Sunday, November 04, 2007

x365: 30 of 365: mrs. ackerman

In Grade ten, you told us all that we couldn't write and that we couldn't think, but by the end of your course in European history, we would be well-equipped to do both. Your glasses kept on slipping down your absurdly tiny nose, which forced you to assume a perpetual squint. For the first half of the school year, I don't recall any actual history; classes became a boot camp in essay writing and grammar. I handed in essay outlines on index cards, which would come back to me with notes like "you can't spell!" or "filler!". Despite all that, I liked you and your bone-dry assessments of our skills. Somehow you managed to combine the harshest criticsm I've ever received with the tacit conviction that I was capable of meeting and exceeding your standards.


Becca said...

tag, yer it.
tag, yer it

lotus07 said...

One of the odd twists of life is how much we end up admiring those people that we initially hated because we thought they were assholes. But in the end, they were the ones that showed us what purpose and commitment and not compromising was all about. They didn't want us to like them, they wanted us to figure something out. There seem to be fewer and fewer the older I get.

palinode said...

Hear hear.

Anonymous said...

damn the grammar Nazis, Dyslexics untie!

Sounds to me like the guy was one of these perfectionist pricks with his reasonable goals. Index cards are the placards of Satan and his minions. Grammar will always be the hole the unimaginative scurry into, to scorn those with untamed minds. His avoidance of Euro. history was no doubt a dodge to avoid speaking of Shakespeare and his ilk who bended language to their own desires - to express rather than merely preform the crudest grammatical arithmetic functions of utilitarian communication. Fuck him! "Filler" is the jeux de vie of essays, the individual's voice that cuts through monotone of the mundane writing of high-school English teachers. He did not teach history, a tale of greatness, but rather his own sob story of a bureaucratic slave's dotting of i's and crossing t's; a sad life of mediocrity. Rile against those that demand you conform, especially when their task was meant to enlighten.

Burn your index cards this Guy Fawke's day! Don't revise your 10th grade emotional history revive it and misuse "its" and "it's", and shout "irregardless!" from your desktop.

palinode said...


Man, it hurts to write that word. But I must be strong.