Thursday, January 25, 2007

A note on absurdity...

Have you ever had one of those absurd days where you wake up late, try to brush your teeth while simultaneously pulling on a pair of socks, rush into class 10 minutes late only to find it's the wrong classroom and you've got toothpaste in your hair?

Er...yeah, me neither...

Anyway, I'm just trying to illustrate that frustrating things happen, but it's important to just laugh it off.
Because that's a lot less painful than blowing a gasket.
Especially when you discover that you read the room number wrong because you forgot to put in your contacts...

So here are a couple of absurd moments from yesterday that I share for your general amusement:

1. Elang 350. Elang 350 is a class on copyediting. It's full of editors. In other words, Type A central. So yesterday we were exploring the fascinating world of correct comma placement by working our way through a worksheet at an excruciatingly slow pace. We finally came to the last sentence which read as follows:
The portrait of the founder, that hung in the dining hall, was stolen by pranksters.
It was our job to determine if the sentence was correct, and if not, fix it. Thus ensued Great Debate #278969786:
OCD Student #1: "I would take out the commas because it's a restrictive clause and we need to know which portrait they're talking about."
OCD Student #2: "Yes, but a restrictive clause modifies its antecedent and I'm pretty sure it wasn't the founder who was adorning the wall. I would reword it to say 'the founder's portrait that hung in the dining hall...'"
OCD Student #3: "Yes, but then it sounds as if it were a portrait painted by the founder when it is actually a portrait of the founder, so we need to think of something different."
OCD Student #4: "Actually, it would technically be correct the way it stands if the commas were removed, because the founder wouldn't be hung in the dining hall, he would be hanged in the dining hall, so it's obviously referring to the portrait."
The tedious arguement was finally drowned out by the blessed ringing of the bell.
2. BYU Police Office. So we did some shuffling of cars at my house which necessitated the registering of another car for a BYU parking sticker. Since the car that wouldn't be coming to campus much anymore was registered to my little sister, we decided that she would register the other car for the hanging permit. I called the parking office to find out what we needed to do and they told me that we needed to bring in the sticker that was already on the windshield and they would trade it in for a hanging sticker.
So I drove to school, parked in a Y-Lot, picked at the sticker until it was transferred from the windshield to an indistinguishable mess in my pocket, met my sister at the parking office, filled out the necessary paperwork, received the new permit, bid my sister farewell, and returned the car only to find one of those lovely green envelopes flapping in the breeze.
It contained a curt notice telling me I was not allowed to park without a permit. I, of course, returned to the parking office to appeal the decision and met with a helpful young officer who spent 15 minutes describing his own experience as an English major before asking me why I was there. I explained the situation, pointing out that the ticket was given at the precise time we were upgrading the permit.
He waived the fine, but said he could not mark my appeal "not guilty" because "under no circumstances are BYU students allowed to park on campus without a permit."
Oh, what a world, what a world....

4 comments:

AnneGirl said...

Oh Meagie. May this semester's session of blogs be littered with tales from our 350 classes for I fear we tread amongst the neurotically insane.

I'm still laughing.

AnneGirl said...

(...after approximately half a day alone with Chicago...)

Insanely neurotic? Neurotic and insane. No comma before the conjunction. And what DO you do with the poor founder's portrait? DAHHHHHHH!

Adriane said...

Sad DAY!
But at least it was a funny sad day, right?
And I love you.
Mwaaah!

Nama said...

i dont even care about punctuation so i dont even use it i mean what did it ever do for me exactly nothing