About Me

undergrad RN
I'm a twenty-something Canadian student. After stumbling through a few years of college, I finally managed to get into the nursing school of my dreams, where I hope to graduate in 2012 with a nursing baccalaureate degree. I want to offer an honest look into how a modern nurse is educated, both good and bad. Eventually I hope to compare my education to my day-to-day career and see how it holds up. Whatever happens, it should be somewhat entertaining. Find me on allnurses.com!
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Monday, September 8, 2008

A day of grammatical proportions

Today, I am feeling like a student nurse. Although this semester we are only covering theory (no clinicals), I got a glimpse of Pressure - with a capital P.

The morning class was great. Maybe it was the fact that I remembered my coffee this morning, but I just loved how it went. We started out doing some "forced fun" with the instructor asking us yes or no questions and having those choosing yes or no move to opposite sides of the room. It was a nice way to break the ice with my neighbors as a few of us kept choosing the same response. She then put up a few sticky notes around the room with activities on them like biking, reading, listening to music, hanging out with friends, etc and asked us to move to the sticky note that we preferred the most. I chose reading, as did a few other people. She then used the sticky note groups as a platform for assigning our project groups. Let me tell you, I have been in (more than) a few unpleasant groups in college so far and this was the best way of choosing cohesive groups that I have ever experienced. There are 4 of us and it appears that we all have the same effort level and we were all keen to get the project going. I am SO relieved. More than once, it has been me pulling the lion's share because I just can't sit around until the last day to get it done. We also had to come up with a group name - so we called ourselves the Four-ceps. Our presentation is the first of 10; we present on Sept. 22! The dates range between then and Dec. 1. I'm glad we go first because we can get it out of the way and it's sorta smooth sailing after that.

During my break before Anatomy, I went to pick up another 2 of the books I need this semester - Essay Writing for Canadian Students and Health in Canada (which, oddly, does not exist anywhere on the internet, even on the publisher's own website. Hmm). Anyway, except for one more used book that I will secure soon, I am finally done buying books and I'd say that the grand total is just under $1000 for 12 books. 

Anatomy was CRAZY. Everything about it was CRAZY. I mean, I really like biology and I excelled in senior biology, but I just about had my head 'asplode all over the lecture hall. My prof has a Ph.D. in some science field and he is definitely smart and knowledgeable. He is also incredibly enthusiastic. He's talking about epithelial cells, and then about cancer, and then about reproduction and cilia, and back to epithelial cells again, and he changes the powerpoint slides all over the place along with his train of thought. Add this with his heavy Indian accent and the unfamiliar pronunciations he uses, and you have one very confused undergrad RN. The lecture was 3 hours long and I was writing like a madhouse the whole time. Thank God the class is only one day a week. I need the rest of the week to recover.

Finally, I had English for my last class today with the prof who says everything in a quiet ramble in her thick accent and everyone in my row had no idea what points she was trying to make. We launched into a dissection of last week's reading, which was a short essay on the challenges of living independently. No one could quite follow what she wanted us to tell her. It was awkward and unpleasant. She used a lot of terminology that I haven't used since high school - which is fine, given that we all have used it at some point but it would have been a lot more effective to give even a brief review first. She asked who in the class felt competent with grammar and I put up my hand - the only one, apparently. (Don't take this to heart and start combing my posts for grammatical inconsistencies. In my blogging I write for pleasure, not accuracy!) She, apparently, took this to mean that I consider myself infallible and kept calling on me for the Final Answer on each part of an exercise that we did. It was kind of embarrassing, but I was also kind of up for it as I do consider myself to have a good 'ear' for modern writing.

Anyway, we now come to the title of this post: one question on the exercise had her and me disputing the accurate word choice. I welcome any input from you on the correct wording(s) of the following: 

"Each girl and her escort have their own room in the hotel."

Now, aside from the obvious risqué innuendo of this particular problem, I see it as a sentence that has two interpretations: 
1) The girl and her escort are both staying the same room, and therefore each set of girl+escort has their own room in the hotel; and
2) The girl and her escort are staying in separate rooms, and therefore each girl and each escort has his or her own room.

I brought this conundrum to the attention of the professor who assured me, beyond all shadow of doubt and through quiet mumblings referencing "rules" that I could not follow, that option #2 was the only correct answer. When I pressed her for the reason why, her response was that it was the correct answer in the textbook.

Well, pardon me.

I've seen more than a few textbooks with errors. I know from writing experience that it is easy to see an ambiguous sentence as only having the meaning I intended it to have. But I am pretty sure that I am right in that the sentence can be interpreted, and correctly worded, both ways.

I welcome your opinions! This problem has been buzzing in my ear ever since I first read it.

Otherwise, today was great! Great, great, great.


WardBunny said...

Now I would never have considered 2. My first reading only came up with 1. Of course my grasp of English is poor at best.

Nice way of arranging groups. There was me thinking that I had come across all of them.

cellar_door said...

I would have read it either way, but then my knowledge of grammatical rules doesn't extend beyond their/there/they...

Is the english compulsary? We don't have that at my uni, don't know whether that's a good thing...

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Thanks for your thoughts :)