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Monday, January 02, 2006

Two of the Rs

Truly fine writing is an enviable skill, and when I come across it, I feel like whooping and weeping in gratitude simultaneously. Consider:

People don't usually gather together rejoicing about the subject, but everyone privately agrees that a hearty and effortless bowel movement is one of the morning's significant satisfactions. It represents casting off the burdens of the previous day and rising up to begin the new one unencumbered by the past, and it deserves a little quiet celebration. ( from Endangered Pleasures by Barbara Holland)

What graceful words to express the vernacular of taking a shit.

Especially dear to me is her essay on "Praise" from which I mined this wonderful gem: "A nod of satisfaction from an expert carries more weight than eulogies from the ignorant." Would that more parents of the 90s realized that; my job as a public high school teacher would be easier: students would be working harder with more realistic estimations of what their "efforts" are actually worth. Oh my! that sounded bitter. Perhaps from the thought of holiday break coming to an end day after tomorrow. Heavy Sigh!

Take a peek at the Barbara Holland book. Lovely reading on a variety of topics from taking naps to the lost art of talking to shopping to cigarettes. (And if you're an English teacher, they make great examples for classroom use.)

And if you owe a gift to an English teacher...!



1 comment:

  1. "A nod of satisfaction from an expert carries more weight than eulogies from the ignorant."

    I adore this quote and now, must read this book. Thank you for the tip!

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