Grumpy Words

August 29, 2008

English teachers to blame?

Filed under: Uncategorized — grumpywords @ 12:37 am
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Confession: the first time I visited my older sister’s fourth grade classroom, I wondered if I’d made a mistake by not majoring in education in college. I paced her carefully decorated room with its high windows and deep closets, its blackboards and tiny desks and bookshelves, and though, “Crap. What am I going to do with this English degree?”

Suffice it to say, I love teachers. I still keep in touch with some of my high school and college professors, and I know they have an extremely tough – and usually underpaid and undervalued – job. So when I came across this article in the Washington Post, I posted it to my facebook, and immediately got some reactions. 

Essentially, the writer is saying that the constant and unchanging tests, stock writing assignments, and focus on book trivia has taken the love out of reading for students. I can see her point. I’ve been a devoted reader since second grade, and even I would sometimes roll my eyes at the multiple choice tests (what’s more important: grasping the themes of Gatsby, or memorizing what happens in each chapter?) and standard essay questions. But I worry that this article blames the teachers a little too much. And considering teachers already get all the blame for most things that go wrong with students, I’m not ready to jump on board with this, too.

August 1, 2008

What’s the Spanish word for writing?

Filed under: Uncategorized — grumpywords @ 1:29 pm
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Welcome home to Shira, co-blogger here at Grumpy Words, who just got back to New York after spending the month of July in Spain on an exchange program! If I knew Spanish, I’d translate this entry. But alas, it took me three days in Ecuador before I realized the differences between good morning, good afternoon, and good evening. Je parle francais, mais oui!

So Shira, when you’re settled and over the jet lag and have indulged in food you can only get in America (deep-fried Oreos? deep-fried anything?), please leave a post telling the world how your trip was. I can’t wait to hear!

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