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Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The ultimate meaning of life is to embrace that which compels you to act in spite of fear.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Fab Vocab

Yesterday my 10-year-old stepson was doing his homework on the kitchen table. My partner called me over to show me a sheet entitled "Vocabulary Development."

Fair enough, I thought. Then I started reading the sheet! The words his school is teaching grade five kids! Jeez. No, that's my word. Which is embarrassing when I think of what these kids are learning. The words I saw on this sheet are words I would expect from ... well, certainly not from kids that age. I know we weren't using or learning such big words back in the 1970s.

Here, I'll use a few of them in sentences:

"Jordan! Give me back that rabbit's foot. It's been my talisman since I was five years old."

"Mom, when I said I did all my homework in class and that the teacher said I was his best student, well, that was an embellishment. I just wanted to play X-Box for an extra hour."

"Dad. Mom. I don't really need the X-Box. Dad, you don't really need that big jeep. Mom, you don't really need those fancy prints on the wall. Really. These are just the stupid accoutrements of upper-middle class living. Really. These accoutrements suck!"

"Stephanie! Give me back my Alexis on Fire T-shit! Mom! Stephanie won't gimme back my Alexis-- Oh come on. I'm going to Jordon's birthday party this afternoon and the Alexis on Fire T-shirt is de rigueur!"

When my friends and I were 10 years old, we were watching Gilligan's Island, playing road hockey, stealing pop bottles, and so on.

Some of our typical words and sentences: "No way, Chris. There's no fucking way that was in the net! Oh yeah? You wanna fight? Well, right now! Come on. Let's go! Ass-wipe!"

It was the 1970s. Our teachers were flower children who sang "Blowin' in the Wind," and tried to instill in us a sense of peace and worldwide friendship. I think we got an A or at least a B+ if we said, "The sun is bright" or "The flowers are nice" or "I like chocolate and kittens."

We were all special. But we weren't being watched, not like kids today.

Which is why we had to resort to atrocious words like "ass-wipe" on and off school property, and stealing pop bottles. Or worse.

Clearly their plan didn't work quite as well as they had hoped. Well, I shouldn't be so harsh. I no longer steal pop bottles. And I do like people, most of the time. But damn, if only they hadn't been such a bunch of antiestablishmentarians, then I wouldn't be writing this today.



Blogger Matt Watts said...

I'm watching Gilligan's Island RIGHT NOW...

What does that say?!

11:48 AM  
Blogger oakwriter said...

It's on?! What channel?

I'd say, you can take the boy away from the Gilligan's Island, but... :-)

1:05 PM  
Blogger cbcworkerbee said...

I just bought the entire first season of Gilligan's Island! It's going to be a Christmas present for my girls. :-) (But we all know who it's really for...)

4:21 PM  
Blogger oakwriter said...

haha. Or what is sometimes known as "the family gift."

4:38 PM  

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