I’m feelin’ lucky. So far. You may recall how, last week, my three youngest young’uns were sick. Early Sunday morning the bug got my wife, then my oldest son a few hours later. Wifey was really bad off for a while. She doesn’t like me talking about her here, so I won’t go into details, but let’s just say it was nasty and at one point painful for her.
Me? I’ve been fighting a cold for the past few days, but no flu symptoms yet. I’m pretty worried about it, though. I mean, this is benchmark test week at school. Today was a review day. Tomorrow my AP classes do their essay, then the rest of the week is all testing. If I get sick, a sub has to give my test. That seldom works out well. At the moment, all systems are go. Just lots and lots of snot and sneezing and snot and some coughing and snot, scratchy throat and, umm … a lot of snot. Did I mention the snot? Buckets of the stuff!
I learned today that a few more of my students have signed up for the Marines after high school. I am very conflicted about this. I believe military service is an extremely noble thing. It’s necessary and I’m thankful to those who do it. On the other hand, the various military branches recruit heavily from our school because it is a poor inner city school where taking a job in which people will shoot at you isn’t much different than a Saturday evening at home for a lot of these kids. One of these students, a very polite and gentle Hispanic guy, told me he chose the Marines over college so he can get insurance for his mom and brothers. That’s a hell of a reason to choose such a potentially dangerous career objective. Ten more weeks of high school, then these kids will take all their potential into boot camp, and then …
As we wrap up The Grapes of Wrath in my AP classes, my 5th hour had a decent conversation about colloquialisms today. Reading the book has made them more aware of their own Okieonics and, in some cases, made them relapse into using words like "worsh" for "wash." We discussed various other things we say that are unique to Oklahoma, or at least the South. Like when you’re preparing to do something, you’re "fixin’ to do it." Or, as one girl pointed out, you’re "fi’in’ to do it." My personal favorite is "Jeet?" It took some of them a minute to realize I was saying something unusual. What does it mean? you Yankees ask. "Did you eat?" Yup. Shorten that to "Didcha eat?" And then again to simply "Jeet?" We actually understand that and accept it as common speech.
Another girl talked about a friend from the Northeast who calls the water fountain a "bubbly." I had never heard that one.
What are some of your favorite colloquialisms? What do you and your friends say that you think people elsewhere in the country wouldn’t understand? (At least we’re not Canadians, eh?) haha
The few students who have actually finished Grapes have been appropriately shocked and confused by the ending. It’s amazing to see them thinking it over when they see the symbolism behind Rose of Sharon’s act there at the end. Seeing that light come on is what teaching is all about. And then they say, "It’s still gross!"
I swear, all this bleeding heart stuff about kids in the military and fanboy adoration of Steinbeck … the GOP’s gonna come and revoke my Republican voter registration card pretty soon.
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