Oh, I remember diagramming a sentence! We did it in 7th grade English. At the time, I enjoyed it and did quite well, but my friends grumbled that it was stupid and hard and we would never use it. I remember going along with the crowd because I didn't want to feel left out. The teacher used to use my homework as examples, and I was quickly dubbed teacher's pet.
I wanted to fit in because back then 7th grade was junior high and it was essential to be cool. My sister told Mom I had to wear Levi jeans and part my hair in the middle to avoid being an outcast. I'd never cared about clothes and would have preferred to browse a bookstore rather than a clothes store. I succumbed not just to peer pressure but to sibling pressure too. (I think she didn't want me to hurt her reputation in my no name pants)
My English grade dropped about 20 points in one semester. I remember the teacher talking to me about not following the crowd. As an adult, I've joked that when I grow up I want to be a librarian. I've also muttered about why no one ever suggested that option to me when I was in school searching for the right major that fit me. I think I know why now, though--because I succumbed to the crowd and pretended that English stuff was stupid.
I don't mean to hijack the thread, but really wanted to share this because, Jan, not only are you helping with writing skills for many people. You really helped me reconcile a bit with my past. I have tears in my eyes and finally am letting go of some bitterness that I wasn't even fully aware of until just now.
It's also a cool example of how God can and does use us to help others in ways that we might not have intended, but are just as important, maybe more than the goals we set for ourselves. I also joke that I'm a bit hard-headed and while God may need to nudge others to obey him, he throws bricks at me until I give in and agree to do what he is asking me.
Also I never really understood what dangling modifiers where, I thought it was when the preposition like of or for was at the end of a sentence. Wow, I've learned a lot in the past five minutes or so. I wish you could see my face and feel the lightness of my heart right now. You gave me a beautiful gift by being obedient to God and pouring tons of work into a lesson. It may not have been the outcome you planned, but I have no doubt that God's fingerprints are all over this.
I think with some review, I might be able to help you with the sentence diagraming if you really want to tackle it. My kids never learned it. They barely touched on nouns and verbs. They may have done a bit of subject and predicates, but not a lot.
Also, even though you are busy and finances tight, I think you should take that English class. It's important to do something for you because then you will have the energy to do more for God and others. Have you ever looked into auditing an English class at a nearby college? I wanted to do that, but they only offer it for free for "senior citizens" at my local college. I did suggest it to my father-in-law though, and he took two writing classes for free and loved them. The rules are different for each school, but it might be worth looking into...
Again thank you. You really made a difference. It may not seem like much, but just a tiny seed of bitterness can grow into a weed that strangles the heart. I'm able to let go of it now. Who knows without that weed maybe my health will improve enough and I could go back and get my degree in Library Science!