Tag Archives: Norton Anthology

“Some feel that college is not nectary.”

Well, simply, we must insist that students TURN OFF “autocorrect” in Word. They moan and groan about the autocorrect feature on their phones but don’t seem to realize the same zaniness can creep into a Word document on their computers.

My student was writing on the question of whether college is “for” everyone, a question governing a group of readings in their comp textbook. And all he had meant to type here, in what was, I confess, a rough draft, was “Some feel that college is not necessary.” (I try not to write about rough-draft bloopers; I don’t feel the mistake actually qualifies as an “error” until it has passed the student’s final proofreading. But my student had printed out his draft for us to discuss, and we both laughed at this, once he’d noticed it. We both felt it should go into the blog.)

Then together we tried to imagine a nectary college. Would it be sweet? Drippy? Sticky?

One possibility we didn’t think of: attractive to BEES? But sure enough, when I got to my next class, there looping around students’ legs and bookbags, soaring into the overhead lights, swooping past our heads, was a bee.

Well, actually it was a yellowjacket. October is the month when they start buzzing around looking for a fight.

I try to live and let live, but I’m allergic, and half the class was making little panic noises, and everyone was watching that son-of-a-bee (wasp…yellowjacket). Not the greatest way to talk about Everyman, with everyone in the throes of attention deficit.

One of my guys picked up his Norton Anthology (all five hundred pounds of it), declared, “I’m Beowulf,” and went after the bug. Got it, too. General applause.

As we settled back into our seats and the lesson, he commented, “Well, glad to know I haven’t been lugging that thing around for nothing.”

There were no traces of nectar on the book.