Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Geek Proves It

Having bragged that I can name 20 English cognates of the Latin verb that means "to send" (i.e. mitto, mittere, missi, missum) I feel obligated to do so. If you know any I missed, transmit me a missive, and I will correct my omission and be eternally grateful.

1. admit
2. admission
3. permit
4. permission

Confessions of a Word Geek

There's smart and then there's me. I'm smart--sort of.

I don't know the right thing to say at a party. I don't do social situations. I couldn't read a social cue to save my life, and the number in my circle of friends shows it.

I also flunked out of engineering school. Well, that's not exactly true, I left before they could kick me out, but the hand was writing on the wall, and the kind of smart I am can read.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Looking for the Answer Where It Isn't

On Friday, in Houston, a 60-year-old engineer carried a gun into NASA, took two co-workers hostage, and ended up killing one along with himself. Doug Peterson, a spokesman for NASA said that "any organization would take a good, hard look at the kind of review process we have with people," as though somehow the problem was with NASA for hiring the worker in the first place.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Speaking to Alienation

There are times when I identify with people I'd rather not identify with, for example the VA Tech shooter. I know very little about him, and I have avoided the news purposely, because all this carnage is painful, and watching the victims' mothers weep will not heal what is wrong with any of us. But this act of evil is the direct result of a deep alienation that, combined with some mental illness blossomed into a tragedy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Taking the Fifth on the War

I have a little, teensy problem with the Religious Right. And like a pebble in one’s shoe, the irritation compounds over time.

While talking to my Latin students about the movie, 300, about the Trojan war, one youngster wanted to make sure I knew that the Spartans were burning for their sinfulness, which included leaving weak babies out in the elements to die and teaching children skills needed by soldiers, like deception, stealth, and thievery.

About Me

I love my country, that is why I criticize its absurdities; I love my freedom, that is why I do it publicly.