Friday Fives – words are matter, man

1. What is your super-delicious-most favorite word?

Goddamnitsomuch – I invented this word.  It is super satisfying to yell.  Even better, I finally taught my phone to keep it in its dictionary.  So, now when I start to text that word, my phone autocompletes it for me.  That helps, too.  It’s a long word to text.  You are welcome, America.

2. Word Game: change 2 letters to make a new word and and pass it along (if there are replies, go to last post and change that word with two letters.)

dumb.  I don’t like it.  Sorry, its late and I need to get to bed.

3. What is some great advice for the spelling impaired?

I have the PERFECT answer; use Microsoft Word.  Here is why Word is awesome – it doesn’t just do spell checking.  It also checks for syntax and grammar (the green squiggly line).  It also does a character count.  I love this application.  I always tell my employees (who have to do professional writing to the outside world) to use Word.  always.  Why?  If I use it every day, and I have a degree in literature.  So, if it helps me it will help you!  Oh, and I assure you that is not a paid endorsement.  After this gem, I don’t expect them knocking on my door anytime soon.

4. What word have you invented that captured the moment perfectly at the time?

besides the above?  Well, there is this one.  I use it for driving, and it is a combination of some seriously hurtful and mean words.  These words, used in and of themselves, could easily get my ass kicked in traffic… or divorced at home.  I am not even going to tell you what the words are, they are that bad.  I can only tell you the resulting contraction is the word ‘dunk’.  When I get all road ragey

ooooohhh!  I just remember this;  wanna here another road rage gem?  Most people, when they get all pissed, they throw the middle finger – or a similar angry gesture.  I got one better.  When I have to zoom around some dunk because they are watching their phone and not the road – I give them the quick horn.  Then, instead of the finger, I do a bowed head shake, real slow.  So, instead of me screaming ‘fuck you, you fucking dunk’, I am instead shaming with an implied ‘wow.  Just wow.  It’s scary you are even trying to operate a car right now.  I am more saddened than angry.  I just don’t even know we are any longer moving forward as a society or a species when I see someone like you texting behind a 6,000 pound weaponized steel demon at 60 mph.  I am pretty sure I am just gonna go home and kill myself out of despair that you have caused me as a fellow human.  You, too, should strongly consider this gesture.  I mean, what would your parent think if they saw you drive like this?  By driving like this, you have pretty much just shit in the mouth of anyone who ever cared for you.  I am just thankful your grandparents aren’t alive to see what you have done with yourself”.

Pretty sweet, huh?  I communicate ALL of that with my gentle, bowed head shake.  Trust me, it works.  I recently won a backtee® for it!

5.  Who was the worst teacher you ever had?

gosh, interesting question.  I certainly remember my worst boss, but not so much teachers.  See, the worst thing you can be as a teacher is apathetic.  Just showing up and cashing the checks, no longer emotionally vested.  I don’t fault them, we all do it in our jobs.  Imagine teaching middle schoolers.  Middle schoolers, (early teens) are horrible people.  Everyone is at that age.  They don’t want to learn, they don’t care about knowledge, and they resent the shit out of all authority figures.  This is why, even with an English degree, I never even considered teaching.  So, I didn’t necessarily have bad teachers… just ones who didn’t give a shit.  It’s a shame, because early teens are also the time to really reach a kid for the last time to see if he has any passion.  I felt like high school was just a proletariat drone factory.  College was SO much cooler, though.  In college we got to move class to 2 am so we could look at Saturn’s’ rings with our own two eyes through the campus telescope.

Lemme tell you what a difference an experience like that makes.  I never cared about astronomy even a little.  To me, it wasn’t real.  They tell me this star was a super nova a zillion years ago.  Ok, that is nice, I guess.  How does that relate to my 16 year old day to day life experiences?  You tell me the stars I am seeing now are really an illusion.  The light I am seeing actually left those stars several hundred years ago.  How could a kid POSSIBLY wrap his mind around that in a book?  I took astronomy because I thought it would be an easy elective, and it wasn’t a morning class.

I was in luck, as NAU (Flagstaff, AZ) is one of the premiere astronomy schools in the nation.  We not only had this sitting on campus, but just a few miles away is Lowell Observatory where Pluto was discovered.  The whole town was only allowed to use certain lights and street light because of this.

However, once I saw the rings of Saturn with my own eyeballs in real time… it rocked my world.  Now this stuff was real.  how come no one ever showed us stuff like this in high school?  I signed up for a bunch of astronomy classes.  It was my new major.  only for a few months, though.  It turned out that astronomy is entirely math.  Big disappointment, and now pretty much out of the picture.  I had worked my whole life to avoid math… so now (to me) it was too late.  Why didn’t someone show me this cool shit when I was 6 or 10?

For my forestry class, we actually left school and went out into the forest.  My Shakespeare teacher swore incessantly, and it was awesome.  He was showing his unbridled love of words and their powers.  Obviously, that had a big effect on me.  In science classes in college, we blew shit up!  In high school, we just read about ways to blow to shit up.

So, what I wanted… and still want… is a teacher who cares.  At NAU, I was super lucky to have amazing lit professors who really were just batty for the power of language.  Maybe that is why I was so drawn to words… because I was drawn to their inner fire.

* I know this got long winded and tangenty.  I felt really bad about dodging question #2, because it was so dumb.  So, I kinda over-compensated with the others.

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