Saturday, August 26, 2006

Dept.-Mental Detritus

*Despite my earlier heartfelt pleas and cogent arguments, the pointyheads at Astronomers-R-Us or whatever went ahead and delisted Pluto as a planet anyway. So, for those of us who memorized the handy sentence "My Very Elegant Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles" back when we had NINE PLANETS, may I now offer this mnemonic as an alternative: My Very Ethnic Mother Just Served Us Nachos"? When faced with such an exigent, we must needs make do. Sigh.

*I started back to work on Friday. It was made oh-so-evident when I went to log onto my computer. After typing in my username and password, I had to click on the button which said
SUBMIT. I had no choice. !CLICK! Summer was over.

* Thursday night, lying in bed, sleepless as usual the night before going back to school after summer vacation (even after 25 years in the biz), I hear scuffling and scraping out on the deck right outside the bedroom window. "Rick!" I stage-whisper to my husband. "Did you hear that?" Rick, after a pause, says sleepily, "Yes." I wait a moment. Then I say, "Well? Don't you think you better see what it is?" He leans over and grabs the flashlight and directs it out of the window while still lying prone in bed. "I don't see anything," he says, and turns the flashlight off. I lie there, incredulous. I content myself with the knowledge that, if it is a bear that claws through the screen, it will get him first.

*Lots of colleagues who remember I went on an Alaskan cruise this summer ask me about it at school. I encounter severe vocabulary distress due to my self-imposed boycott of the word "amazing." Because, as you know, if anything IS that word, it is Alaska. I vow to make a list of synonyms--good ones--this weekend.

*I sat in meetings all morning on Friday--as expected--at school. I surprised myself with my level of patience and maturity. Am I growing up?

*I went to the Shaw Festival a couple weeks ago at Niagara-on-the-Lake. I saw two plays, one of which was The Crucible. It was a very good production, but I have to admit that I was more than a little dismayed when I noticed that the director chose to add two lines to the play. Okay, I was outraged. One does not mess with the work of a great master of the theater like Arthur Miller. Would she have added lines to Shakespeare? To Williams? To Marlowe? Anyway, I told my buddy and department head Sue about it on Friday. In my diatribe I included the exact lines and exactly where they were in the play. Of course. She grinned and said, "Nance. How many people in the audience do you think have the entire play memorized?! BESIDES YOU!?" We both laughed. Naturally, that is not the point, we agreed. But it is such an English Teacher Thing.

*I think I am over Nutella.

*Why do my children buy the same computer game every single year? Madden Football. All it is, is football. Some of the players are the same. It is ridiculous. They spend hours playing it. Sometimes they fuss for hours designing new uniforms and logos. I am going to buy them a Barbie Fashion Designer Game and I bet they love it.

Okay, that's it. I think. Be patient with me now that I'm back at The Rock. Allow for some re-entry time. Monday is the Big Day with Kids. Empty Vessels. Wish me good classes, low humidity, and superhuman stamina. Only 185 days to go!!


  1. I came up with "nachos" as well in the new sentence, but I missed the opportunity for "ethnic". Good work. I sit at your knee in awe.
    As for Pluto, I foresee a reversal. One report said that the public is emotionally attached to Pluto and cannot be expected to let go. If anything, I'm pleasantly surprised by how many people are talking about it. Who would think that so many people pay attention to the news? Around here!

  2. Can't the eggheads make the Pluto thing "starting...NOW!"? Make all other planets follow this protocol as of 8/2006 to be designated as such. Leave Pluto alone! Of course generations are attached to Pluto. It has the coolest name of all the planets, for one thing. Duh!

  3. Great post! Have a wonderful school year! Both my parents were teachers. My Dad is retired for the most part now, and my mom stopped working full-time after having me. Most of their friends are teachers too, so there has always been a lot of talk about school and the students. One of the best times that I had ever, was when I was about four years old and my father took me to work to visit his class. We went on a field trip to the zoo and all the kids were so nice to me!

  4. anali--
    you are born and bred from TWO teachers and you are not one yourself? how did you escape the fate? seriously, it's unusual. teachers remain my favorite people in the world, with English teachers being the most favored, of course. you get a group of us together, and we can talk about the most incredible things. we are fascinating. LOL!

  5. V--
    You know...I came thisclose to dusting off a Uranus joke, but I resisted. It almost killed me. It's nice to know that I can count on you for the ASSist. !ahem!

  6. LOL. Somehow they produced an attorney. I agree teachers are some of the most fascinating people, but I guess I'm a little biased! My Dad was an ESL teacher. He studied Spanish, then went on a sabatical to Spain and became fluent!

  7. Hey Nance! Have you ever gone to Google search and typed in "failure"? I think you'll like the result.

  8. I know...I love this! I don't even care why it works; just knowing that it does is all that matters.

  9. The Madden thing? My boyfriend does this as well. He also spends HOURS designing uniforms and making sure the coach is a near-perfect rendering of himself. I think he's gay. The football is a cover up. Ask your son.

    I learned a new phrase in German class the other day-"Bist du schwul?" Which translates to "Are you gay?" Just say that anytime they're designing uniforms. Or hand him a copy of InStyle. And tell him I said that.

  10. Danielle--

    The boys also love to create themselves and their father as players. Then they get to hear the announcer say their name. When they create their dad, they yell into the living room, "Dad! What position do you want to be? What speed rating?", etc. until I want to smack 'em.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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