Saturday, December 5, 2009

Story #10 Why I am grammar impaired.

Before my next story I have to mention something that cracked me up. I was driving Kristen to dance, she was sitting up front and started moving her foot in all different directions. I thought maybe she was "warming up" for dance when she said, "Look, when I move my foot like this it looks like I have cankles." Who would get excited about having cankles? (For the uninformed, a cankle is when a woman's ankle is about the same size as her calf muscle...not a desired look.)

On to story #10 - there will be some major doubling up on stories - I am behind!

While I was attending BYU I worked as a receptionist for Stephen Covey. I had to be at work a little before 7 every morning, which is painful for a co-ed with a fun social life. I would rush home around noon, eat lunch and head to my first class of the day....Grammar, with Professor Skousen at 1:00pm. Professor Skousen, although brilliant, never felt it necessary to change the tone or speed of his voice at anytime - EVER. That on top of not enough sleep, just having eaten lunch, and...hello...the topic is grammar...woo hoo let's diagram sentences.....led to me falling asleep in class.......every class.

This also happened to be a class where the grade was based on only 2 things: the midterm and the final exam. You may be shocked to hear that I received a D on the midterm. There was no text book for this class - only the information we received from his scintillating lectures and our fabulous notes. My notes consisted of about two lines per class and drool - not helpful.

Although not the best student in college - a D was pretty shocking. I was determined to do better. I decided that I needed to sit in the front row for every class and take furious notes. So my first class after the midterm I arrived a few minutes earlier and sat right up front. I had my freshly sharpened pencil ready to go, but then he started talking and...well, I'm an auditory learner, for whom vocal inflections are important...I started feeling my head droop. It was some kind of hypnotic effect that I could not resist - his mouth opened and my eyes closed. I decided if I folded my arms instead of resting my chin in my hand, I would be unable to fall asleep. Just so you know for your own use...this is not effective. I discovered this when I suddenly awoke falling out of my chair onto the floor. I WAS MORTIFIED. Not just because I was wearing a skirt and I had just fallen out of my chair in the front row of a class of 100+ students - but because the professor actually knew who I was. "Am I a little boring today, Miss Olivier?" I scrambled into my chair and had enough adrenaline coursing through my veins to keep me awake for days. Ironically, when he asked if he was boring he used more vocal inflections then I had ever heard him use before. Maybe he was a very interesting person, but grammar bored him, too.

A side note to this story. When my parents were visiting my Mom wanted to come to class with me. I told her that grammar was really boring and to skip that one. "Oh no," she said, "I love grammar." Within minutes of class starting, I could hear her gentle snore.


Jill said...

Maybe cankles are amusing to young teens with perfect bodies, not so much for those who've had them.

This story is so funny! Oh my gosh, falling out of your chair in front of everyone, that's so classic. I did a whole lot of glazed learning while at BYU and am sure I missed A LOT of actual instruction. It's so hard to stay awake when a teacher is boring like that.

Tricia said...

haha!! at least you have a good excuse! i'm just horrible at grammar and that's all there is to it.

Tara and Dan said...

Best story EVER!!

michelle said...

No! You actually fell out of your chair?! That is mortifying. But your last paragraph was just classic.

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