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"That's not writing; that's just typing." –Truman Capote



Stolen Blog Line

“Introverts with imaginations: we throw parties in our minds!  Sorry, you’re not invited. Oh, you didn’t want to attend?  Is it because you think I’m crazy?” Comment if you can relate.

I was just reading a blog that I follow (yes, on a Saturday night. I know, you wish you were cool like me.) and she closed her post with the line I stole above and I thought it was great. It also made me want to write something about it. So what follows will be some kind of unedited, jumble of a response. Sort of a freewrite-journal hybrid, I guess.

I’ve always been an introvert. Case in point: I’ve spent nearly all of MEA alone. All by myself. Okay, I was grading like a fiend for nearly all of that time, but in between mountains of student work, I’d pour myself a cup of tea and just enjoy the silence. And then my cat would get all up in my face and need something or pretend-need something and I would be annoyed. Or I would open the window because it was a beautiful day and then some neighbor kid would run by or throw something or swear really loudly and I would peer out the window at him in disgust. I’m that neighbor, I guess.

Introversion always has a sort of shadowy figure hanging over it and I, for one, don’t think that’s fair. Don’t get me wrong, being so trapped in your own mind that you can’t interact with others isn’t the pinnacle of mental health, but introverts are typically creative types and so, are always accompanied by their many vivid thoughts and memories. It’s not so much that we enjoy being alone it’s that we enjoy, perhaps, the absence of others insomuch as their absence allows us to focus our attention inward. How’s that for selfish? We scoff at the bubbly, life-of-the-party extroverts for being attention hogs and me-me-me types, when we’re really the selfish ones.

Everyone Hates Comic Sans

Font is not just something AP Comp Teachers get to be snobbish about, it’s actually something lots of real people think about. And guess what? They all hate comic sans too. Maybe we’re all just font snobs and that’s okay. In fact, you should be too! (bandwagon fallacy)

To continue your indoctrination, please watch THIS, read THIS and maybe also THIS.

If you feel so inclined, I would suggest taking up the Comic Sans game as illustrated below. In fact, I might just base your entire grade on your participation. (argumentum ad baculum or “appeal to force” also just plain old manipulation)


There’s objectionable material in the cartoon and I just noticed it now. At 4:30pm. Sorry if you were offended. Er, this is a college course, get over it! Except that I feel bad…

So I censored it.

Because if you don’t play the game and — oh the horror! —  use Comic Sans then this will happen:
(And you thought the font assignment/discussion was silly! Ha!)
Die Comic Sans, die.

Presidential Reunion


@font-face { font-family: “Times New Roman”; }@font-face { font-family: “Baskerville”; }@font-face { font-family: “HiraMinPro-W3”; }@font-face { font-family: “Baskerville-SemiBold”; }@font-face { font-family: “HelveticaNeue-Light”; }@font-face { font-family: “LucidaGrande”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }table.MsoNormalTable { font-size: 10pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }

Scallywag | skalē- wag | also scalawag | skaləˌwag|  
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a person who behaves badly but in an amusingly mischievous rather than harmful way; a deceitful and unreliable scoundrel; a rascal.

a white Southerner who collaborated with northern Republicans during Reconstruction, often for personal profit. The term was used derisively by white Southern Democrats who opposed Reconstruction legislation.

ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: of unknown origin.

As useful and interesting as the historical definition is, the informal will be my focus.

 Some synonyms that come to mind for this delightful word are the ones that show up in the definition: scoundrel and rascal. But why end there? Knave, rapscallion, rogue, varlet, villain, scamp, imp, hellion, and monkey all can serve as names for someone who is acting a scoundrel. Of these, varlet was less-than-familiar but has since been initiated into my working vocabulary (I accused my cat of varletry).The other familiar synonyms put a smile on my lips because, hey, I love a good moniker, you villainous, impish knave!

What I wasn’t expecting when conducting my official etymological research of scallywag was the list of terms used to refer to children. Evidently my sentiments toward wee tots are echoed throughout the world (or at least the English-speaking world). Kid, nipper, tiddler, youngster, tike, tyke, shaver, small fry, nestling, brat, terror, holy terror, young ‘un, lad, rug-rat, urchin, ankle-biter, and, guttersnipe all surfaced as possible synonyms for child. An interesting study in diction, perhaps. 
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But back to scallywag. It sounds funny. The -lly reminds me of the word silly and the cadence of the word itself makes me think of polliwogs — a word which I have always found amusing. The original source I consulted maintains that the origins are unknown, but I have seen others that argue the term scallywag, meaning “disreputable fellow,” is an alteration of a Scottish term scallag meaning “a rustic and habitual joker” while yet another insists that its origin is Irish or from some province in Northern England but doesn’t offer much beyond that. Of course these sources are all of questionable integrity, but they do seem to agree that scallywag is a term used to describe those with a penchant for mischief.

Hi My Name Is…

Just wanted to extend to you a friendly reminder that it actually is possible to change your name to anything you want. This guy in Oregon sure did, and countless celebrities do it (Madonna, Cher, Chaka Khan, Bono, Alicia Keys, Moby, Meat Loaf, Snoop Dogg, Sting, and Vanilla Ice) and some of them multiple times. Enter Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy, Puffy, Puff, Sean “Puffy” Combs, recently known as P. Diddy, just Diddy, and according to some Diddy Dirty Money, and Sean John are on the table as options for a new identity. To be fair, some of these are variations of the same name, and others are only rumored (evidently he did not change his name to Diddy Dirty Money, though I wouldn’t put it past him, and it’s only a rumor that he wants to be known as Sean John, the name of his clothing line) but still. I’ve been to the DMV, I’ve been to the social security agency, I’ve waited in those lines and filled out that paperwork. It’s unpleasant and tedious, why do it more than once? Oh, right, he has a team of employees grunts to do that for him.

In any case, making multiple name changes is absurd. What is perhaps more absurd though is adopting a ludicrous name like Meat Loaf, or Moby. Celebrities have the alibi of needing something memorable and unique, and they graciously bestow this on their children (like poor little Bronx Mowgli or Sage Moonblood). Then there’s Captain Awesome. When any “normal” person adopts a bizarre name it’s just that: bizarre. It reminds me of the episode of Friends when Phoebe and Mike change their names. Maybe I should change my name. I mean, I did it once, I could do it again. I’ll be taking suggestions…

Lives on the Boundary

Mike Rose, author of tonight’s essay, keeps a blog and posts to it quite regularly. While you won’t find as much of that entertaining description of his LA Voc. Ed. buddies as you do in his essay, you will definitely see more of his arguments about education, politics, and policy-making.

You Might Be Wondering…

In case you see this and in case you were curious, here’s the deal:

Mrs. Smith is taking care of you through Monday. Yes, I got a visa and I’m headed to China! So, those poster presentations will just have to be postponed. I know, you’re crushed. The documentary you will be watching has some very interesting content if you consider it through the lens of rhetorical analysis and language study, so as you watch it keep in mind the goals of our class. Your vocab quiz on this weeks words will have to be Tuesday when I’m back instead of Monday.

English vs American

Listen to the interview (a couple minutes): 

Browse the free online dictionary:

(this is NOT an assignment)


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