively! Here, I write how I speak. I want you to read what I write the way you would hear me say the words, but I would never hand in a paper written this way. Soooooo……I sat down and opened the laptop, opened Word, and re typed her paper for her, even though she had already submitted it online. What the hell is that about? Submitting homework online? Seriously. Also, the teachers can assign homework on Saturday that is due on Monday! That is simply not fair in my book! The weekend should be off limits for new assignments! Whilst I was busy in my head, ranting about the way the world is today, I reminded myself of my now senior in high school son’s paper he wrote in the seventh grade. It was a comparison paper on two stories. This is a kid who I was certain was going to land me on the 11:00 news for murder-murdering HIM. He flat out refused to do homework that he just did not feel like doing. This particular paper was written in a frenzy on the night before it was due, like most of his big assignments. I was reading it, for what I had hoped would be the last time before we would type it, print it, and go to bed, when I got to the last, horrible paragraph, which was actually one sentence that went something along the lines of this: “That’s all the stuff I can think of to compare, but if you will read these two stories, I bet you can come up with some different stuff.” I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Of course I made his dumb ass change it. I am sure I ended up writing the last paragraph-hell, in reality, I probably re wrote the whole damn thing-I honestly cannot remember that far back-mostly because now, I have managed to do every single thing I said I would not do as a parent and then some. He was in seventh grade when he wrote that atrocity. My daughter is in eighth grade now. She writes fairly well, but neither of them write the way I was taught to write. Writing is not taught in school like it used to be. Grammar is not taught either. Hell! They don’t even teach cursive handwriting anymore! Now I am sounding like I am 85 years old, instead of almost 45. I suppose the thought behind the not teaching cursive is that nobody writes anymore? I do! They need to be teaching grammar because these kids sound like a bunch of idiots! And they need to be teaching writing, or there will be nothing new to read! I know, by the way, that I am not supposed to start a sentence with the word and. I already told you that I write creatively the way that I speak, so don’t ever come here looking for correct punctuation and don’t be getting out your MLA Handbook. I do think I will be ordering two copies of it for two people at my house to read!
I’m stepping off of my soapbox now and stepping onto my big round float in my pool until the kids get home from school…..since their daddy is at the Braves game today…. 😉

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