Saturday, December 5, 2009

What Color WAS the Rose?........

My brother called me this afternoon just as the gymnastics Sneak Peek event was beginning. We normally only talk on the phone a couple of times a year, on his birthday and on mine (when he remembers). He doesn't typically call for trivial reasons, so I called him right back.

It seems his daughter, whom we lovingly (ahem) refer to as Precious Emma, brought home a note from the teacher last week.

It said, and I quote, "Emma has rose 7 levels!"

Excuse me?

At first it was funny.

It was funny that my brother was appalled enough by it that he called me.

My brother, while just as intelligent as the rest of us in the family (I don't know where we got the smart gene, but we all did), got his GED at a correctional facility. [He got the highest score ever, so he likes to claim that he was valedictorian of his class.] He has the smarts, just not necessarily the formal education.

And this is an educated professional. Who probably makes a lot more money than my brother. [Why do we always say that, as if money truly is a measure of a person's intelligence?] An educated person who should have a firm grasp on irregular verbs and their past participles.

What the hell can she possibly be teaching the rest of the first graders, those who don't come from smart families and who haven't ROSE seven levels?

[By the way, there are different levels of "smart". My brother has a daughter and a grandson in the same first grade class.]

The more I've thought about it, the angrier I've gotten. I probably shouldn't let my blood pressure get out of hand over this issue, but it has definitely ROSE.

Brother said he was tempted to correct the note and send it back to the teacher, but he didn't want it to negatively impact Precious Emma.

I have considered sending an anonymous letter to the principal. [I'm all about sending anonymous letters. I'm also considering sending one to someone at the gymnastics office, asking them NEVER to let a certain assistant coach speak into a microphone again. People all around me were wincing and putting their fingers in their ears.]

I've also considered a NOT-anonymous letter to the teacher, but not identifying whose relative I am. We don't have the same last name, but I'm sure she could figure out the connection. Unless everyone in her first grade class has also ROSE several levels.

I readily acknowledge that I'm a grammar snob, and I've been one from way back. It doesn't have anything to do with my being an English teacher; it started back in my teen years. I'm fairly tolerant of most people when it comes to the English language. I've even made mistakes myself, like last week when I sent the ingredients for wild rice-broccoli soup to Lawanda the Warrior Princess and included Cream of Chucken Soup on the list.

I'm very INtolerant, however, of educators who either A) don't know; or B) don't use correct English grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax.

Particularly those who are teaching my family members. No matter how precious they are.

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