A Tale Made of Scraps.

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Today I woke up thinking on a piece I wrote almost eight years ago during my freshman year at the Teaching Institute (I just found out I don’t know how to say such a simple and daily expression as “profesorado de inglés”!). Anyway! It was an assignment for the Phonetics  I class. We had been working with the fricative counterparts in words like “she” and “pleasure” and the professor had given us a list of words and phrases that inlcuded those sounds to practise transcription. She  challenged us to use them in a story so as to encourage us to practise more.

As it has happended to me so many times, when the due day came, I felt much embarrassed because I was the only one who had used them all and almost everybody was giving me that pejorative, exasperated look  to immediately shut me out of their conversations. I handed it in anyway, innerly feeling very proud of my achievement as much as cast out. I couldn’t help  expecting some show of acknowledgement on the part of my professor, but, when I got it back,  the only thing that was written on the paper was a “watch out grammar” on the orthographic version and an “OK” below the transcription.

Ah! I was certainly disappointed! Because I had thought myself such a whizz! But she was right on the grammar, no doubt! I look at it now (being such an organized freak has payed back at last because I could find it among ALL my papers and binders in less than five minutes) and it sucks! On my behalf I’ll say that I had passed the entrance exam to faculty just with the English I had learnt as a teenager (twenty years before that time) and most of my vocabulary I had acquired it by reading (as I still do) — I don’t want to let the opportunity pass (one never knows who might read this) without thanking publicly to who would afterwards be my Methodology and Didactics I Professor, Gabriel Díaz Maggioli,  for letting me enter the faculty in spite of my obvious shortcomings.

So,  I read it again and all things considered, I still think I was as clever as hell when I could string together such dissimilar expressions. I re-typed it and made an excruciating effort not to edit it in anyway. I just changed a little the paragraphs layout because it seems that in those days I couldn’t stand a paragraph with more that one sentence in it, HA! I highlighted the expressions in question in blue. I obviously corrected the grammar mistakes the professor pointed at, but there could be more, no doubt, as there will be in this very post which I’ll re-write again and again in my head and edit many times more.

What do you think of it?

AN EXERCISE ON ENGLISH PHONETICS

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