Monday, February 25, 2013

Grammar and the Sub

I've never boasted that English was my best subject. In fact I still remember 8th Grade English, watching the cartoon train sing, "conjunction, junction what's your function?" Sadly, I remember the graphics and the little cartoon man more than anything that it taught me. I do remember the song. Not the meaning or purpose of the song mind you, but the beat.

My husband edits all of my blog postings and my mom edits my stories for the book I'm writing and even now I'm wondering yet again if "mom" is capitalized or not. The fact that there were two "mom's" in that sentence has completely thrown me into a tail spin and I'll have to call my husband at work to clarify yet again, when the word mom is capitalized.

Moving on. When I used to substitute teach in Jr. High, there were always two subjects that I didn't love to teach. One was Math and the other was English. Frankly, I was never great at either. Nothings more demeaning than having a bunch of 7th graders look at you like the fool you are because you don't have know the answer. I found that one thing that usually helped me not worry about it, was remembering the fact that I got paid less than minimum wage.

I was sitting at the teachers desk working on writing my book when a student approached me.

Student (pointing to her worksheet): "Um, Kate. Is this a verb or a noun?"

Me: "I don't know."

Student (wondering if this is some kind of a joke): "Whaddya mean?"

Me: "I mean I don't know."

A boy in line, behind this girl starts to snicker. He is thrilled to have a substitute to make fun of. He points at me. "Hey this girl is suppossably a substitute, but she doesn't even know English."

Me: "I'm sorry what did you just say?"

Him (a little less confidently): "Well you said you didn't know the difference between a noun or a verb."

Me: "No, no that part was accurate. I meant the part where you added a "B" to supposedly and you said, suppossably."

Him: "Anyways."

Me: "I think you mean "anyway" since there is no "S" on the end of anyway.

Him: (Moment of awkward silence): "Umm what are you working on?"

Me: "A book I wrote."

Him: "You're writing a book?"

Me: "Yes"

Him: "Like a for-reals book."

Me: "Like a for-reals book yes. . . by the way I think that's a noun"

Student (looking down at his paper) "What is?"

Me: "Like a for-reals"

Student: "Which part?"

Me: "The whole thing."

Student: (An even more confused look.) "So, you're writing a book, but you don't know if this is a verb or a noun?"

Me: (With complete confidence) "My Mom edits my chapters."

Student:(look of full disgust on his face.) "Do you still live with your Mom?"

Me: "No. That would be weird. . .like for reals."


  1. Hahaha! I love your teaching posts because I so relate. Ps- I actually show "conjunction junction" to my class every year.

  2. You are awesome! I love how you toy with them, it really is good for everyone :) I wish you'd talk to me like this, that would be hilarious!