Saturday, September 15, 2007

Transformational Grammar and the Mother Tongue

I was looking at student work for a composition class when my daughter brought a sanitized Cinderella and sat beside me in the recliner for a reading. When a child comes with a book request, it takes precedence, for here is English hunger and English learning: exposure to edited writing with good syntax, correct spelling, grammar, and mechanics. Here's a text that takes a reader satisfyingly from beginning to end. And it's a good story, too. Beyond that, there is the human connection of live people experiencing writing together--and even synchronously.

But here's what I wonder after this reading: how did the mice feel to become mice again after being horses? Cursed with a longing for power that would not be restored because they could not produce the magic horse-shoes as proof that they were the thoroughbreds all had desired? Or relieved, that they were no longer geldings with harnesses and insatiable hunger?


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