I was not a very good student in high school. Much to the surprise of nearly everyone, I was graduated. In the top 70 of my class. Of course, there were only 72 students that were graduated back then but I’ll take whatever positive notion that fits the moment.
One of my favorite classes in high school was English. Not because I loved English but because English didn’t take much effort to get a passing grade.
For example, one English teacher gave us a vocabulary test every week.
20 words. Week after week after week.
The grade was divided into three parts. One third for spelling the word correctly. One third for using the word in a sentence correctly. And one third for writing out the word’s definition correctly.
As the best male speller, I always spelled the words correctly, and I had a knack for using the words in a sentence.
That alone got me a D.
Then I would cobble together three or four definitions, leave the rest of the definitions blank, and that got me a grade of 70-percent or more.
An easy C.
Of course, that methodology, repeated week after week, infuriated Mrs. Giltner, my English teacher.
How can you use a word in a sentence and not know the definition?
It’s a gift.
Other students would struggle to write proper definitions while all I wanted was an easy C.