I’ve been cleaning out the guest room and just finished going through a pile of old school papers, throwing most of them away but keeping a few for sentimental purposes.
Several years ago, at the end of each semester, I asked my students to think hard and write down ten things they learned in my class, which was their first college class. It’s a beginning writing class, and really focuses more on basic grammar than on anything else; that’s why this woman’s responses surprised me.
I wish I could recreate the erratic margins but I think you’ll still get the general idea.
The 10 thing I have learnt in this class
First of all let me start out by saying I have enjoyed this class so much . I have even look forward to
coming to school and for that for me is something I have never enjoyed school a day in my life!!
You made learning fun for me . And that is something most teacher can’t do they have no since of
hummer but you have plenty.
1. The very first think I have learnt is that I am for sure a hill billy (hee hee) I thought I
always talked right and everyone else had just a accent. I learnt when and where to put a comma and
always just threw it in when it look right.
2. Believe it or not I learnt when to capitalize when know it is a easy thing I didn’t do it right.
3. And also learnt what a accutal twit was and everyone gets a kick out of that.
4. The hardest thing that has been for me to learn in your class is when to use the words are
and is. But I think I got it now, if I don’t I’m in trouble this summer in writing 2.
5. Another really gross thing I have learnt is that there is something that lives on my meat I like to eat oh gross.
6. I have also learnt that a number in grammar dosen’t mean like number 2 but I means singular or plural, I thought that was kinda neat it was different.
7. One thing that is neat to me is the way you explained time past, present, future, the way
you have in your hand it’s the present then you let it go and that make it the past . I thought that was
neat never thought of it that way.
8. I also didn’t know cows could walk down the stairs and I didn’t know they couldn’t walk up the stairs but why is it? Why can’t they?
9. And pound for pound hamburgers cost more than a new car . just think we all eat
to buy a new car every 6 months or so.
10. I have learnt the proper way or saying quarry but I kept that to my self you did it I
Didn’t wanting them to know thats the way I always said it (hee hee) .
What I didn’t learn in this class is what the other 2 ways of making ren plural.
Now, first of all, I am NOT making fun of this girl. She improved so much in 16 weeks, it’s amazing. I’m proud of her, in fact. She did not pass the class, but she learned enough so that when she took the class again, she was able to pass.
When I found and re-read this list of things she learned in my class that semester, I was amazed at the way she retained the knowledge that was meant only as a tangent: a way of taking something and flying away with it, if you will. I have always tried to pepper my lectures and lessons with interesting tidbits that are supposed to help the student remember the LESSON. This girl, apparently, remembered the tangents over and above the lessons. You know, I think that’s all right, too.
I ain’t no TWIT, you know. I have a since of hummer.
I’m glad I saved this girl’s paper. I read and re-read it and it made me smile. She was a very nice girl who worked hard, and I enjoyed having her in class. I wonder what she’s doing now?
What she didn’t learn? Maybe you know. There are very few English words that still form their plural by adding “-en” as a suffix. One of the words is “children.” What are the others?