Thursday, October 09, 2008

Grammar Issues

So just before class the other day, one of my students, who must have seen me in the parking lot, demands to know what "that button" on my briefcase says.

"Feminists for Obama," I said.

She gives me a piercing look.

"Well, what did you expect it to say?" I ask reasonably. "My kid has one just like it," I add, and move on with the lecture.

After class, she comes up to me and says, "Obama, huh?"

"Of course Obama. Jeesh."

"Well." She shakes her head, like I'm an idiot, but what can one expect from professors. As she starts to leave, she turns back: "But what about Sarah Palin? She's a product of feminism. You have to support that."

I have sworn -- I have promised -- hold me back --

I cannot keep it in my teeth. "Palin," I say, as reasonably as I can, "is not a feminist."

"I didn't say she was a feminist, I said--"

"She's an enemy of feminism," I interrupt. "She's not pro-choice, she made rape-victims pay for their own rape-kits, her position on equal rights is ridiculous."

"I didn't like the rape-kit thing," the student agreed.

"Also, she dangles her participles," I said, since I was getting a bit too fierce, "so, well."

The student smirked. "I won't comment on what Obama dangles," she said.

"Not his participles," I said. "I promise you that."

Since, I'll bet you six bucks to a quarter, she didn't have a clue what a participle was, this student had to leave my challenge alone -- but you know, even though I said I was going to shut up about Palin, her appalling grammar and Obama's perfect command of it, this does matter: it does tell us something about the two of them, the difference between the two of them. Not just the difference between their intelligence levels (I do think Obama is smarter than Palin, though people keep assuring me Palin is clever: I don't see it: no one that incurious about the world is clever, and it is not just her background. My students come from the same background, and plenty of them have plenty of intellectual curiousity.) It tells us that one of them got educated -- actually educated -- and one of them did the least she could, skated by, and will continue to do the least she can. She's that flashy student who thinks if she puts the essay in a pretty binder it will disguise the fact that she spent exactly three hours of the past three weeks working on it, and none of those hours involved research or proof-reading.

I'm shutting up on Palin now. I swear.


tonkelu said...

I'm not. Read this little little nugget of joy? They make a fair point.

radh said...

Is it political correct to gang up on the intellectual challenged?

And what has Ms Clinton·s conduct recently done for feminism?

I could not care less about Palin or the Republican party, am actually all for Obama, but how can every blogger in the universe know Palin inside out, when 99,99% of us all had not even an idea of her existence just a few weeks ago?

The Obama·s connection to a lying or idiotic religious maniac is no problem for you?

Their cozy feeling towards rapist and political idiot (de Antonio· s verdict on Weather) Ayers and saintly off the pigs Dhorn a sign of even common sense?

delagar said...

I'm sorry, radh: what?

Sarasvati Fautheree said...

Yo delagar--

Now we know. People read your blog, and then comment on it, when they're drunk, stoned, or perhaps engaged in an alternate-language universe.

To wit--I don't get radh's post either. Not because I'm a total idiot (I don't think), but more because...yo...context? Sentence structure? Maybe a few, you know, transitions? WTF?

Anywho, Dela--where can I get one of those pins? I want!

delagar said...

I bought it off one of those sidebar sites...I think on Pandagon? Maybe Atrios? One of those Get Your Obama Buttons here. It had a billion different sort of Obama buttons for sale. mr. delagar got a Moogers for Obama, that's how many different kinds there were.

Anonymous said...

The "___ for Obama" 'special interest buttons' come from! :-)