When I was in grammar class, I saw the mark "Syn" all over my papers. I didn't know what the mark meant til my professor told me it stands for "syntax," the arrangement of words used to craft a sentence. At first, I didn't mind the mark, especially when my professor told me that I am a good writer. But then I would continuously see the mark over and over again. And then, I would see the mark in my other classes, too. My journalism professor, for instance, said that I have poor word choice in my news article. At this point, I want to improve my syntax. But it is actually hard to improve. In fact, it takes time. I don't want to take time. I want to improve my syntax now.
So I asked people for some advice.
Every week, I always go to the Writing Center for some tutoring. Therefore, I know the tutors quite well. One of the tutors admits that writing syntax actually does take time. So he encouraged me to practice. But I do not have the time to practice either. Noting my frustrations, lady who spoke English with a heavy Eastern European accent butted into my conversation with me and the tutor. She said that she found writing to be hard, too, and asked for my phone number so that we can practice together.
I refused because I rather do it all by myself.
But she didn't really listen.
During my tutoring session with another tutor, both of us were going over modifiers. While going over modifiers, I learned that they could be used to improve my syntax. Ecstatic, I flail my arms and then I heard a laughter.
And then a book-bag.
And then an Eastern European face with glasses and brown hair.
That was my tutoring session.
Desperate to learn by myself, I ignored her. As I kept flailing my arms and exchanging snarky comments, I heard her laughing, making me feel uncomfortable.
After the session was over, she said: "I'm glad that you are learning."
So I did it. I told her that she made me awkward and that she must make an appointment with my tutor.
"I don't make my own schedule." My tutor said as she shrugged her arms.
"Please don't find me awkward. Just like you are learning, I am learning, too." The awkward Eastern European woman said.
No, I thought.
Make your own appointment.
As I put my books in my bag and then head off to class, I tried to remember what I learned.
But, to be frank, I cannot remember what I learned.
All I can remember is the awkward Eastern European woman. And then, I got angry because that was my appointment and she jumped in. She jumped in like my appointment was up for grabs. My appointment was catered to me and only me. It was not catered to you. Go away. And never come back.
Face flustered with anger and frustration, I tried to focus on my international law class. But really I was focusing on my essay for grammar class while the professor was yapping about state responsibility.
But while trying to focus on my essay, the awkward Eastern European woman was still there. In here. In my mind. She haunts me with her presence, her appearance, and her laugh.
And just like that, I cannot improve my syntax now.