How bad phrasing creates a perpetual student

This morning’s paper brought news of a new scholarship at my university.

It’s a “four-year renewable scholarship.” Yep. That’s what it said: a “four-year renewable scholarship.”

After pondering that possibility, I’ve decided that such a scholarship would no doubt attract many students but probably wouldn’t help graduation rates.

This monologue keeps running through my head:

“Great news, Ma! They renewed my scholarship again!

“No, Ma. I’m not graduating. My scholarship will let me stay for four more years. Four more years!

“No, Ma, I’m not at a presidential rally. Yes, Ma, I know I started college in 1988. Yes, I know I’ve switched majors 14 times. I know I’m 42 years old.

“Oh, Ma. Not that technicality thing again. Yes, I know there’s a difference between a ‘four-year renewable scholarship’ and a ‘scholarship renewable for up to four years.’ You bring that up every time we talk.

“What do you mean what am I going to do with my life? Ma, I’m learning something new every day. I’m captain of the Frisbee team. I have my own carrel in the library. I get cheap tickets to basketball games!

“What’s that, Ma? You say you saw me on TV? Wasn’t that great? The guys in the dorm needed somebody to paint an ‘S’ on his chest and stand in the front row. I know I don’t look so good without a shirt when they zoom in on me on TV, but …

“Yes, yes. Job, job, blah, blah, blah.

“No, Ma. You misunderstood. I said, ‘Ma, Ma, Ma,’ not ‘blah, blah, blah.’

“Mom? Mom?

“(Sigh.) Ooh, look what Blotto just tweeted to me.”

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...