Introduction to Fundamentals of pre-English 101 meant a lot of things to me. On some days, it was a chance to interact with my classmates on a meaningful level – on other days, it was the time to catch up on things I had meant to do the previous night, but was not able to due to not being tired. It was in this class that I learned to question the nature of things and their meaning with regards to my life. It was also in this class that I noticed my hands are a funny shape, with fingers poking out at odd angles. If this had been a math class, I might have had my protractor, but alas, it was not.
I feel like this class has improved my writing dramatically – I have moved from sporadically writing about anything to frequently writing about nothing, which is obviously a great leap forward. I look forward to this time next year when I will hopefully be writing constantly but seeing no ink appear on the page at all.
Possibly the most important thing I’ll take away from this class is the way words are spelled – especially big words, like “irony” and “refutation”. Orthography is surely one of the most important fields of study of our time, second only to religion and possibly archaeology. I now realize that there can only be one way to spell “refutation”, that it must include at least two ‘t’s and an ‘f’. Any other way is just wrong. Back in my dark days, I might have drawn a surfboarding shark by mistake.
I have accepted how important it is to use commas in the prescribed way, and only the prescribed way. Smooth phrasing and logical sentence structure should always come second to tradition and conformity. It has also come to my attention that when using quotation marks, a comma needs to be placed at the end, but before the last quotation. Regardless of whether it makes any sense whatsoever, and even though it mutilates an otherwise perfectly good string of characters, that’s just how it’s done. Best not to question it.
The students in this class are of a very educated folk, and I know I am very lucky to have had this opportunity to teach them and to learn from them. The experience shared will surely last a lifetime or two. In particular, the ones who think war censorship is nifty are the ones who will forever plague my memory. I do hope though that that one girl will come to accept that Swedes are people too, even if they do talk funny. It is a very good thing the prof took attendance every day (and deducted points for absences) or I might not have gone at all, and such wonderful fortune may have passed me by.
There have been untold times when I’ve walked into class practically blind and left feeling as though I had had my eyes opened for the very first time, with some new fantastic revelation. Have you ever seen The Matrix? It was like that, only with more poetry. Well, more Spoon River Anthology, anyway.