Mightier Than The Pen

Making The World A Bitter Place

Here’s Kid, Lookin’ at You

with one comment

Like most people, I find it difficult to work while someone looks over my shoulder. This usually extends even to the mere presence of another human in the room, not necessarily one paying real attention to my activity. As I type this, however, another human stands right next to me, and the text on the screen in no way aims to elicit a reaction from her.

See, she’s not yet three (“Daddy…my nose is running”). That changes things. Aside from the sheer cluelessness of the preschooler set, one derives no joy from getting a rise out of the visual eavesdropper (I can use BOLD, ALL CAPS WORDS TO BRING ATTENTION TO THE FACT THAT SHE JUST PICKED HER NOSE AND SHOWED HER WORK, but she will not react) by revealing all sorts of compromising information on screen (SHE CAN’T TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MONET AND RENOIR, OR BETWEEN BYRON AND SHELLEY). (OK, BAD EXAMPLE).

Which is not to say that little kids don’t know what’s going on around them. We have a recording of the 1985 King’s SingersĀ album The Beatles Connection, the first track of which is their a capella Penny Lane. Upon hearing the first few lines, said toddler said, “They sing Submarine.” The King’s Singers don’t even have a version of Yellow Submarine. How the hell did she do that?

In the cluelessness and ignorance, however, lies a fabulous blessing available mostly to teachers and parents. Ten years ago I worked as an English teacher for adults, and the greatest moments of the day involved one of the students “getting it.” It provided special gratification when that student struggled overall (many of my students were not, to put it charitably, the brightest drawers in the deck) – that moment of comprehension, and the look on a person’s face when it strikes, make for thrilling experiences.

So it is with gratitude and anticipation that I interact with certain clueless people. The terminally clueless are a different story, and we shall save that for a time when I feel like ranting.


Written by Thag

April 28, 2010 at 5:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. (If I’m the only commenter, does it make this a Diablog?)
    At every opportunity, I tell of the glorious moment when one of my students “got it.” We were doing (misleading to say “studying,” learning,” or even “reading”) Shakespeare – JULIUS CAESAR. I pointed out that the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia – February 15 – during which the play opens was transmuted by the Christian Church into Saint Valentine’s Day. A student raised his hand and, in all seriousness, asked if Saint Patrick’s Day was derived from the Ides of March.

    David Shaffer

    April 28, 2010 at 6:02 am

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