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Do or do not. There is no try.

Sixth grade is teaching My Kid the 14 Stages of Power Writing. I relate it to the "new math" my mom struggled to understand when I was in school.

As I have stated before, I hold a college degree in Journalism. I aced the English section of my college entrance exam. Like bloggers everywhere, I rock at usage. Yet, last week, I was reduced to begging you all, my fellow writers, for assistance with My Kid's homework.

Now, I must share this with you. You simply won't believe it.

He is on Stage 7 of Power Writing. Tonight's homework required rewriting sentences in six different ways. Other than the individual instructions for each rewrite, the only rule was that you couldn't use the "be" verbs.

Here is the example sentence:

"There are two reasons an engine roars loudly."

And the sample rewrites:

1. With strong active verbs
The engine roared loudly for two reasons.

2. Ask a question
What two reasons caused the engine to roar loudly?
Ummm...that doesn't really have the same meaning as the original sentence, so how is this a helpful skill?

3. An exclamatory sentence
The engine screamed loudly for two reasons!
I tried to explain to My Kid that a good writer NEVER uses exclamation points!!!! But then, I was taught (way back when) that for it to be an exclamatory sentence, it has to start with a word that is generally a question, i.e.: How loudly the engine screamed!

4. Open with an adverb
Last week, the engine roared loudly for two reasons.
OK, that is the suckiest sentence I've ever read in my life.

5. Open with a prepositional phrase
For two reasons the engine roared loudly.
Possibly the second suckiest.

6. Verb precedes the subject
Loudly roared the engine for two reasons.

That last one is the one that I just could not get my arms around.

His assigned sentences were:

"There are two problems that rain can cause at a construction site."
"There are two foods that I enjoy eating."

Everything I could come up with ended up sounding like Yoda:

Enjoy eating two foods do I.

What kind of shit is this? I would really like for someone to explain to me how any one of these lame-ass examples produces a better writer???