I am slightly more discombobulated than usual this afternoon.
And so it is that I find myself back to finish my thoughts and I have misplaced my words. I can not find them anywhere and yesterday when I paused to let us all have a breather, they were all neatly in order waiting simply to be put in place in Part 2.
I have looked in every nook and cranny in my head and I honestly have no clue what they were supposed to be. How could this happen? And at such a critical time. I didn’t leave them in the earlier post. And they didn’t just get up and walk away for Pete’s sake. I could just wait it out. They may have just wandered off and will come home when they aren’t making any more sense but I am feeling a bit panicky and have decided to sally forth.
I really miss that comic strip. Ah well.
Before Mrs Dieter, My Grandpa was the one who taught me about words. He was a stickler for proper grammar, punctuation and word usage. I learned very early that to know how to use words was a way to earn his favor. Not that I ever remember feeling wanting when it came to my grandfathers approval or love. But he appreciated a good joke that involved some type of word play more than most and liked to use and learn different words to keep it interesting. He was an admirer of the pun and being able to one up him in the round of puns was quite a feat. If there was a question about how a word was to be used properly, Grandpa was The Man. Not to be confused with The Dude. Just ask my cousin who made that mistake only once.
He believed and I agree that it was worth it to speak and write properly. If you chose a word that was not in proper form, he would look at you over his glasses with one eyebrow cocked and give you a second or three to correct yourself . For example, does the dog lay or lie? Choose the wrong one and get the look. He encouraged us all to use and choose words with care. He taught me that a word has weight and value. He taught me that to not understand the language, to use it improperly, was to limit your potential. And that with the knowledge of the hows and whys , the rules of grammar and punctuation and the meanings and forms of words came an open door into being able to use words in a way that ensure you never feel like you have nothing..
He was smart. He was proud. And I hardly remember a better feeling than for him to laugh at a joke or pun, or the feeling l had when we conversed and I knew that my grandfather enjoyed speaking with me.
Grandpa was my first english teacher. He showed me how a word which appeared static and rigid could move and expand, flow and morph into something entirely different without the word itself changing its appearance. He showed me that a string of words could play off one another and then with a slight rearrangement, change meaning and feel different. A word used for greatest effect can deliver. Words are art and being able to manipulate them a skill worthy of learning.
A word is not static. One word can mean many things and be spelled different ways. The sounds, without the spelling, let you put a word where it’s meaning did not fit and suddenly it became a funny thing. The pun is an art form in my family. Every one of us is adept at expressing ourselves effectively and intelligently with proper word usage and punctuation and every one of us can recognize even the subtlest play on words and appreciate the humor of it.
There is power in being able to express oneself effectively. In learning and observing the rules of the language, the subtleties and nuances, the possibilities, are endless. .
My Grandfather left us in 2004, and I miss him. More so since I started this blog. I wish that I could share this with him and see what he thought. If he would laugh. If he would say he was proud of me. I think he would. I wish that I had realized I was capable of this type of endeavor while he was alive and that I could thank him. He would be happy to know that I have been nominated for The Versatile Blogger Award.
My parents reinforced the lessons my Grandfather taught and encouraged my brother and me in our attempts to participate in conversation and banter from a young age. It takes skill to be able to play with words and you learn by doing. If we came up with a pun that didn’t quite work we were never made to feel stupid but encouraged to try again. We were consistently corrected when we misused words or phrases until the correct way was second nature. When one of us asked what a word meant, we were told to look it up and as much bitching and moaning as we did at the time, as an adult I have a dictionary and thesaurus and I am not afraid to use them. It is in fact like breathing to look a word up when the meaning is unknown.. An involuntary reaction.
I am almost grateful that my original thoughts decided to scatter and remain stubbornly out of reach. This was not the intended direction of Part 2 but in having to improvise I learned more than I knew. A few of the words from the original direction have come back home. Scrambled and not making any sense.
Everything comes full circle it seems and sometimes you find that things you thought had nothing to do with each other are in fact dependent upon each other. If not for my grandpa, when I had my first day of class in Mrs Dieter’s 10th Grade Honors English class, I might not have had any interest in the word of the day. I may have seen it as another chore to get through school and now years later might not even remember something as seemingly mundane as vocabulary words taught in 10th grade or the teacher that taught them,. I may not have ever been in Honors English to begin with. While I always attributed my being there to my intelligence alone, when you take classes above the normal scope of everyday education, if you have no interest or ability, you generally do not succeed. Classes such as those are designed to challenge but without the basic thirst for knowledge and curiosity and enjoyment of the subject, without understanding how it can apply to and enrich your daily life, there is no motivation to meet the challenge. Makes me wonder if I should change the title of Part 2 to ; Thanks Grandpa.
I am curious how telling you 7 things about me became a requirement of this nomination and why 7? I am aware of the part of me that wants to just ignore the rules trying to get my attention but I am good-naturedly going to ignore it and provide 7 bits of information that you may never learn anywhere else but this post. In all honesty, there will probably be future opportunity to find out these little nuggets but not all at one time and I am just stalling to come up with 7 things that are cool enough.
- I am responsible for my high school football team losing a game way back when because I did not want to wear socks and my mother insisted I should. The shoes I had were just not compatible with socks and I did not want to look like a dork. it was cold and my mom was just thinking of my toes welfare but I was not having any of it. A fight ensued involving name calling yelling crying …all the stuff normally attributed to mother, teenage daughter fights and even though my dad and brother left us there to duke it out and went to the game, they were late, thereby causing the loss of the game. Exactly how this conclusion was reached I am not quite sure. You would have to ask my brother.
- I almost always wear socks when it is cold out.
- I like pillows and feel out of sorts without at least 4 on my bed. 6 to 8 is my usual comfort level.
- I would be happy living off of Smartfood Popcorn and Red Vines. In theory anyways.
- I am afraid of the dark.
- I had the same teacher for 11th grade English my brother had the year before and once when I had procrastinated way too long on a paper,I used one of his. I probably should find out if there is a statute of limitations on penalties for that sort of thing. I am hoping 25 years is long enough because it’s baggage I want to get rid of and really what are they going to do to me now? Revoke my diploma? Take back my education? I assure you without that paper I would still be in possession of both. In other words that paper had no real weight in the scheme of things. If it had been that type of paper I would never have entertained the idea. I did it once when I had procrastinated all the way until lunch which was right before english. I ran home and pulled up my brothers paper on our computer and corrected some of the grammatical errors, changed the name and printed that bad boy out. I got a B+ my brother got a C. Yea I am ashamed of myself but tell me, haven’t most of us with older siblings that we ended up in the same class they took done something like it? In truth I hated that I couldn’t brag about the grade and felt ashamed of myself afterwards. So much so that I only did that one more time. Hey I am not sure I ever even told my brother….if not, thank you brother. Ha I know you people thought I might slip and reveal my brother’s name so you could find out the story of the bowl but it is not going to happen.
- I used to play the oboe
And finally my nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award: