We’ve just rounded 4 weeks in the writing program, and I’m dumfounded how little time I have for writing. Are you shocked? I am. Naïve? Sure, I’ll cop that.
Then again, I guess first year medical students don’t spend their first month of the MBBS program doing heart surgery or sewing on fingers. They begin with physiology, biochemistry, anatomy. Their first touch of a human body is cold, the patient’s flesh pickled with formaldehyde and glistening grey under fluorescent light. The body before them is docile and forgiving when they approach with clumsy latex hands and a sweaty top lip.
And I presume the same is true of the written word: our teachers don’t want to let the fumbly first years get stuck into some serious writing until we know its ass from its elbow.
They have let us get stuck in with scalpels and begin to dissect sentences and learn their technical names and uses. (Scalpels makes it sound more exciting than it actually is. It’s about as fun as alphabetising the dairy goods in your fridge.)
The first thing I learned was how inadequate my education has been. Perhaps that is a slight exaggeration, but it was rather funny to think I’ve completed an honours degree in humanities, had a management career in a university, and here I am scoring 3 out of 15 on my basic grammar test. Shazam!
I’m what’s called a ‘fixer-upper’. And that, my friends, is an ADJECTIVE.
How do you fare in your grammatical knowledge? Do you know your shit, or are you just shit?