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My dad worked very late hours as a musician ― until about three in the morning ― so he slept late on weekends. As a result, we didn’t have much of a relationship when I was young other than him constantly nagging me to take care of chores like mowing the lawn and cutting the hedges, which I hated. He was a responsible man dealing with an irresponsible kid. Memories of how we interacted seem funny to me today. For example, one time he told me to cut the grass and I decided to do just the front yard and postpone doing the back, but then it rained for a couple days and the backyard grass became so high I had to cut it with a sickle. That took so long that by the time I was finished, the front yard was too high to mow, and so on.

The question is “What is the writer’s feeling?”

I’m a Korean English private tutor. I want to get a lot of opinions about the correct answer from native speakers.

Thank you in advance!

  • The school teacher’s answer is “funny”. So a lot of students don’t understand why. That’s why I want to get lots of comments for objectivity. Oct 9, 2018 at 14:55
  • Is it supposed to be "funny" in that in a caricature of Eastern cultures, being non-obedient to a parent, no matter their life circumstances, would be not "situation comedy ha-ha funny" but "outside my life experience funny"?
    – user662852
    Oct 10, 2018 at 14:59
  • 1
    Please transcribe text, rather than post images of it. The text in the image is not indexed by the search and it is very unfriendly to people using screen readers and similar assistive technologies.
    – choster
    Oct 10, 2018 at 15:16
  • 2
    There are just too many reasons why this is inappropriate for ELU. I don't think it would be on-topic for English Language Learners either, they probably don't like to answer test questions either even though they care about what happens in class and teaching of 'correct' English.
    – Mitch
    May 22 at 20:20
  • I’m voting to close this question; of the many reasons Mitch points towards, I'd single out 'interpretation of texts' ('comprehension' [of passages]) as being overly scoped for ELU. // If faced with having to answer this, I'd say nostalgic in a partly sad but mainly upbeat way / gently self-deprecating and determine to escape from the educational system I was in. May 23 at 9:42

3 Answers 3


It seems to start out as resentful, as the author seems to be upset that his father did not spend a lot of "quality time" with him as a child. But the close of the paragraph seems more at nostalgic, where the author is neutrally reminiscing on his childhood.

resent verb re·sent | \ ri-ˈzent \ - to feel or express annoyance or ill will at

nostalgic adjective nos·tal·gic | \ nä-ˈstal-jik ,- longing for or thinking fondly of a past time or condition

-- EDIT -- I know that I didn't choose any of the options, as I do not think they are any good T_T ! One could subjectively argue for any one of them, and while some are obviously not good choices (4), it isn't clear which one is good:

1- funny - the author is lamely chasing down grass as a mopey teenager (cue music)

2- gloomy - chasing down overgrown weeds could be an eerie parallel to the father chasing down his ambition, leaving two generations perpetually bound chasing their tails

3 - jealous - this one is less convincing, but jealous, more at: resentful

4 - nervous - this one really doesn't fit

5 - ashamed - the author is embarrassed at his seeming lack of competence/reassurance/validation during his youth

  • 1
    I think you're supposed to pick one of the options given at the bottom of the passage. In any case, I don't see the end as nostalgia because it's clearly negative: the author got themselves in a vicious circle of needing to cut their lawn with a scythe.
    – Laurel
    Oct 9, 2018 at 3:53
  • Thanks for your answer Carly, it's presented exactly as we prefer on this site, with a good explanation, well-formatted definitions plus links to your sources. Unfortunately, as @Laurel notes, it somewhat misses what the OP was asking for. If you wanted to pick up some votes and build your reputation, I'd recommend using the edit link to replace what you've written with the word (from the list of 5) you think is the best fit, a brief explanation, and a dictionary definition & link to support your argument. Oct 9, 2018 at 4:15
  • On the other hand, it's not a very good question since it shows no research (eg definitions of each of the five words), and may attract votes for closure. As the Help Centre's guidance on How to Answer says, "Not all questions can or should be answered here", so this question may not be worth the extra effort. :-) Oct 9, 2018 at 4:18

I will agree that none of the answers are especially good or bad, but my personal answer would go towards 5: Ashamed.

The primary reason is the sentence in the middle of the passage:

He was a responsible man dealing with an irresponsible kid.

The portion of the passage before this describes the speaker's reason for their lack of understanding their parent. The portion of the passage after this sentence describes a situation in which the speaker's lack of responsibility created a shameful situation (by virtue of it becoming unmanageable).

Again, and unfortunately, this is an opinion, because the truth is that it's completely subjective and the passage can be interpreted in many ways.

  • Arguably, the writer is just stating a fact with that quote and does not necessarily feel ashamed. Although they describe a lesson-learning situation in the end, it's possible they just see the funny side; the last sentence appears to use a hyperbole for comedic effect. Having said that, it's difficult to reliably infer the sentiment, as you said, and the writer could well be feeling ashamed.
    – someguy
    Oct 10, 2018 at 21:46

The key sentence is: "He was a responsible man dealing with an irresponsible kid." Then the writer tells a story when he didn't do what he should have. The right answer is #5-ashamed.

  • 1
    This answer has already been given.
    – tchrist
    May 22 at 19:49

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