Dear Superior Person

Oh, great one...

My son is in seventh grade, and his teacher is trying to ruin him as a writer. The class is writing personal narratives that must include dialogue, and she's told them that the word "said" is boring and that they are allowed to use it only once per paper. You can imagine the ludicrous-sounding results. There are other atrocities, too, but this one in particular has my blood boiling. I feel that I need to set her straight before she spawns a whole generation of awful writers. If you were in my shoes, what would you show her/tell her?

Yours,

Trying to Save the World from "Avowed"

"Ha ha ha!" chortled the Rejectionist delightedly, as she industriously perused her day's emails vigorously. "Here, in a week replete with terrible news, is a little ray of sunlight provided to us by a beloved Author-friend!" Bemusedly, the Rejectionist gazed about her, as she meditatively patted her computer in a contemplative manner. "Indeed," she thought aloud thoughtfully, "one must have a certain SYMPATHY for this poor teacher, who has VOLUNTARILY ELECTED to dedicate her life to EDUCATING SEVENTH-GRADERS, a fate that to a lesser mortal might resemble one of the proverbial circles of Hell! In fact," the Rejectionist ruminated persipicaciously, "we can remember our OWN fifth-grade teacher, the otherwise redoubtable Mr. Wirsching, demanding of us a literally identical writing exercise! Perhaps it was out of some well-intentioned but misguided effort to increase our vocabulary, or elevate our spelling skills; but it's true that ridding ourself of that duplicitous bedfellow the Adverb has been a lifelong struggle!" The Rejectionist sleepily yawned cavernously and leisurely stretched her arms over her head inelegantly. "Adverbs are like office mice," she murmured benignly. "One of them can be charming, but a whole roomful is positively verminous!" The Rejectionist happily leaped to her feet enthusiastically and cheerfully performed several calisthenic exercises briskly. "Whatever shall I tell this poor lady, Lola Pants?" she enquired curiously of her beloved pet. "Tell her to send me more tuna," irritably snapped Lola Pants imperiously. "Indeed, dear creature," avowed the Rejectionist amusedly, "a pleasing snack shall never go amiss in desperate times."

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