I could never tell you why
March 18, 2008
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Today I taught the most frightening lesson thus far: grammar. The lesson went very well, because it was an advanced class and the students already knew the material, but because they are, after all, still students who want to learn English so badly that they skip their elective classes — elective classes they paid for — to attend free lessons given by teachers in training just so they can learn something even more than what their usual teachers have to offer, they will still feel the need to ask questions. And it’s when they ask questions that the panic sets in, because even though we know this is so and that is not, how do we explain why?
Why — the most difficult of the five W-questions to answer. Why are both the noun and verb spelt with a -ce when they are clearly in different forms? That being said, how do we explain why a noun is spelt with a -ce and the verb with an -se when they both sound exactly the same to certain people and completely different to others? The answers may make sense to some, but absolutely no sense to others.
The same can be said for why certain things in life are the way they are. Why does one person still try when the other person seems to have given up? Why do some people only try when it’s too late? Why does someone let themselves fall in love when the circumstances of it are so daunting? Again, the answers may make sense to some, but none to others. And yet, sometimes, there is no real answer. Sometimes, it’s just the way it is.