Sunday, December 06, 2009

Blogging when words take more work than usual

Apparently our modem is sick. We have had inconsistent internet for several weeks and today we have none. So I am blogging from my iPhone. It is not ideal although maybe my Ityping will improve.

At almost the same time that I am writing this I am marking assignments. The frustrations of typing on my phone remind me that many of my students write English with difficulty. For them each assignment is a risk. They know that their writing is imperfect and that their work, however hard they work, is unlikely to make them look good. Yet they want their diplomas and they write their assignments.

Of course I struggle with reading and marking their mangled phrasing and hesitant paragraphs. But I also respect the courage it takes to put something in writing when you know the effort will reveal and make permanent your imperfect grasp of what others take for granted. It is hard to work when language is distorted and thoughts cannot be precise.

If my students cannot always proofread long enough or well enough I think I understand. It is hard to stare unflinching at our errors.

I could forgive them. But language won't.

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