Re: Monday and Thursday, Too

I guess I am looking backward as September begins…

Motivational Speaker Mike Donahue

I almost didnʼt post yesterdayʼs rant. Probably I am somewhat sorry I did. Ultimately, rereading it again, I decided that if the foul hate-vendors I keep encountering (thanks, Google for placing all those vile sites first when anyone does a search on topics touching on Islam) had the right to say and disseminate whatever rancorous lies they wanted to invent, I had the right to my (more legitimate and verifiable) say, too.

One event that got me rethinking that post happened when I subbed in Andrew on Thursday. I got the call at least a week in advance (and right now, for instance I already know I have one solid date for sub teaching in October), and between the call and the day, the high school got invited to attend an assembly in Maquoketa during the first two periods of the morning. Even though I wasnʼt scheduled to have a class for the first period, I did for the second, so I went along as a chaperone. (And how I had gloated and celebrated a year ago in June when I retired that I would never have to ride on a school bus again… Oh, the ironies!) The presentation was part of the Olweus antibullying campaign that most Iowa schools (probably all) have signed into as part of the mandatory programs instituted (partly) in the wake of the Columbine shootings (as the original findings from the event revealed that the two killers acted from resentment at ostracism and bullying they had suffered).

The featured presenter was Mike Donahue from R5 Productions, and he was a pretty good motivational speaker, citing his own youthful drug abuse and making some good points about teen boys putting “a pricetag on love” and “reaching for the top shelf” rather than the chemical bottom about oneʼs dreams. He concluded using a box of shoes with some teen stories from his past presentations to make a point about not judging until you had walked in someone elseʼs shoes (perhaps literally). Being the good audience member that I am, I actually was reconsidering my Labor Day missive to the world as we boarded school buses and headed back to Andrew Community School, as I had not walked in any tightly fitting Right-only shoes. Then on Friday I decided that I had been exposed to Rightismʼs bitter bile online, so fair was fair: the fundie liars could always have reconsidered their deception and abuse, too, and did not.

The newscaster probably baffling a crowd with his poor diction.

I had anticipated only being at school for the morning hours (the teacher I was temping for being gone to a meeting), but the meeting ran long, and I got a few more dollars than I had hoped. I also wrote and wrote during the day (this particular teacher having three preps, one of which I lost to the assembly, for curriculum duties on Thursdays), leaping Søren and Judahʼs adventures another thousand words toward some kind of conclusion (as I am imagining this story as merely the first sequence in a novel, determining the end here is a little iffy). I also worked and reworked on my revisionary ideas (which even affect parts of the story that you have already seen), trying to keep all my flaming torches, swords and Moors in the air simultaneously. But I intend to tell you more on that issue, the writing of this particular story, another day soon. Anyway, it was a productive day for me.

And right as I was leaving Andrew, the local bank got robbed! No one seems to have much information (good old KWQC, channel 6, didnʼt even cover the story that night, although filling their newscast with fluff and not current stuff), and I hesitated to contact the bank teller (a mother of former students), but the selfishness being wickedly promoted during this bad economy (take that, Rightists) seems to be striking entirely too close to home.

Janet and I had a fine time with her parents and two of their friends, dining out at Timmermanʼs that evening. We werenʼt even out very late, arriving home in our separate vehicles (if I hadnʼt gotten the sub job I was going to have been Janetʼs transportation that day) about 8:45. If we hadnʼt wasted our time trying to catch some info on the robbery from mushmouthed, cliticizing* Gary Metivier, we would even have been early to bed (and I was early to rise the next morning).

* Another new word for me, this one from one of my favorite daily e-mails, Merriam-Websterʼs Word of the Day. I invented the adjectival form I used above to indicate Metevierʼs annoying slurring of whole syllables, sometimes even multiple-syllable words, into less than a sound. We think he thinks the speaking style makes him sound folksy; in truth it makes him sound stupid. Hereʼs the dictionaryʼs definition:

clitic \KLIT-ik\ noun: a word that is treated in pronunciation as forming a part of a neighboring word and that is often unaccented or contracted

In “what’s happening?” the “s” in “what’s” is a clitic.

We hear clitics every day in sentences like “This’ll be fine” and “C’mon over here.” There are two kinds of clitics: “enclitics” and “proclitics.” An enclitic is a clitic that is associated with the word that comes before it. Contractions, such as the “ve” in “would’ve” and the “ll” in “it’ll,” are enclitics. A proclitic is associated with the word that follows it. Proclitics are transcribed into print far less often than enclitics are, but we hear them frequently in speech. For example, the sentence “They love to dance” is typically pronounced with the “to” truncated to a “t” that gets tacked onto the front of “dance.”

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

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