I, am terrible, at grammar. Terrible is, an understatement. I, am an abomination, when it comes to grammar. Ask me, what a pronoun is, and I will have a difficult time, coming up with an answer. The irony, is that my day job is as a high school English Teacher (now don’t get me wrong- I am good at my job, I just am incapable of grasping grammar). Most, of my students know more about grammar than I do. They, laugh at all my grammatical errors, like when I wrote, were are you going on the board. Sometimes, I have to ask them for answers, to questions that other students raise. I, am bored by grammar. Whenever, I say the word, noun or verb, I immediately begin to fall, asleep. I avoid grammar like a holly man/woman avoids sin. I, am constantly looking for clever ways, to keep hidden my disdain, for the institution of grammar. Sometimes, I will blurt out, “grammar is the death of the soul” or “grammar inhibits creativity,” but, all in all, I have done a good job at keeping the truth about my relationship with grammar, from my students and the administration (granted I am putting my job in jeopardy by writing this-but hey- I am just another fool with radical views) . A student once asked me, “what am I supposed to do with a comma,” and I said, “just think of it as a girlfriend.” I, have no idea what I meant by this.
I, have been listening to The Smiths, a lot lately. When I was in high school, many years ago, I had an English Teacher, who also despised grammar. Like myself, he was able to make studying grammar interesting, for all of his students, because he was just as bored by it as his students were. I, in particular was beyond bored with grammar- I despised it. I, would listen to my Walkman all through out the class, and I, would often get stoned before English, so I did not have to feel the pain. I hated grammar so much, that I refused to talk about it. “Just think of a comma as a girlfriend,” he once said to my reticent English class, who were incapable of grasping the concept, of the comma. I had no idea what he meant by this- but, ever since that day, I have always thought of the comma, as my girlfriend.
Girl Friend In a Coma, is one of my favorite Smiths songs. This particular song, puts me to sleep at night. It just so happened, that when I told my student to think of the comma, as his girlfriend, that I had been thinking about The Smiths, instead of sentence structure, and correct comma placement. He, looked at me, like I was talking nonsense. I was. How does one explain nonsense? “Just trust me,” I told him. After all, it has worked for me. Now, I am an English Teacher, and I still have no idea, what to do, with all these, dam commas.