This extravagant event marks the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring. But to me it's so much more...

In 11th grade English class, our sadistic, insane, wonderful English teacher would give us oral vocabulary quizzes. He would choose our names in random order and give us a random word from a list of 30 or so. We were expected to stand up, repeat the word, spell it, give its part of speech and definition, and then use it in a sentence. One word per quiz meant that there wasn't much middle ground between a 0 and a 100.

The sentence quickly became the most difficult part of this task, as our instructor limited us to sentences having to do with the book we were reading for the class at the time of the quiz. In addition, we were only given about ten seconds to come up with a sentence. The first book we read for the class was The Fellowship of the Ring. Like any other slacking students, we began the book and then promptly fell behind in our reading assignments. Thus, the majority of the students' sentences often followed this format:

"Bilbo's birthday party was very ( vocabulary adjective ) because ( some lame, stretched reason )"

After about the 4th quiz, our teacher suggested that we create sentences about later parts of the book, since we should have been reading all along. But our sentences still stayed in the BBP format because that was the only part of the book we had actually read. Soon, creating sentences in this fashion became a joke that even the teacher seemed to enjoy. The overwhelming majority of the vocabulary words we were given had absolutely no connection whatsoever to Bilbo Baggins' birthday party, but that didn't stop us from trying to make up sentences. I even introduced the practice of changing the format to :

"Bilbo's birthday party was not very ( vocabulary adjective ) because ( some lame, stretched reason )"

Eventually, Bilbo's birthday party was deemed off-limits, but it still creeped in here and there. Even when we moved on to other books, students in desperate need of a sentence would fall back on Bilbo (of course they incurred a hefty point penalty).

I read the rest of the book eventually, but the birthday party is the only part of The Fellowship of the Ring that has had enough effect on me to actually remember.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.