Here’s to You, Associated Press.


Bless her soul, really. Each day I meander into her classroom, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and somewhat insightful of what media scuttlebutt she’ll apprise.

This is the woman who croons at the mention of felines (I’m almost certain she’s got 14 or 15), spends her nights and weekends watching the Discovery Health Channel with her husband (and cats — perhaps they are, in fact, one and the same), and scours any form of information medium in search of steaming hot piles of communiqué hearsay. This, my friends, is the life that I have always envisioned Nancy Hanson leading.

I’ve got beef with Nancy Hanson, though I’m sure she’d partially disagree. She’s on an undertaking to turn me into a media journalist, a profession that I entirely loathe. Her class is 59 minutes of Associated Press boot camp in the form of worksheets and conditioning, as she utilizes the common propaganda technique of “simplify and repeat”:

“COMMAS! Always come in pairs! They’re WIMPY! WIMPY, WIMPY, WIMPY commas!”

I know I will never forget the phrase, “wimpy commas” as she has engraved it into my memory. Wimpy commas, however, are the least of my concerns with Nancy Hanson. More specifically, her grand scheme is none other than taking an axe to my compositions and chopping down the tree of what I’m certain she would refer to as an “unnecessary and redundant journalist”, respectively. Ha-rumph.

She will take a mere run through of the most exquisite and polished pieces of work, and in hasty discontent shake her head while countering, “It’s just not the AP way.” Nancy Hanson is what the prisoners of the mass communications department (namely my English major friend and I) like to refer to as “so AP”.

Nancy Hanson is trying to coax me to hate adjectives.

The thought makes me distraught. I furiously listened to her refer to them as mere “fluff” in writing, essentially pointless filler words with no direction nor purpose. This upsets me, because I find adjectives rather groovy.

You could say I’m a little strange, talking about words like this, but I’ve come to the realization that words aren’t just words to me — they’re pure art. Words, and text, letters and fonts; their curves, sounds and compositions are so appealing to me in the most curious of ways. I’ll never understand such a strange fixation, but I completely don’t disagree with it. And adjectives, well — I find those to add quite the zest to the ordinary.

She can’t take them from me, she can’t make me. I won’t. Nancy Hanson, dearest Nancy: your intentions of making me into the media correspondent you dreamed of may never prevail. I might suggest that you take your gabbling and rules about commas and media fluff to perhaps your feline companions who are more apt to listen and follow them.

 I wish you an absolutely marvelous, fantastically glorious, magnificently sublime, unbelievably flawless, quintessentially matchless, exceptionally extraordinary day.

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