I read and grade papers for a living. While I was recently compelled to poke a hole in my eardrum with a mechanical pencil when I read the 9,543rd paper on “why bow hunting rocks,” for the most part, my job has its perks: a great schedule, lots of autonomy, and an office door that locks.
One of the non-contractual perks, though, is cackling at student errors. If you are one of my students and are reading this right now, rest assured I would never chuckle at *you*–no you are all that is triumphant luminosity and startling genius; it’s all the others to whom I’m referring. Most certainly, you would *never* struggle with subject/verb agreement or rely on spellcheck over what your human instincts might tell you.
I used to keep a comprehensive list of these nuggets, but then, after the time a student wrote an essay, quite tearily, about how her family had just buried her grandmother with the things most important to her–her Peekapoo (euthanized) and her bingo dauber–my spirit for list-keeping sagged like K-Fed’s Calvins.
Nowadays, I keep a casual Hall of Homonymic Fame jotted down onto my gradebook:
“I hate it when they put someone up on a pedal stool.”
“Chris found a rancid note, asking for a thousand dollars, or his hamster would be killed.”
“The mother had many paternal feelings for her child.”
“The veranda rights suck.”
“All my life, I’ve wanted to attend the Super Bowel.”
“Americans have no work ethnic at all.”
The jokes make themselves, really, don’t they? In fact, my reactions to these errors morph into a kind of sound-alike story problem: “If we put the kidnappers up on a stool and then pumped them up really high, how many stench-filled threats could they throw down? And if your mother is both a cop and a tranny, how many hours does it take her to gently cuff the perps while also serving them mint juleps? Further, if we add in one person worshipping at a colon, can we then arrive at a country that has built itself on the backs of its working ethnics?”
Today, however, I had to reorder the trophies on the Hall of Fame shelf, clearing a space in the center for this one:
“Victoria’s Secrete hasn’t done this country any good.”
Hmmmm. I dare venture the opinion that many, many people are grateful for Victoria’s secretions, even now, in cold and flu season.
As I ponder the possibility of models, doing the slinky walk and oozing from all orifices, even those covered by their million-dollar lingerie, all I know is that I’ll take reading error-littered student work anyday over a job as the mop-up guy after Vickie’s televised runway show.
As I return now to my grading, I find myself