March 20, 2001
Have you ever tried to explain pogroms to a nine-year-old? How about the Inquisition? Well, guess what I'm doing today? Yep. The Jewish Americans. It's due at the end of next week, and I've gotten pretty good progress done on it. It's just, well, gosh. If I was explaining this stuff to my own kid, it wouldn't be a problem. I'd have a rough idea of where the boundaries were, what I could leave to the kid's imagination, what he or she already knew...all sorts of important stuff. With this, I have to guess what level of information the editor wanted when he said "material about hardships faced in coming to America." Somehow, I don't think "continuously shat upon for several centuries" is quite the tone or information level he was looking for.
I don't know when this entry will be posted, by the way. At Home is doing some "upgrades for your convenience." Do you feel convenienced? Yeah, I thought so. Me, neither. When did "convenience" and "courtesy" become their own antonyms?
So. I feel better again today. Any day now we're going to be up to "good." Really.
It doesn't help that Mel Brooks has ruined me on the Inquisition. I realize that it's a very serious subject, a period of history that was quite painful for large numbers of people. But I can't write a sentence that starts, "The Inquisition" without my brain running off without me: "let's begin. The Inquisition -- look out sin. We're on a mission to convert the Jews...." Luckily, Fiddler on the Roof has no such cheery songs about pogroms, although sick person that I am, I'm imagining Mel Brooks singing it to the tune of "C'est Moi" from Camelot.
Some things are best left uncontemplated.
Not the same thing as "some things man was not meant to know," of course. I've always said that it's a good thing I'm not God, and this is one big reason. Anybody who said that sentence without laughing in my world would immediately be crushed by a falling piano. I'd just be way too quick with the smite button, is the problem.
Anyway...oh. Time. I was going to talk about time. I don't remember why, of course. That would be asking too much. I've always had trouble with today, tomorrow, and yesterday. When I was younger, my mom thought it was the words that were the problem. I'm not convinced of that. I think it just may be the flow of time that we're having issues with here in Mrissaland. Today. Tomorrow. Yesterday. Whatever.
Michelle's composition students are learning about Time, because at UMaine (which is where she is for the duration), the instructor has to pick a theme and have students read nonfiction about it and then write persuasive essays (and only persuasive essays, which is a rant of a different color). La Michelle picked Time. She showed a video featuring Stephen Hawking, and the students' response was: "He acted too smart for what's good for him." Huh????? It's Stephen Hawking. He wasn't acting. He really is that smart. And what's with "more than is good for him"? Is that a threat? How could it possibly be bad for Stephen Hawking to be that smart? What is going to happen to him that will make his life worse because he was smart?
For that matter, what's going to happen to any of us for being smart? Once we're grown-ups, I mean, and people who beat us up are arrested instead of ignored.
See? There goes that smite button again.
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