Tag Archives: Whip

Just How Old Does He Think We Really Are?

So, there I was sitting in a classroom full of third graders at Awesome Elementary School.

Now, this classroom is run by an appallingly good teacher. I say appallingly because watching her in action makes me realize how very far I have to go if I even want to be considered in the same solar system with her.

Anyway, self-loathing aside done.

She was in the process of reading to the class a wonderful updating of the gingerbread man (“Run, run, run as fast as you can. You can’t catch me, I’m the gingerbread man!” Yeah, that one. ) fable written and drawn by Jan Brett. The book is called Gingerbread Baby and it’s absolutely wonderful.


The book is beautifully painted, with intricate drawings showcasing fully realized characters in a charmingly rustic setting.

If it wasn’t being read to a class full of students who would have pounded me if I did what I wanted, I would have snatched that book away from the teacher and simply lingered over each sumptuous page.

Just lovely stuff.

Anyway, back to the setting.

It’s obvious from looking at the story that it takes place in the past. The house is located up in the mountains during winter and there is no one else around. It looks like  a sort of alpine farm. The house is obviously a log cabin of sorts and the clothing looks like it came from at least early in the last century, possibly the century before that.

So the teacher asked her class about that setting, knowing that it was set far in the past and figuring that she would get an answer similar to what she was expecting. Her expectations were only moving toward confirmation when she called on a whip-smart young dude named, for our purposes, Raul.

“It was done a long time ago,” Raul said.

“That’s right, Raul. So what–”

“A long time ago, probably in the 1980s or maybe even the 1970s.”

I’m just glad I wasn’t drinking my carbonated caffeinated beverage of choice at the time or I would have spit it all over the classroom.

The teacher, who is much, much younger than I am, still got a good laugh out of it.

We’d forgotten, you see, that time, to a young dude like that, is a very personal thing. If something happened in the past, then, to him, it’s the past of which he can conceive. To him, 40 years ago, is a very long time, indeed.

Even though I slunk out of the classroom a bit chastened, at least I learned something good: Jan Brett made a wonderful book that I will purchase for my own library.

Now if I can just find young dudes or dudettes who will sit still long enough for me to read it to them.

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Head Banging

by Richard

As much as I love fall, this year’s is proving to be a bit more difficult than normal. You see, Sarcasmo is a senior in high school this year and that means it’s college application time.

Oh, yeah. You can bet that’s going well.

The problem, you see, is that Sarcasmo is like a lot of typical young dudes. That is, he’d like to do the least amount possible. For anything. Which means when he sees the word optional in a college application form, he thinks that means it’s actually optional. Instead of a one-word euphemism for “You must do this or you have no chance whatsoever of ever actually attempting to darken our doors, you scum.”

I might be overstating the case there. Slightly. But not by much.

The good news is that most colleges accept — nay, encourage — you to apply online. Those online applications are great, even if only for one reason: you don’t need to use a bottle of white out per page.

Back in the dark ages when I was preparing my college applications, I had to hand write or type every single bit. Which meant when I did make mistakes, and I did make mistakes, I had to either start over with a brand-new application, filling in all the stuff I’d already filled in, or I had to whip out the white out. Neither of which option was all that great.

Being a young dude, I compensated by only applying to two colleges. Fortunately, it was an earlier age and you could actually get into an out-of-state college fairly easily and, frankly, I got lucky.

Sarcasmo doesn’t have that first out and we can’t rely on the second.

Which makes working with him on all those short answers all the more fun. One leading question consisted of “My friends would be surprised if they knew what about me?” He had 250 words for his response. His answer, before I got out the whip and the chair, was nine words, including “My friends would be surprised if. . . ”

And the good news is I get to do this again next year when it’s Zippy the Monkey Boy’s turn in the barrel.

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Like A Fungus, We’re Growing On Things

by Richard

Just wanted to pass along a little information. We were invited to participate in a blog-go-round at Trekaroo.com. They’re a website devoted to kids, trips and the intersection between them.

We were invited to write a quick blog post about things we like to do in Charlotte. Since it’s a kid-friendly website, we weren’t able to talk about our true passions. (Kids are so delicate when you start talking about ritual mutilation of cute fluffy pets.) We did, however, manage to whip together a little list of stuff we like here in Charlotte. And it didn’t even involve alcohol. Even a little bit.

You can find the whole Trekaroo thing here. And, even better, why not check out all the links here? Why not go take a look if you live in the Charlotte area? There’s lots of good stuff. Stuff that I’m going to be trying out very soon.

Have fun.

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