OMAHA, NB –
A fifth grade teacher in the Omaha public school system, Mary Gaansevoort, was admitted to a local psychiatric hospital Saturday after what doctors described as an episode of disocciation brought on by accute mental duress.
“The patient had apparently been trying to work out a grammatical diagram of a sentence spoken by the president when the breakdown occurred,” said Dr. Walton Navery of Omaha General Hospital. “It seems the growing frustration she experienced, coupled with a lack of food and water, caused a temporary break with reality.”
“However, she is resting comfortably now and responsive to questions, so we’re hopeful for a complete recovery.”
Game For A Challenge
A sentence diagram, or parse tree as it’s known in linguistics, is a pictorial representation of the grammatical structure of a sentence. It’s a tool used by elementary school English teachers to help children understand the structure of language and how to organize their thoughts.
“Mary loves a challenge,” said fellow teacher Nate Aridonda. “She does the New York Times crossword puzzle every Sunday at a coffee shop I go to. One day we were joking about how the president speaks, and we thought it would be interesting to try and diagram one of his sentences. She said she just wanted to play around with it. But I guess things got a little out of hand.”
It’s So Stupid
“I saw her in the morning when I went in for a vanilla latte,” remembered Ms. Gaansevoort’s friend, Beth Johnson. “And then when I was passing by later that day I saw her in the exact same spot, and she had this crazed look on her face. So, I tried to talk to her but she just kept pointing at the page saying ‘it’s so stupid – it’s so stupid’, she must have said it a thousand times.”
“I tried to get her attention, but after 20 minutes with no luck, I figured I’d better call someone.”
No Wilting Flower
Students that came to visit Ms. Gaansevoort in the hospital described their teacher as full of life.
“She likes to rock climb on the weekends, and is taking Chinese,” said fifth grader Josey Butlers, a student in her class. “She loves to try stuff that’s really hard, but I guess trying to organize what the president says isn’t something that you can do. I hope Ms. Gaansevoort feels better.”
“She’s a pretty tenacious lady, so we know she’ll pull thru just fine,” Ms. Johnson said. “She just needs some rest. And the doctors said she’ll have to stay away from the TV for a few weeks.”
“At least, that is, when the president is on.”
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