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When did I become bad at grammar?

While in High School and College, I had a recurring dream that I was failing English class. A simple google search reveals that I’m not alone; many individuals have recurring dreams of failing class. Google continues to enlighten me by hypothesizing these dreams are our subconscious fear of lessons in life we are not learning. Turns out, after taking Core Grammar for Lawyers in my capstone class of Tulane Law School’s Master of Jurisprudence Class I have failed in retaining those grammar lessons from High School English. As my 53% pre-test score confirmed: I am bad at grammar.

How and when did this happen? I was born in 1983, therefore classified as a millennial. However, I did not grow up texting, and didn’t receive my first cell phone until I was 18 years old. I did not fail High School or College English classes; in fact, I passed these classes with A or B grades. I’ve been writing emails at work for over twenty years and not a single boss has said anything about my grammar. I have even stopped texting potential romantic partners due to their lack of grammar in text messages: if you cannot form a complete sentence in a text message, can you in real life? After taking the Core Grammar for Lawyers test, I’m not sure I would date myself!

The Core Grammar for Lawyers tests on sentence structure, quotations, organizing complex ideas, verbs and agreements, style manual eccentricities, and clarity. I received a passing grade on organizing complex ideas, however, all other areas of the test I embarrassedly failed. Despite my wounded ego, I am incredibly thankful our capstone class requires the test and subsequent lessons required after failing a section. As I relearn sentence structure, including the proper use of parentheses that I have misused for years, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll finally be able to find closure from the recurring dream of failing English class.

When did I become bad at grammar? © 2023 by Tara Spracklen is licensed under CC BY 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

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