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Oldie, 4/4/08: Bibles, Books and Bullets!

So glad I can sleep in a little tomorrow. We were all falling asleep at our desks this afternoon. Good thing we're not air traffic controllers, LOL.

Wally called me all stressed out - he's grappling with an assignment in his English class, having to read and analyze a novel written about a century ago. He doesn't get "the way the guy writes," as he put it. I think he's more freaked out by his teacher -- "This guy's an actor, Mom! He acts one way around the students, and another way when he meets the parents. The parents all think he's normal. He's NOT!"


I told him I remembered many teachers like that when I was in school.

I tried to explain two concepts to him:
  1. "Show, don't tell." The author he's having the problem with illustrates what's happening with action and dialogue, which is as it should be. But when the setting is a time and place that's totally unfamiliar, the dialogue is stilted and the action is well nigh incomprehensible. The author, being a product of the era he was writing about, had no cause to "explain to the reader" what was happening. So I suggested that Wally use that fact as a framework for his paper.
  2. "Ready-fire-aim." He's trying to figure out how to fill four pages. I told him, JUST START WRITING. You don't have to have the whole paper in your head. Just start. Put down whatever you know and don't stop writing until you've filled the pages. Then edit and modify. His guidance counselor is the head of the English department, so I recommended that he call the gc to get some support in case he asks for an extension on the assignment and it ends up in a confrontation.
More worrisome is that he's gotten "a prescription." Something to help him concentrate better, he said. He did get it from a doctor, just not the one on his insurance card...

~

Heard on the news today that Bill & Hillary Clinton's annual income is in the millions since Bill left office in 2001. Before that it was something like $375K. They give speeches and write books.

I really need more money -- I have some talents, I think... What's to stop me from making some extra bucks? What am I really good at? What can I market myself with? I really have to put my mind hard to this and come up with something. It's long past time.

~

Today's Blasphemy:

CNN had a story about a family that was getting ready for bed, reading stories, etc., when a teenage neighbor took a random shot at a possum. The bullet went through the wall of the bedroom where the mother was sitting with the kids. It continued across the room into a closet. On the other side of the closet was another bedroom where the dad was getting the other kids ready for bed. As the bullet entered the closet, it was stopped by a children's Bible on the shelf.

I'm asking myself, would the story have aired if it had been a phone book that stopped the bullet? Or perhaps a copy ofHarry Potter and Order of the Phoenix? It's annoying because all the believers are going to make such a to-do about this. But think about it. Religious people very often have Bibles all over the place. I visited a home once, and sitting in the living room counted no fewer than 7 Bibles all belonging to the one family. Saw one in the bathroom too, when I visited, so no doubt there were more in all the bedrooms, the kitchen, the dining room, and probably their cars. Don't recall seeing anything else in the way of reading material, however.

Now, I live in a locale where bullets have been known to fly. Perhaps one day my out-of-control collection of Stephen King books will stop a bullet before it reaches me. Or Jane Fonda's memoir... Of course, I do have 3 Bibles. They're all kind of dusty because they haven't been read in years and probably won't be for a long time. So if one of my Bibles stopped a slug, I'd most likely be thinking, "Yeah, a suitable use for it."

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