Thursday, May 18, 2006

"Words of the Invitation"

I've received an invitation to a wine party organized by the "student council of the English department."

Student council? The English Department has a "student council"?

I've often heard of departmental politics but hadn't realized the degree to which it has become institutionalized!

Here's the letter in full (with my parenthetical, 'teacherly' remarks):
Words of the Invitation (Just "Invitation" will do fine.)

Dear our revered professor. (Try: "Dear Professor:")

We are from the student council of the English department. (Aside from the oddity of a department having a student council, this sounds okay, but consider capitalizing "department.")

With genuine and youthful passion, we could open our wine party for the fourth time, which has started only a few years ago. (You "could," but you're not sure? Sounds like a looong party, too ... though I'm not quite clear on this use of a specific time in the past with the present perfect tense.)

In the Meanwhile, the wine party has been the major part of our department's annual ceremonies. (I like that inflated "Meanwhile.")

Also in this semester, we are hosting the wine party as our biggest ceremony. (This is the same wine party, right?)

Thus, we are inviting our revered professors to the wine party which will be a great chance for unification between professors and students. (I doubt that unification will take place soon. This could take 30 years. The regime needs time to reform. If events move too quickly, collapse could occur, which would be in no one's interest.)

All the members of the student council did their best with one accord. (Did their best at what?)

Though it is a busy time of season, it would be our honor to have you in the wine party. (Actually, this time is the lull before the storm.)

Location: Diningroom for the valuable guest in Inchon memorial hall.
(인촌기념관 귀빈식당) (Other guests will be escorted elsewhere.)

Date: 6 pm Thursday, May 18th, 2006 (Am I being too picky if I suggest "p.m."?)

Host: Student council of the English Department (There's that odd Student council again!)
I wish that my students had approached me for a proofreading of this first, but I suppose that they wanted to surprise us. Anyway, let's reword this letter of invitation:

Dear Professor:

We are students representing the English Department.

As you may know, we began hosting departmental wine parties four years ago and will be holding our fourth party this week.

Over the past four years, the wine party has become a major part of our department's annual ceremonies.

This semester, our wine party will actually be the department's biggest ceremony.

Thus, we are inviting our professors in the hopes that the experience will bring professors and students together.

We have worked hard to make this year's wine party a success.

Though this may be a busy time of the semester for some of you, we would be honored by your presence.

Location: Dining Room of Inchon Memorial Hall.
(인촌기념관 귀빈식당)

Date: 6 p.m. Thursday, May 18th, 2006

Host: Students of the English Department
Such would be my first approximation at a corrected letter. I'm not really sure that I have understood each point. Maybe a "student council" really does exist in the English Department. And is this party an "annual" event? I think that these parties occur every semester, so that would have to be clarified.

At any rate, I'll be there tonight ... for the wine, not the politics.


At 6:05 PM, Blogger steph said...

That's hilarious. I could say that it probably reflects the quality of teaching ... but I won't. Instead, I hope that you have lots of lovely wine tonight!

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Steph, there were two 'wines' (Carlo Rossi's Sangria, plus his California White) and a 'wine beverage' (blackberry-flavored and only 6% alcohol, maybe also from Rossi).

It was all dreadful stuff -- and I know that without even having tested the 'wine beverage'!

I ought to be teaching wine classes, not English. Why, after all, I'm a native drinker!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:46 PM, Blogger steph said...

Ugh what a shame! I hope you had a bottle of something nicer at home with Sun-Ae in that case.

(Blackberry flavoured wine beverage?! They are definitely lacking the more important social education)

At 4:47 AM, Blogger stewdog said...

Too funny. I think the students got into the wine before the party was planned.
The entire affair reminds me of the great quote "I would have written you a shorter letter, but I didn't have time." (attributed to Twain, Einstein, and Samual Johnson at various places on the web)

At 5:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where does reverend professor fall in the academic pecking order? It sounds better than senior professor, adjuct professor or any of the other various designations I've heard. Funny read, Reverend.

At 8:51 AM, Blogger Conservative in Virginia said...

Did you meet this student council?

Perhaps it was from the student council of the English as a Second Language Department.

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Stewdog, you've now got me wondering about the origin of that quote!

James, if I'm a "revered" professor, then it must be a status singularly unrevered.

CIV, I sometimes think my students are using English as a language at a distance beyond second.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:43 PM, Blogger stewdog said...

Wine parties come and go, but bad grammar has such a lasting quality.
It is something up for which we shall not put.


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