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When You Know You’re Grammatically Correct

| Learning | November 11, 2016

(I have just returned home from teaching English as a second language in Japan, and go back to school to get a trade. One of the required courses is in English grammar, so we’d know how to properly write up reports and such. Since I have just spent the past year teaching the material, I decide to challenge the exam and get out of the course. I bring up the subject with the instructor.)

Me: “Yeah, I was wondering what I’d need to do to get out of this course.”

Instructor: “Okay. What makes you think you don’t need this course?”

Me: “Well, I’ve already been to college, and—”

Instructor: *cutting me off* “Look, buddy. What you took in college was English LITERATURE. This is the English LANGUAGE. Just because you read ‘Beowulf’ doesn’t mean you know how to construct a sentence.”

Me: “I’m aware of that. But you see, I spent the past year teaching—”

Instructor: “I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT! I’m sick of you guys who’ve already been through college saying you don’t need my course. Trust me, you need it. Take it for a few weeks, and if you really think you don’t need it, we’ll continue this discussion.”

(I wound up taking the course, and I’m kind of glad I did. If I were successful in my challenge, I would have been given a passing grade of “B.” But because I aced the course and got a passing grade of “A+,” I won a scholarship!)