Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Weekend Update

'Tis the season for loads of homework, so I don't have much time to write, but I wanted to post a quick weekend update. Before I do, a story:

I once visited a local church during the holiday season, which is the time of the year that the word 'tis is used with some degree of frequency. The pastor of this particular church planned to begin each of his three points with the word 'tis, but prior to the message, he relayed a story about how he and his staff spent the week arguing over pronunciation.

As he told it, the argument was between "tiss" (sounds like hiss), and "tizz" (sounds like fizz). I chuckled a bit because words can be tricky, and mispronunciations can be funny, particularly if his wacky staff members were trying to get him to say "tiss" at least three times in a sermon. Surely they were setting him up for some laughs at the next retreat, because as we all know, the word 'tis is a contraction of the two words it and is. And since is is pronounced "izz," it would stand to reason that 'tis is pronounced in the same way.

Good stuff. Really funny.

But then, he went on to say that he was going to go against the flow and say 'tis the way he thought it should be pronounced, and that is when I learned that we all don't know about contractions, or about the audio function on Dictionary.com.

Speaking of mispronunciations, I was inducted into the English Honors Society this weekend. The induction was complete with a ceremony, an oath, and a reception following with a service of cold cuts and cake. Bub called it "Mom's Smart Club Party," which was super. Oddly, I was the only new inductee with English as a declared major.

Maybe it's just me, but I view the limited number of English majors among the membership as a problem. The chapter is only two years old, so perhaps the number will increase with time, but still. The treasurer -- a Business major -- mispronounced several words during her portion of the presentation: insignia became insigMia, lapel became label, and there was something else, but I can't recall what it was. [Fortunately, having a good short term memory is not part of criteria for membership.] The president even broke clear language rules, but his major is Biology. For representatives of a society that promotes the "love and learning of language," it was a pretty troubling affair. Regardless, the sponsors mean well, and are very passionate, and their passion encourages me to believe that I can take this thing seriously.

Here I am being sworn in --
"I promise to read lots and lots of books,
and to do my best at pronunciation..."

This is Seth, the chapter president.
He introduced himself that way over and over again to everyone in the room.
"Nice to meet you. I'm Seth, President."
As much as he said it, I think my kids thought he was the President.

Bub and I had hot chocolate at Starbucks on a day far too warm for anything hot. We did a bit of people watching, had a good chat, and played near a fountain that he filled with all my silver coins, since Cooper had previously taken all my pennies. Bub and I have matching coffee stains.

How can I teach him to love his stained bits when I don't even like my own?

At The Sharper Image with the Man of Steel.
After visiting Disney World, the kids like to pose by absolutely everything.
I draw the line at beer displays in the grocery store.

Also at The Sharper Image: Brian the Brain
(This Interactive Digital Roommate made me feel so depressed
that I wondered if James would notice if I moved
all the lonely people of the world into the upstairs game room...
Seriously, I think I need help.
Either me, or the guy who thinks a brain in a bottle makes for a good roommate.)

Stick 'em up...

As for the rest of the weekend:

** Bub played in a football game where about 40% of his team didn't even show up. In fact, there weren't even enough boys there to offically play a game, but instead of calling it a forfeit, the coach of other team kindly benched some of his boys and made use of our Saturday morning. Despite that generous gesture, they played really well and absolutely slaughtered Bub's team.

** James and I saw the movie Smart People, which is about a self-absorbed literature professor. To a degree, I enjoyed it, but James merely tolerated it. He said he'd had about enough "English people" for one week, what with the induction and all.

** I saw some interesting news clips [Food Costs on the Rise and Homewrecker Pays].

** James played golf with some coworkers, and realized he's better at dressing the part than actually playing. His PGA Tour dreams have been dashed.

** I made arrangements for my 18-year old niece to live with us this summer before she's off to college. Friends, need a summer babysitter?

** I began studying for an upcoming Biology exam. As I read, I learned about the importance of having a head.

Better than Biology:

"Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ,
and the head of the woman is man,
and the head of Christ is God."
I Corinthians 11:13 NIV

"God has put all things under the authority of Christ
and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church."
Ephesians 1:22 NLT

"...Instead, speaking the truth in love,
we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
From him the whole body,
joined and held together by every supporting ligament,
grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:15-16

And last, but most certainly not least, my blog friend Tara's dad passed away Sunday, which made me reflect on something Karen and I talked about when I visited her in the hospital. We talked about egocentricity -- about how even in the middle of our reaching out to others, it's still ultimately about us. The fact that I'm so self-centered even in the midst of service is something I still really need to work on.

At one point, I would have said that I'm in a consistent process of dying to myself, but in reality, that is just not true. I'm far from it. I mean I'd like to die to myself, and I understand it's an ongoing process, but sometimes I'm flabbergasted at my position in this process, and feel quite overwhelmed. And then there's the issue of my being quite lazy and very resistant to the whole "dying to myself" thing -- particularly of late. How that relates to Tara? It really doesn't, save for the fact that her faith in the midst of pain has been remarkable, and it reminds me of how rotten I really am.

As Jon Acuff over at Stuff Christians Like would say, I'd deserve God's great big elbow of death, were it not for His grace.


  • taralynn819

    You are genuinely funny.

    The English language is probably the strangest phenomenon ever. We have SO many wacky pronunciations and spellings. That we pronounce "is" as "izz" is strange enough!

    So it looks like Bub wanted to share in your coffee stain tribulations. What annoys me izz whenever I wear kahki pants I always seem to forget to cap my pen, and then I get a reminder that stain removers don't always work miracles.

    Where did Babbit go??

    What? Rising cost of food?? You're kidding! (I'm so all about the stockpiling!)

    Our flight leaves tomorrow and then we return Sunday. I'm taking Monday off just to recoup. Might as well take advantage of bereavement leave.

    Pray for the memorial service. There will be many, many unsaved family members and friends present. We are giving God the glory on this one. I've been writing up a "spiel" to present at the service, and I'm a little nervous, but excited at the same time.

    If you're rotten, I'm rottener. (Eat your heart out, Webster.)

  • Randi

    I love your posts. You are so stinkin' talented. I'd induct you into a Hall of Fame (or an Honors Club) if I had one too. Congrats on being a smartie pants!

  • Elizabeth

    I dunno...is it tizzzz or tis? Hmmm. Could tis be a form of it's where s is pronounced s? I'm just sayin'! :-)

    You crack me up. I mean for real.

  • In His Grip

    I think for having work to do that was a pretty good blog. Way to go Amanda. Keep up the studies. You for sure want to finish it before you are sending your little ones.

  • Emily

    Once again i am entertained by you. I love reading how and what you have to say on this blog. Congrats on being super smart!! The honor club will be calling you Mrs. President in no time.

  • Jenny James

    OK, the thing that caught my attention is the possible summer babysitter.... hmmmm...

  • Happy Mommy

    Boy oh boy is the English language hard! I teach my son Phonics and it is really funny and hard all the same.
    Food is getting really expensive!

  • We are THAT Family

    What a great post. Funny! English language=difficulty. Every time.

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