You could always hug your grammar book instead.

My spring term began this week, and students are still trying to sort out their schedules. Today a student came up to me and said, “I want to take your writing class, but I don’t feel like writing. What should I do?”

I especially hate it when a student I like asks a question like this.

Or like this,

“Are there tests in your grammar class? I don’t want to take any tests.”

Sigh.

Mind you, the student had this conversation with me while I was dealing with a copy machine that had jammed for the second time in less than five minutes while my grammar students were waiting for me.

The reply that went through my mind was something along the lines of, “There were going to be tests, but now since you said that we shall draw pictures of nouns and hug them.”

I didn’t say that.

What would you have said?