No. I'm not dead, and don't worry, this blog has already lasted longer than Kim Kardashian's
I was gone for most of October. It was a, uh, work thing, but it was also kind of like camping, and definitely a lot like prison (so I've heard from other people). I don't even want to get into it because the important thing is that I'm back, and my cats didn't kill anyone while I was away.
But what I really want to write about is something for the fifth grader that's still inside of me. Let us focus on the word "get" actually. When I was a wee fifth grader, my teacher was named Mrs. Keller. Her first name was Georgiana, and she was the first woman I had met with a pseudo-man-name.
Sure, there are female name counterparts to male names. Michael/Michelle, Alexander/Alexandria, Christopher/Christina - good examples. Even some unisex names are OK - like Riley or Morgan or Skylar.
But Georgiana? Are you kidding me? The female George name was not meant to happen.
My eleven year old self commented on this one day to a friend, and to reinforce my point, I thought of another horrible female/male name situation.
"Georgiana is a weird name, but at least it's not, like, Franktwina! Francis is terrible too, but Franktwina is AWFUL!"
"....My mom's name is Franktwina."
"Oh of course it is."
And on that day, Emily and I stopped being friends, not because she hated me for hatin' on her mama's name but because I couldn't look at her in the face anymore without seeing hot franks, Frankensteins, and the French franc floating around her head.
But this isn't about Mrs. Keller's name, this is about how she didn't understand the word "get" and my usage of it. Now, "get" is a verb about receiving something or coming into possession of something else. You get presents for Christmas. You got presents for Christmas. You are getting presents for Christmas. Etcetera, etcetera - it is verb-tastic.
You also can use the word "get" when you understand something that isn't physical, like you received knowledge or came into possession of the knowledge to understand a concept. Most people, aside from psycho English majors, don't think about the word "get" in this way because you JUST GET IT ALREADY and you don't need to put this shit into words!
You see what I mean? You guys getting it?
Mrs. Keller did not understand the word "get" in all its many definitions. We were writing these papers wherein we pretended to be children locked inside a concentration camp during the Holocaust, and we were supposed to communicate how awful it was and how much we wanted to escape and live like Americans.
It was kind of a messed up assignment that reinforced arrogant patriotism, but whatever.
I wrote a complicated, long-drawn escape plan in complicated code-speak that was way cool, and at the end of my letter, I wrote, "I hope you get my point and find the spotted dog."
By "spotted dog" I was referring to the opening that I would have cut out in the fence-lined perimeter of my fictional concentration camp.
I was marked down on my shining example of genius and asked to re-write it because, according to Mrs. Keller, I didn't use the word "get" correctly. In fact, my homework that night included writing the definition of "get" from the dictionary.
Also, I may have had to re-write my assignment because I wasn't grasping just how tough it must have been for a child in a concentration camp because, you know, I was a healthy American child in the 1990's. Since when does an eleven year old have the empathy to actualize the traumas that the Nazis inflicted on an entire population of people anyway? SINCE WHEN, MRS. KELLER?
I came home that night fuming, and in a teenage fashion that was well beyond my years, I locked myself up in my room to finish my damn homework. I re-wrote everything, and if you think I hate re-writes now, it's because of this first re-write in my young career.
Without a second glance, I turned my crappy story back into the "Additional Homework" box the next morning. After recess, I came back to my desk to find a smiley-face sticker on my paper and a note from Mrs. Keller that read:
I think you really got the story right this time!
She thought I really GOT the story right?
Thanks, Georgiana, for proving that fifth graders are smarter than their teachers.