The Self-Esteem Train Wreck

13 Feb

It was in the 1980s, when we were told to throw out the grammar books and stop teaching from them. I blame this on the self esteem movement—a blunder equal to the invasion of Iraq or the Vietnam War or Anzio in World War II or Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate cover-up or John F. Kennedy allowing the Bay of Pigs Invasion that led to the Cuban Missile Crisis or Ronald Reagan and the Iran-Contra Affair or Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

“Throw out the books”, they said—and Hitler lit his match. But on the sly, we defied Sauron and Grendel. Most English teachers hid sets of Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition.

Every Friday, thirty minutes before class let out, I took out Warriner’s and went over the lesson for homework that weekend. It was always short and on Monday, the answers were posted on the board so the kids could check their work during roll before turning it in.

I thought I was being clever and had no idea that a storm was brewing.

Discover Stealth Grammar – Orders from Sauron


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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