Grammar & Ray Kelley

The Treehorn Express

Treehorn story?  http://primaryschooling.net?page_id=1924

Theme Song : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQj-6F7yPM8

The Treehorn Express is dedicated to the cessation of Kleinist NAPLAN testing in Australia.  Kleinism is a New York version of fear-driven schooling which uses the blanket-testing NAPLAN [its only learning-motivational weapon] to destroy the  reputation of teachers and schools. This weapon was forced on schools in Australia in 2009. It separates ‘haves’ from ‘have nots’ and opens the door for mega-bank-rolling by known curriculum vandals for control of school-based learning. It disrespects school pupils, devalues teachers’ professionalism, threatens Australia’s developmental future and is just no good.  Politely described, it stinks.

Although some ‘education’ groups support it, ideologically, NAPLAN is immoral, unprofessional, politically driven, unrequested by the profession, curriculum destructive, extremely costly, wasteful and divisive. It has a background of malicious intent. 

IT WILL REMAIN UNTIL ENOUGH GOOD PEOPLE SAY “STOP IT”

  For official information, click on http://www.nap.edu.au/information/FAQs/index.html  Get it ?

____________________________________________________A Light Diversion

There was such an interesting reaction to the previous Treehorn Express …phone calls and a comment on the blog https://treehornexpress.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/what-we-wrinklies-did/  especially with reference to the teaching of grammar and the techniques of testing, that I share the comments of poet Ray Kelley with you.

The first one appears in his book “Flight to the Chookhouse Roof” [Page 36]

COMPLEX ANALYSIS

Number, Connection, Clause, Kind & Relation –

These were the columns we were taught to rule

Preparing for that State Examination

Kids sat for at the end of primary school.

Picture us at age thirteen as we dip

Steel nibs in time-crazed inkwells to write down

The clauses that will prove our Scholarship

Principal, Adjectival, knotty Noun

(Is it the Subject or in Apposition?)

And maybe three Adverbials in the mix,

Sorted with tags like Reason, Time, Condition

To take the Number column down to 6.

Behold the strands unravelled, one by one,

And the long sentence with hard labour done.

When Principals foregathered to celebrate the end of term in various localities around the country, some Queensland centres were lucky enough to have Ray in their midst. He made up parodies like this…

GRRRRRRR-AMMAR

[Tune: Lily the Pink]

WE’LL DRINK-A-DRINK-A-DRINK

TO ALL OF THE INK, THE INK, THE INK

THAT GRAMMAR COSTS THE HUMAN RA-A-ACE,

PREPOSITIONS, ADVERBIAL CLAUSES,

SUBJECTIVE MOOD AND OBJECTIVE.

Harry Hopper

Couldn’t talk proper –

Said “I done it”. silly co-o-ow,

So I taught him

Traditional grammar –

He can say “You done it” now!

WE’LL DRINK….

Here’s the lowdown

On personal pronouns –

They are easy if you try-y-y

Firsta person

Asingular number

Me O my, I-I-I-I

WE’LL DRINK….

Rules of syntax

Get down to tintacks;

Verb and subjects must agree-ee-ee;

If one’s plural

The other is too, ral-

We was taught repeatedly!

WE’LL DRINK…

Is it the function

Of a conjunction

To provide a kind of li-i-nk?

Gin AND bitters

AND whisky AND soda

Tempt a man AND make him drink!

YES, DRINK…

This appeared in a website that Ray and I put together http://kelleyandcullen.net  It’s a jovial history of things in Queensland schools that will interest the more nostalgic.  This particular parody is missing, but you should enjoy Ray’s brilliance in others.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

Other Treehorns ? :   Check Recent Posts and Archives in Sidebar.

Phil Cullen

41 Cominan Avenue

Banora Point

Australia 2486

07 5524 6443

cphilcullen@bigpond.com

http://primaryschooling.net

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