and suddenly the grammar comes to life

Anna had arrived at the center very early, as soon as she finished school, she hurried, as she had told Mauro the day before, because she had a lot to study and a grammar check was on her way, a real horror that she thought she would not get away with it.

When she arrived at the entrance, Mauro was waiting for her. Anna had asked him to be able to eat a sandwich, then she had started, but in the company of Sara, her classmate of Albanian origin, who had even more difficulty with grammar than her.

“Why?” asked Mauro. “You did not tell me yesterday.”

“True, but you have to help her! Sara was already rejected last year and must be promoted, she must! “Anna had the hesitant answer.” See prof, “he added” in class see all his difficulties but no one moving a finger. Everyone who criticizes her, professors at the forefront when it took so little to reach out to her and bring her to safety. She has to help me, I do my best, but she has to help me, because how can I help her with grammar? It seems impossible to me! “

“But no! You know the grammar well, you can help with that and how. I’m sure.”

“Prof does not say it, I’m not capable, let me finish the sandwich and then you’ll see.”

“Ok I’m waiting for you inside.”

After about ten minutes, Anna had returned with her friend Sara, whom Mauro did not know, but for whom he had had a great feast, and tried to move her from the fear that could be read in her eyes.

“What are you going to do?” Mauro had asked the two girls. Only Anna seemed to be aware of what they were doing in class. Anna had shown Mauro some analysis exercises of the period which the teacher had assigned and which he had suggested in preparation for the test.

“Well” Mauro said after reading the exercises, “I understand, let’s try to do them” and he looked at Sara and waited for a nod as if to say he was on the right track.

Sara did not answer, hers was a disturbing silence that made Mauro impatient.

“Shall we do the exercises so I understand?” Mauro had shouted, which would shake the girl, but could not. He was facing a stone wall.

Mauro had at that time stared into Sara’s eyes, his questions were obvious, there was no need for words. What could he do in front of a girl who did not want to go to work? Anna understood and got even closer to Sara by dictating what she should write. Sara started writing, then she suddenly said, “Anna you know, I do not understand!”

“I know,” replied Anna, “tell Prof Mauro why you do not understand.”

Sara finally looked at Mauro, who until then had been a complete stranger.

“I do not understand it, I have never understood why I have to learn grammar, I just can not understand it. I have learned this language, I understand, I answer, I write, but why do I have to learn the most important, first degree subordinates and the coordinates? Because?”

Mauro was surprised. The rejected girl, whom he thought he should learn very precise things for, had asked him a question of opinion.

“But then you know how to recognize them,” he stammered.

“Yes but why?”

Mauro had put all the theories of meaning he knew and often repeated in his mind, but he could not express one in an accessible way.

“Sara, let’s do it with Prof Mauro” Anna had said, pulling him from the paralyzing embarrassment. They were all three in front of the sentence: “Luigi talks to a friend who wants to travel to America and who is not sure he can do it today because of the pandemic“.” Here “Sara asked now,” because besides I understand it, I must know it Luigi speaks is the most important?

Mauro had analyzed the sentence, and thus he had, among other things, got rid of the fact that grammar is the awareness of a harmony between things, in short, to become aware of a relationship. Sara was impressed. Anna was their “grammar”. Without Anna, Professor Mauro would have been what he was before: a stranger.

They had worked for an hour, Sara had worked because Anna was there, Mauro had worked with them because Anna had involved him. It was a new experience, it was as if the grammar itself had taken on a new meaning. It made more sense now because they were there.

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