Eats, Shoots and Leaves

A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

“Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

“I’m a panda,” he says at the door. “Look it up.”

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”

This joke is from a book aptly titled, Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss. I, like Gloria, have picked up reading for fun this summer. I forgot how much I enjoy it!

Eats, Shoots and Leaves, a #1 New York Times bestseller, is, in fact, a book about grammar. And yes, you heard correctly, I am reading it for fun. I am one of those rare people out there: an an adverb advocate, a grammar stickler, a word nerd. But since I am getting a degree in English, it is rather fitting.

As it turns out, it is actually a very funny book (fyi, you don’t have to like grammar to like the book), so I can pull double duty by keeping myself entertained and by keeping my brain sharp.  This is very important during the summer – especially now, with many of you freshly graduated and about to embark to a university. In high school, you have about a week of class where you don’t really do anything and it’s okay if you don’t have your books or supplies. In college, you don’t have this time to roll leisurely back into your routine; once classes start, you better be ready to move. Since classes are only a semester (sometimes only half a semester!) long, they pick up very quickly.

I encourage all of you to do little things throughout the summer to help keep your brain activated. You can read, play typing games (which you’ll appreciate next time you’re up at 2:00AM with three pages left to write!), or – my favorite – write. Even if you just start texting in “long form”  (ditch the “u” and “r” for “you” and “are”), you can keep yourself from falling into bad habits.

So by all means, enjoy your summer! Take a break! Put your feet up! Just keep in mind that summers tend to fly by all too quickly, and before you know it, it will be time to charge up your brain for another year.


One response

  1. Audra S.

    LIKE, LIKE, LIKE—-anything involving grammar is a PLUS!!! (I know that my response has to completely take you by surprise, right?) Good to see all that advanced sophomore grammar cultivated a healthy appreciation for it in your young adulthood! 🙂

    June 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm

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