Saturday, 16 April 2016

The Times, They Are A-Changing.

This Dylan Classic describes the plight of scholars.

It must have been a life changing event being lucky enough to see Bob Dylan perform back in the 60's and 70's. In a way he does embody the divine allure of the hippy culture. Life seemed less pressured, more fun, most definitely more colourful and far less materialistic. Our modern obsession with this materialistic existence must feel like a betrayal to the followers of the Woodstock creed.

But, my encounter with the changing times is more rudimentary and in the strict sense of the times. The dissection of the beautiful English language into bits of time. Present, past, simple present, simple present perfect, simple present continuous and so forth.

As a native speaker, these bits of scholastic torture have left no imprint on my memory and frankly I might have never had the misfortune of meeting such an extreme analysis of changing times during my English lessons at school. Or at least I think so.

For some reason, all I remember of the five years of high school is an image of our English teacher - Mr Anderson - reclining on the table with a bunch of grapes in his hand. He was trying to get us interested in the Grecian times, which was definitely called for after our less than enthusiastic response to...

Ode on a Grecian Urn...by John Keats
I must say, he looked far removed from a Greek god, as he was reclining on a table a la Grecian mode, dressed in his khaki shorts, khaki short sleeved shirt and beige knee high socks while dangling a bunch of grapes above his face...but, remember I do. He was one of those fabulous teachers not everyone has the fortune to have.

At the moment I am trying to help a senior student grapple with the changing times, when and where to use and apply them. Not so easy to explain something that comes instinctivley.

Today will see me researching various worksheets on changing times, but I am hoping that my call to read will have sunk into a fertile mind. Without reading, finding the correct way out of the language labyrinth is jolly difficult. Let's not forget that the average book contains 100 000 words strung together into various expressions of time, meaning and word order.

A good and pleasant way to practice your English!

Biggi