Facebook is Not a Test
Bear with me. I’m a kid in a toy shop, with vast unlimited games at hand. You see, what I play with is words. It’s an addiction, I’m afraid, and it started a long time ago, when I was about five or six. Being the fourth of nine kids, I was always up for a little attention, not all of it of the positive nature. Therefore, I was frequently under the parental magnifying glass, especially in the car.
I found solace in books. I could bury my entire self within the book covers of Little Men, or The Swiss Family Robinson, or Jules Verne’s The Mysterious Island. My trainers found me more manageable, all through the power of words. Arranged in certain orders, words transported me to a world of unimaginable heights. And it didn’t cost a dime.
As I went through high school, I found that the rules of the English language seemed as easy to acquire to me as rules of baseball, only a few more. There were unlimited games I could find within the English language, to make a 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle. seem like a knock-knock joke. The trick was to convey my enthusiasm for the mechanics of language to students, just as I conveyed my enthusiasm for baseball.
I mean, I could post the scores of each of the games of the 2002 World Series, on front and back windows of my classroom (facing outward, of course) and everyone got so into it. At least that was my perception. After all, I could have had signs reminding them that it was pick-up-after-you-eat, or eat-in-the-MPR, by order of KT. They seemed to like the baseball messages a little more.
Now I have discovered face-book, which to me is the best of all worlds. Words abound! They’re everywhere, and I am now a part of it all. I can carry on a conversation with Erin, overseas, as casually as texting. I can convey information at the click of a key, and move on to the next thing. I know this is all old news to you, but it’s still sparklers and bottle rockets for me.
If I were going to try and pinpoint the most significant feature of Facebook, it is that I have a time capsule in the form of my brain, which has thousands of hours of film footage from the hours I spent with so many of you. I have a tricky memory, in that I can remember the names and faces of everyone of my first homeroom, and most from that point onward, even though I may struggle with what you told me last Tuesday.
And now that I have access to Facebook, I see how the transformation has occurred, from thirteen-year-olds to adults. I see how time has shaped and molded these individuals into what they have become, and see that they are as tight-knit now as they were when they were in school. Words are the tool and no one worries that writing is such a pain, and we’d rather do anything than write.
Are there spelling mistakes on Facebook? Errors in usage? Is there always subject/verb agreement? I wouldn’t know. As I told Sabrina, I am deprogrammed to notice these things. I don’t know how it happened, but anyone who thinks that I am going to look down my nose, at someone who reaches out with words, because he or she has the unmitigated gall to misspell a word, had better think again. As I said to Annie, “I spent sixteen years editing these guys’ writing; now let me just coast, please.”
And Annie monitors my tech progress, attempting to ride the roller coaster that is me, as I continue to clamber up onto the crest of the 21st century, instead of being towed along behind, like a dingy behind a yacht. What I lack in knowledge or efficiency, I make up for in enthusiasm and diligence. It will take a while to get completely in synch with the whole process, but I am having the time of my life.
Just remember, if I post the same photo twice, or accidentally click like on my own stuff, just chalk it up to inexperience, and we’ll call it a draw on any minor irregularities when it comes to the English language. After all, I know you know the rules; I taught them to you. But this isn’t a test and we don’t need any number two pencils, just a desire to reach out and say, “Howdy.”