Be Good Room

Okay, those of you that use the "predictive text" feature while texting have probably been frustrated or confused from time to time while trying to communicate. I hate how it won't recognize words like "crap." Like it's just too proper and you're kind of shady to even know a word like that. Takes me back to the Speak 'n Spell days where you would try to get it to swear and it would just say, "WORD NOT FOUND" in that devil voice.

In any case, I always think about the real live people who have to program the words based on what I assume is letter combination logic and frequency of use order. I think about the tough choices they have to make. Like, will people text "book" or "cool" more often?

I often get cryptic messages from Scott like: "Be good room" which really means, "Be home soon." I assume that at some point, someone will notice that people use the latter phrase more frequently and adjust future programs accordingly. Likewise, as the culture changes, the programmers will surely add new and topical words to the dictionaries. Occasionally I will try to use a word and find myself dumbfounded that it was not yet included in the lexicon (texticon?). Then, I'm even more dumbfounded by the alternative words suggested. Case in point: I tried to text the phrase "Later skater!" to my cousin and here are the words (in order) that they suggested instead of "skater"






I was like, "Slaver? Are you kidding me?" Seriously. Like that's the word I wanted to use.

It's perplexing. I feel as though "skater" is a pretty solid, well-known term deeply embedded in our language. It's not like one of those words that makes me feel old like, "Screamo." Certainly it's used more often than "slates" in conversation. I mean, what are slates? Aren't those what kids like Anne of Green Gables brought to their one-room schoolhouse with their books all tied up in those weird little book belts?

In any case, I don't blame the programmers. How could you possibly keep up with our ever-evolving lingo? I added "skater" to my personal dictionary (a feature the texting folks were smart to include) and now I just to have to enter in all those swear words.

Later plates!

I'm going to read your mind.

I am going to attempt to read your mind. What's the ONE show you ALWAYS watched when you were home sick from school? Okay, picture that show in your mind. Now, is this what you pictured? Was I right?

So, I just saw Kylie, one of my favorite (and very first) friends. She and I spent like, every weekend between the ages of 6 and 12 at each other's houses. Here's why I love Kylie. First, she has an older sister named Tori, who she called: "Torlet." Second, when we were in sixth grade, she papered her entire room in New Kids On the Block posters so that no wall was left uncovered. She also owned every movie, magazine, and album featuring them, including the first one where Joey sings "Popsicle," and the one with "Tonight," which only superfans owned. Third, on said weekends we would always rent the same three movies: Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo. For like nine months in a row.
As you can imagine, we immediately had to make up dances after watching most of them. Just think about how much time in an adolescent girl's life is taken up by making up dances. And you always had to start out every dance with your back to the audience.

If you want to see the opening sequence for Breakin' 2 Electric Boogaloo, click here. It's definitely the most cliche opening sequence of all time considering how many close-ups of dancing feet there are and how many synthesizers are playing in the background.

Full props to Steve for showing me this band! Click on the picture above for a special surprise.

Last year, I had my students do this fun online Ancient Greece activity as a prelude to our Odyssey unit and one of the links led them to this picture:

The question the site had them answer was: "Here is a model of the world as Homer knew it. How accurate is it compared to what we know today? Explain."

We were like, "Um, how accurate is it? How about 0%."

The other day, I was telling Scott about this girl I grew up with who had a fire pole in her house. Then we started thinking about how cool it is that firefighters have all of these gadgets to help them get to fires fast - like the pole for sliding (stairs are for slowpokes), the boots with handles ( so you can pull them up quickly), and so on and so forth. Then we were like, what if it got so extreme that they started sleeping in beds with trapdoors that, when the alarm sounded, dropped them into tubes that shot them straight into their trucks, fully dressed, and maybe even still asleep? And then a robotic arm with a toothbrush could just come out and brush their teeth. Why does that always happen in the future?

But seriously, why don't more professions institute this kind of streamlined get-up-and-go? I can think of so many jobs where people want to be aren't there guys who wear those wheelie shoes in warehouses now? That's a start, but why stop there? Maybe people could just start wearing full-on rollerskates. And speedsuits. And using Segways. That just reminded me of something I saw on the Onion titled, "Do You Remember Life Before the Segway?" Like it just totally changed our world. Everyone rides them. And all of our meals are just pills. Turkey dinners in pills.

What about the fact that elementary school playgrounds ALWAYS had a pole you could slide down. And you would WAIT IN LINE to do it? Like, "Oh man, I gotta slide down that! And then, I'm gonna slide down that." (Pointing to the actual "slide," which, come to think of it, has a title which gives you pretty clear directions on what to do with it, much like the "swing." Wait, what do I do on this? Oh yeah...)

I did read that fire poles are actually being phased out now due to hazards (including burns from sliding too fast) and instead, fire stations are now mostly built as one story. But, any way you slice it, firefighters are the coolest. They are so tough! And I still think it's pretty cool that someone thought up a creative, fast way to get from point A to point B (besides the Segway, of course). But, you know what human invention wasn't so smart? This. Why did anyone think that was a good idea?

In any case, I leave you with a few questions:

1) Which organizations should implement special technology to improve their employees' speed and how should they do so? OR what's the fastest way you can think of to get from point A to point B?

2) What was the most ridiculous playground equipment at your elementary school playground?

3) What is the world's funniest invention?

4) Do you remember life before the Segway?

Where do I start? First of all - Jason Lee is way too good for this movie. Second of all, why did they "update" Alvin, Simon, and Theodore by dressing them up like a way less cool version of Run DMC? Or, as VH1 's Michelle Collins put it, "...Does anyone here remember Alvin looking like Eminem's ballsack?" No. Plus, the trademark turtlenecks have clearly been traded in for hooded sweatshirts. Why? Why does this exist? Do you know what I seriously hated about that show? When Alvin would get a crush on a human girl. Or when they would like, go to school with humans. Like that would ever fly. Wait, does anyone remember that Daily Show episode with that lady that treated the squirrel like her own child? And it had like a closet full of tiny clothes? Man - where is the footage for that?

Student: Do you still have that thing on your neck?

Me: What thing?

Student: You know...that wear it around your neck and it keeps memories...

Me: (in my mind) Hmmmm...the thing I wear around my neck that "keeps memories?" My amulet? My (Black Hills Gold) locket? Memory-keeping neck thing....

Then it hits me! He's talking about my memory stick or whatever you call those portable things that you save files on! I was wearing one around my neck the entire previous week. I laughed so hard when I finally figured it out.

I thought that was about the most charming way I'd heard it put though: "the necklace that keeps memories."

Ladies - why did we ever think "Black Hills Gold" jewelry was cool? I apologize immediately to anyone who is looking down at their hands right now at their own personal Black Hills Gold ring. It's probably not that bad. Most likely there is a lovely assortment of coppery leaves clustered around a rose or two. Most likely your boyfriend held it out to you while leaning sheepishly on his T-Top Camaro somewhere outside the King County Fairgrounds.

I don't know if this is real or not, but it made me laugh pretty hard. CAREFUL!