Five things that drive me nuts

Why is it we almost never hear the word “peeves” without the word “pet”? I’d tell you these are my pet peeves, but I’m not totally clear on just how extreme a peeve can be. Also, the words “pet” makes it seem like these are things we love to hate. I avoid aggravation, so there’s nothing here that I cultivate a dislike for. Nevertheless, here, in no particular order, are a few things I wish could be banished from the face of the earth, just because I say so.

1. Stuff on the dashboard of the car. I know, I know, this seems awfully petty, but even one item on the dash to be reflected in the window as I drive is too many for me.

2. People who don’t know how to listen. You know someone like this. You can tell when you’re talking with them that they are somewhere else in their heads, maybe framing the next thing they will say, or judging the quality of your shoes. They make me want to walk away mid-sentence.

3. Overuse of the word “very.” Another one that may seem silly to some, but a truth I spend some time explaining to students. I think the word works against the writer. Rarely is a point made stronger by the use of this word. It’s a filler, a stall, not an effective intensifier.

4. Errors in there/their/they’re. Trust me, this is not just an English teacher thing. One slip and your ignorance(or carelessness) is showing.

5. Unattainable goals. Today we reviewed our school’s improvement plan. Because the state says to do so, our goals for increasing scores are projected out to 2015. By that time 100% of our students will be reading and doing math at grade level. 100% of parents will attend freshman orientation. 100% of AP and IB students will pass all the exams they take. The state says we must show that as our goal, essentially making the whole document bunk. Are you laughing yet? I am, because if I don’t I might cry.

This is day three of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge.

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