Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Number your papers 1 through 10...




I realize that this is no fair, and that is precisely why I hesitated in posting it. But then I thought, well, wouldn't people expect me to earn a 100% on a spelling test? It's funny because, as you probably know, there are actually no spelling classes for English majors in college (or in graduate school, I can attest). But my students believe that I should spell every word perfectly, know every definition in the dictionary, and explain each word's part of speech without referring to the context of the sentence. When I tell them that there are no classes for those subjects, they are taken aback. "But how do you learn that stuff to be an English teacher?" they want to know. Well, kids, it's a little thing called responsibility. Before I was ever a teacher, spelling, vocabulary, and grammar (and reading, and writing, and music, and...) were all important to me, so, like most of you probably did, I took responsibility for my education and looked up the answers to my curious questions (and watched a whole lot of School House Rock). I know that is a ridiculous theory to accept, but when I was in school, we actually didn't blame our schools, our teachers, our parents, or our society for our intellectual gaps; we blamed (gasp!) ourselves. So, I guess I should be proud that I am a pretty good speller, because I have always been interested in correct spelling, especially since no one ever knew how to spell my first or last names correctly when I was growing up. I suppose that is why I became more conscious of the importance of accurate spelling when I often was referred to on papers, programs, and yearbooks as "Kristen," "Christine," "Christian," "Kristina," or my favorite--in the newspaper, no less--"Krisitian." Maybe instead of blaming my parents, I should thank them for my name because I became acutely aware of all of the spelling possibilities in the world as a result. Who knows; if they had named me Jane, maybe I would be walking through life with spelling apathy.

Disclaimer: I am quite aware that many people are not good spellers, and many of those "not-good spellers" are very intelligent people. I actually think that many people who don't spell well have extremely creative minds. Supposedly, Einstein was dyslexic and therefore had lots of spelling difficulties. My own dad, one of the smartest people I will ever meet, once sent me a care package which listed "chocklat" as one of the contents. So I hope my comments were read with the appropriate amount of sarcasm intended.

But Wait! There's more! Now, you know you want to take the above quiz and report your score back to us in the comments link. I promise that I will not: a) judge you, b) laugh at you, or c) put any red marks on your paper. And I also promise that, whatever your score, I have seen (much!) lower. Come on; it's fun!

Now, I have to climb down off of this metaphoric soap box and go do something intellectual....like watch "Conjunction Junction" for the millionth time. Sing it with me: "Conjunction junction, what's your function...."

P.S. Wanna know my two biggest spelling pet peeves as a teacher? 1) A lot. Two words, people! 2) Definitely. Most of my students spell it defanitely or definately. But they also confuse the spelling with defiantly. One of my scholars once wrote, "I am defiantly smarter than most kids my age." Hmmm...if you say so. :)

13 comments:

Anderson Family said...

I got a 93%, and that is with a chemo brain. Not too shabby!

Lisa said...

I can't bring myself to report my score here on your site of all places. Terrible. There must have been a big mistake. Anyway, on to more important things like The Bachelorette! How could she not pick the guy with the kid? That girl is too practical to pick a snowboarder with long hair. Jeremy reminded me of those boys that always liked me - nice but a little too uptight. :-)

Lisa said...

A follow up to completely confuse your other readers:

Okay, so maybe the guys that liked me did not have that "rockin'" of a body. Now that I think of it, I'm quite sure they did not. And why was "rockin bod" not on that spelling test? I never got to watch the end of the Tell All show because of the Diego interruption. I better go watch the end of that now and will give you a full report on what I think of the V guy tomorrow. I know you are on pins and needles!

Gemma said...

Like daughter-in-law, like mother-in-law! I, too, got 100%! Spelling is also one of my "things." I actually proofread all my comments to blogs before posting, in hopes of catching any typos or misspellings. I will look up a word in the dictionary before posting if I am not sure of the spelling. Sick, eh?

p.s. I have been addressed as "Suzanne" more times than I wish to count. :)

Bionic Woman said...

Hi. Small world. I just created this account and I was looking through people from Delaware and I saw your picture. I don't want to give my last name on a public site, but it's Sarah and I was a student of yours and I was also in the newspaper. I don't know if Dr. Karcha told you about the truck accident I was in, but since I saw your picture, I wanted to say hi. Hopefully you will remember who I am.

Kelly said...

93%. I figured as much. I am sortof a stickler for spelling and grammar and certainly proofread my emails and comments, just like Gemma. But there are words I struggle with, and they were in the quiz! (One "R" or two in occurrance?) I am a visual person, so when I have to spell out loud, you will see me air-writing it with my imaginary pen to accomplish the task.

Kristin said...

Kelly...I totally air-write! That got me through many a spelling bee. :)

And Sarah, of course I remember you! I didn't know about your accident, but I hope you are okay. Thanks for saying "hi."

Bionic Woman said...

I ran into Dr. Karcha and told him and he said he would tell you, sometime in April.

My fiance and I were driving home from a friend's house the late night/early morning after Christmas in 2006; I was 23, he was 33. I was told it was foggy that night and a traitor trailer pulled out in front of us. My fiance's truck went under the trailer and my fiance (we were friend for 9 years, together for 5) was killed. I don't remember anything because I sustained a brain injury. I was in a coma for 3 weeks. I broke both my arms in many places; I have metal plates in my arms now). Large laceration on my scalp (from ear to ear), and torn ACL/PCL in my left knee.

Good Bye.

Anderson Family said...

That song you have playing, "This Woman's Work" brought me back to the 80's! I remember that song being played in "She's Having A Baby", a movie with Kevin Bacon and the song is played while his wife is being rushed to surgery and it's one of those tear-jerker moments where you don't know who is going to make it, the mom or the baby. Good song.

Kristin said...

Sarah, I would have commented on your page, but you don't have a comment link set up. Anyway, I am terribly sorry to hear about your accident, your injuries, and of course, the loss of your fiance'. You have certainly endured your share of difficulties since I last saw you. But what a blessing that you survived all of your injuries, and I hope that in time, your heart will heal as well.

Kristin said...

Okay, I didn't do as good as you, but I got a 93%. That's not bad, right? :)

Peanuts and Pumpkins said...

Hi, er... um... I'm not going to share my score. I'm a really terrible speller. Everyone in my family makes fun of me. I always doubt myself with easy words. They just don't "look" right sometimes, ya know? :) Anyway, I did not do well. Thanks for that self-esteem booster! Yeay spelling.

Anonymous said...

I am so bummed out, I only scored a 93%, and I know which one I got wrong. Spelling and math are my thing,so I am pretty upset! I can admit I got it wrong because I was taking it with a one year old on my lap, and she thinks the computer is quite a lot of fun. I guess I learned to never take a test with a baby in hand.
Kristen