February 22nd, 2008



I once wrote a contest essay on the topic of time, the gist of it being festina lente (make haste slowly). Recently I read that the Abenaki Indian word for clock papeezokwazik means "that thing which makes much noise and does nothing useful."

I love it! I wish in my far gone college days, I'd known that little tidbit. Maybe my then boyfriend, who was also my study buddy, would not have taken the time idea and won the first place prize. It was a nice bit of one-up-manship, done silently. His was the logic, organized mind, mine the random access, creative one. His factoids kept me rolling in an abundance of underpinning details, which caused me to outdo him on test essay after essay, where the flair, that bit of added spice that academia so prizes, influenced decisions.

More power to him! He deserved credit. I doubt I ever would have been so consistently high on my own. I'd have been knocked for disorganized prose, instead of praised for adding a bit of humor or delightful juxtaposition to a succinct, logical presentation of whatever facts were called for.

Stream-of-consciousness never did catch on much as a test essay-writing ploy.

Friday Funnies

It's been a long week in a generally depressing month. Some of the students are trying to spark a bit of humor, however. My eighth graders, reading Jerry Spinelli's Crash, select projects they'd like to work on afterward. One youngster chose to read a bit of biographical information, and delivered this tidbit: Jerry has 25 published books and 16 grandchildren.

Lovely juxtaposition, no? I wonder if he thinks grandchildren are acquired by publishing?

Another was describing the main character's reactions to another character. "Five faults Crash thinks Webb has is: 1. he's a vegetation." (unretouched material.)

Upon hearing that a neighboring community's school got out for a perceived BOMB THREAT, one boy decided we ought to do that here. I suggested getting back to work on the Applied Communications material. Another one piped up, "(name withheld) carried a box with BOMB written on the side into the school. That's all it took."

That's a tad bit past pulling the fire alarm for a bit of a break...

I suggested that some ideas just beg to be savored in silence. Add the hairy eyeball warning, and we sort of got back to business, finishing minutes before the lunch bell.