Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Time for a funeral - Part 1

When I was a senior in high school, I had an excellent english writing teacher. There were several things about her that I truly admired and have tried to emulate as an adult.

First, she had a way of quieting the volume level in the room that I truly admired. If members of the class were being particularly obnoxious and talking with one another rather than listening to her, she didn't shout or make a loud noise or call the offenders out in any way. She simply stopped talking. It was genius! She would stop whatever she was doing and simply stand there looking at them. She didn't scowl or glare at them. She simply stood patiently until they stopped. Most of the time the offenders would notice and stop on their own, but if they didn't, other members of the class would do her dirty work and tell them to be quiet. It was so simple....and so effective!

She also had a way of teaching a lesson in a way that made it stick in our minds. For instance, apparently there were quite a few members of our class who thought that "alot" was a word. So one day she came into class dressed all in black with a black lace veil. She cued up a tape of a funeral dirge and proceeded to tell us that that day we were having a funeral for "alot". She eulogized "alot" and everything. It was great. To this day, 20+ years later, I ALWAYS remember that "alot" is not a word and, in fact, I believe she improved my writing as a whole because I never use "a lot" if I can substitute something else that is more descriptive.


Joan Young Spotswood said...

Thank you for answering the the alot/a lot question for me! Sounds like you had a great teacher.

Joel said...

Hi, Nice post I enjoyed reading it. Can I contact you through your email? Please email me back. Thanks!


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