Last semester I found myself sitting on planes quite often. I don’t mean this in a figurative way like I rediscovered my soul or anything of that nature. Nor do I mean to imply that I was sleep-traveling (although, how neat would that be?). I simply mean to say that I traveled a lot via airplane during the months of November and December. (I suppose I could have just said it that way to begin with, but I didn’t want to. Deal with it.)

I wouldn’t say I was a “frequent flyer,” but I would tell anyone who’d listen that I could get through security—shoes off, coat off, scarf off, giraffe necklace off, change out of pocket, laptop out of bag, liquids in a clear quart-sized Ziploc, boarding pass out, small talk with security guard, shoes back on, scarf and coat in hand to put on later, giraffe necklace thrown in bag with laptop and liquids, change forgotten in plastic bin—in under two minutes. This is, of course, if I was among other non-novices. If a first time flyer was anywhere in front of me, all bets were off.

I think of myself as a humble person. That’s why I have my own blog. (Actually, it’s two blogs and an online portfolio.) But modest as I am, I must confess that in the past I was somewhat of a legend. A grammar legend. My friends and family would never admit it because, well, they were probably jealous, but it’s true.

I knew the rules, the exceptions, and when to pause for effect. Like here. Not only did I know how to diagram a sentence; I could do it in less than a minute. I was even part of human sentences that were then verbally diagrammed  by our eighth grade class. I was always the comma. (Thanks Mrs. Gilbert; that was a good week.)

These days I’m feeling less confident and certainly less cocky (about grammar). I remember the terms, and I remember the rules…but I cannot remember which terms go with which rules and don’t even get me started on those exceptions! And pauses? I fear that I pause too much: it’s disruptive. I need a refresher course in grammar.