Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Am Fixed To A (Grammar) Star...

Obstacles cannot crush me, every obstacle yields to stern resolve. He who is fixed to a star does not change his mind. ~ Da Vinci

Where did that poster come from? You probably have already guessed. While at Sias, in Henan Province, China, I taught Business courses for the university. On weekends, I tutored Chinese students in Oral English. Not English grammar. In the small room we met in, off a dirty side street, motivational posters hung on the walls. Within those walls, young Chinese students labored to learn English as a second language. Trust me, learning to speak English is a physical as well as mental challenge for them. Our language requires verbal contortions that Chinese does not. As you can see by the poster, it was a work in progress. Go ahead and smile at the Chinglish...

I like the poster for several reasons. Look at it again. There is the Chinglish--that always cracks me up. There is the rappelling--I have never passed on an opportunity to rappel. It speaks to risk, strength, and trust. Anyone who has leaned back over the edge of the cliff will tell you--there is an adrenaline rush from the risk. Gripping a double rope with one hand above your head and a single rope near your hip--is a test of strength. Trust is huge--will the anchor point at the top hold, and will the person on belay--someone at the bottom of the fall standing by at the ready to pull apart the ropes--stop your descent should something go wrong.

That's all really cool and insightful! Right?

Mostly it is symbolic of my struggle with the proper use of punctuation, spelling, homophones, synonyms, antonyms, and contranyms, but it is an obstacle that cannot crush me! Every obstacle will yield to my stern resolve, because Sandy is done teaching at Columbus High School, and I am fixed to my (grammar) star. She will continue to help me write and revise until I, too, am a grammarian.

So friends, in the meantime, as you follow my posts: Please enjoy the pain which is unable to avoid!

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill Shorey

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