Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Hodgepodge

Some quick updates:
  • We're back to working in IT
  • I discovered that someone actually enjoys reading the incredibly unhelpful reviews that I've been putting in my monthly book lists (Thanks, Mom!). If only she could have approved of my monosyllabic contributions to class discussions in college, because the teachers usually didn't. (Helpful hint: don't ever say you empathize with Medea. It makes people nervous, particularly those with children.)
  • For the first time ever, I enjoyed watching the Super Bowl
  • For the first time ever, I made and brought pink dip to a gathering
Because I'm sure you're dying to know, here's how you make pink dip:
Get a 16 oz. thing of french onion dip
Get 2 of those little cans of deviled ham
Mix in a container until it's pinkish (ah-ha!)
Let it set up in the fridge for a couple of hours
Or don't

Eat with Ruffles chips
Feel really happy
Maybe have a mint or a piece of gum
*Note: you shouldn't eat just pink dip and chips until you're full because that's just gross. However, if you do, I'm sure you'll agree with me when I say that it's not unpleasant.

Also, I got the chance to feel helpful. A friend of the family asked if I would mind reading over a paper or two one of her daughters wrote. Eager to aid (and maybe impress) someone who used to babysit me, I agreed. I looked it over this morning and nearly had a heart attack. I realized the first problem was that I'd never proofed any kind of paper below college-level and some of my corrections might seem a bit harsh. I've been told (by those who love me, no less) that I tend to be zealous and a little insane when I start pointing out problems with commas, citations, and tense. I also once had an employer imply that there was something wrong with my faith after I refused to see his (flawed) reasoning behind wanting to stick with a flawed analogy after I'd essentially torn it into tiny ribbons. We won't even address the responses made by the people who don't like me (they're usually my loved ones after I've critiqued their writing). In short, I may not be the best person to look over your child's fledgling attempts at academic writing.

So I emailed my mom, who gave me some pointers on how to look over this paper in an age-appropriate way. My favorite line was, "Grammar should be correct at all ages," which would explain why she's been letting me give Dallas the 'You should always use correct grammar. Regardless of how smart you are, no one will ever take you or your ideas seriously if you talk like an illiterate hillbilly' speech ever since he was two years old. (I love using big words around that kid. He just smiles, kind of like what he does when someone speaks to him in Spanish.) Once I had checked only the things she said I should check, it still looked a little like I'd butchered an animal over this little one-page essay. Red ink everywhere. So then I emailed the paper to Mom, and called her. She looked over it and told me I needed to calm down because it's not a bad paper at all.

Apparently, the style is fine (maybe great even) but the usage is a little troubling. Oh. Well. So my mid-morning hysterics about the educational future of America may have been a little unfounded. Apparently my standards are a little unrealistically high and I need to chill. So I did. I made the minimal amount of markings on the paper, and wrote what I can only hope was a friendly and helpfully worded email and sent it on its merry little way. I know now that I probably won't be allowed to help Dallas with his homework until he's filling out college applications, and that I should probably scale back on vitriolic rants directed at small children who have a poor grasp on tense. However, the rest of you will not be spared.

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