Category Archives: Language

Plastic Laundry Basket

22-07-17 Plastic Hamper

This is a post in the My Things series on this blog. In it I chronicle items I own. I seek to describe why I own the item, whence it came, and what value it provides . . . and any other tidbits of interest.

At the house we had oodles of laundry baskets. We had a plethora (I remember learning the definition of this word from my mother. She defined it as a shitload. I always think of that when I use the word.) of laundry. An unhealthy amount.

Anyhow, my nice wicker basket had become destroyed long ago. Many replaced it, but eventually this basket from Target was purchased. It seemed just about perfect. It held a good amount of laundry. It had handles. It held up.

So, when I moved to the apartment, I purchased my own. It works quite well for my laundry flow here.

Generational Differences

At college, for a final in Pat Spang’s philosophy class (19th Century Philosophy, I think), I wrote about red m&ms. The point I made was that with the recent inclusion of red m&ms in packages of candies, the children of the day (1987) would have a different outlook on life than those of us who were older.

Why? Because a nine-year old in 1987 would think that red m&ms were new much like blue stars being added to Lucky Charms cereal. But the rest of society knew that red m&ms were being reintroduced after being off the market for 11 years. The red dye was claimed to be carcinogenic in 1976. It was never proved to be the case and the Mars Company didn’t use that dye, but pulled the candy nonetheless.

Anyhow, we now had two perspectives on the same event—forever a rift in understanding between the generations. I am certain it was not the first nor will it be the last.

I use that as a preface for as a teacher I have noted some differences between my students and the rest of us. This year’s students have introduced a new difference. I have never encountered this before.

Sometimes we speak in vagaries. We’ll say something like I bought a bicycle five or 10 years ago. That sounds like a normal sentence to us.

My students this year would say that sentence this way:

I bought a bicycle 10 or five years ago.

Huh? Why the larger number first? This isn’t a one-time thing. This is all the time with the majority of my students. Where does this come from? How do I correct it?

Trust me, I have emphasized that we always begin with the smaller number first. That has not produced results.

I also don’t remember ever being taught this. What has happened in our society that produced this shift?

Line of the Day

Here at the end of the academic year we are reading the fabulous The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Edward is an elegant china rabbit doll owned by Abilene. He has the finest clothes, a pocket watch, and is quite full of himself.

Then he is tossed overboard and spends months at the bottom of the ocean until a fisherman catches him. The fisherman brings Edward home to his wife. She is enamored with him, but because Edward is now tattered, she thinks he’s a girl. She makes him a dress.

At that point a student raised her hand. I called on her.

Is Edward transgendering?

Things are changing too rapidly for me in the classroom. In 28 years, I have never had this come up. Even if this were a thing when I was a boy, I would have never had the nerve to discuss this with a teacher!

We all regret the signs along the way that signal things. I am quite aware of this one; it is time to retire.

Line of the Day

“This is the biggest band on the planet saying we’re going to do our first show in three years in three weeks’ time. We don’t know where it’s going to be. And we don’t know what songs we’re going to play,” says Martin. “Paul and John kind of knew that they were growing apart… like a marriage that’s failing and they want to go back on their date nights again.”    

Giles Martin, 60 Minutes 14 November 2021

That resonated with me.

Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

Framed prints of inspirational sayings or throw pillows declaring Family do not impress me . . . Hand-written graffiti along a baseboard only to be seen by those on the floor, now that’s intense! . . . My doctor suggested asking my ex-wife to help out with my recovery. Ha! I couldn’t count on her when we married. This would be an opportunity to put me six feet under . . . Baseball seems to have lost my attention. Despite seeing several games live this summer, I don’t have on the Yankees-Red Sox playoff game . . . Can’t seem to find my groove right now . . . Almost just purchased an adapter for the Kindle. I have one, but I have a Kindle and a Fire. I am unable to plug them both in at the same time. But I can handle this and have for more than a year. I don’t need the thing . . . Finding me is finding my happy . . . Someone mentioned in a meeting the other day that she hasn’t been comfortable yet this academic year. Too many changes have disrupted the flow. Everyone nodded in agreement . . . Book clubs are interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed the book we read while others were so put off by it, they didn’t finish it . . . Lots of trigger talk around me. That word isn’t even in my vocabulary, yet it is upfront and personal in so many other people’s lives. I am accused of being privileged because of this. I look at it as being mature . . . Even running a maximum efficiency, I am finding excess . . . Some things, like people, serve a purpose for a limited amount of time . . . Just looking at the categories I have here for the blog are a reminder of expectations that did not pan out. Arduino? Magic? Markeroni? . . . Read something recently that said one is old if he uses two spaces after end punctuation. Yup, that’s me. I know all about proportional type. I also know about HTML; no one ever knows. 😉 . . .