I saw this written on a bathroom stall at the university a few days ago, the first time I've seen any bathroom graffiti at the university, come to think of it. Is it a racist message, preaching English for the official language? I'm leaning towards it being sarcasm from someone whose first language isn't English and who is fed up with U.S. radio stations being dominated by songs with English lyrics. The scratched out 'A' seems to imply someone new to English. The reiteration of the point makes it seem like a riddle though maybe it's because the writer is used to reworking sentences like this in his or her workbook.
It reminds me of how shockingly poor I've noticed reading and listening comprehension to be among students, though. To-day I took the second test for my African Literature class and the professor made a point of telling the students, "Remember, answer the questions that I ask." I was vaguely hoping I would meet some people who did things like read Shakespeare in their spare time, just for fun. So far everyone seems like what I would have imagined junior high students would be like. I'm not completely blaming them. I talked to a really nice guy to-day who is an English major and he said he was surprised that he had classes now where the students were required to read entire books. He told me he had never encountered Shakespeare before in any class he's had.
Like me, he's a transfer student from a community college but, like most of the other students, he's much younger than me. I'd already noticed how different the standards were in my community college classes from recent years compared to when I was going fifteen years ago. I can only imagine what high school must be like.
The professors I have at the university, though, are really wonderfully competent, all of them. In particular the professor I have for pre-colonial Latin America who doesn't seem to be spending half the time obsessing over whether the students like or respect him as so many teachers do to the detriment of the subject they're teaching. He just seems genuinely enthusiastic about what he's teaching and he speaks English, Spanish, and two indigenous Mesoamerican and South American languages. He talks about archaeologist friends who show him Moche artefacts and who advance theories about possible writing systems and speculations regarding Mayan populations shifts. It's an infectious enthusiasm and suddenly I find myself wanting to read extra primary historical sources.
Twitter Sonnet #791
Treadmill ovulation derails the pan.
Unknown the drifter asks a slice of pie.
Shirley MacLaine saw Richard Conte's plan.
In time Dean Martin rigged handsome a lie.
A dainty band requests a teaspoon crowd.
A neck under an avocado hears.
Of spinning crowns the roulette pistol's proud.
Sov'reigns of brocc'li nymphs dispel your fears.
Reverse of glasses turn to blue when wet.
A fog concocts a clear and hard warbird.
Untouched the palm returns the lines to vet.
The galleons surrender swains starboard.
The too quick noodles disperse NyQuil wheat.
After-burn blemishes tell of no heat.