Monday, May 07, 2012

Warning: grammar/spelling rant ahead.

 There's something pretty insidious about spelling and grammar. Insidious because in English, it can creep up on you in often-illogical ways, smacking you upside the head with an errant I or GH... And to me specifically, it is insidious in how well spelling in particular is embedded in my brain to the extent that I have uncontrollable reactions to bad spelling (and sometimes to bad grammar, but I can be more forgiving of that.

I'm a English prof, with a PhD in Literature, so one can imagine I write, speak, and spell well. I do. I don't do it all the time, and certainly don't expect everyone to do so. However, the rise of the internet has exposed me to far too many truly horrific examples of writing which demonstrates a not even creative way with spelling, but a careless way. It's not that people CAN'T spell; rather, it is that they don't think it matters, that their rants, raves, comments, blogs, etc, will be crystal clear to everyone, even if the audience doesn't live in the blogger's head.

This drives me batshit sometimes. My theory is that if you put your crap out there in public in a serious manner, as something important and worth saying, then treat it as worth expressing well. I understand when people are having fun, like with kittehs and goggies, but that's specific, intentional, and even has a grammar (for real). I understand dialect, jargon, and even argot-- but I don't understand lazy expression, especially when the subject seems of such great import to the writer.

Yes, in a way I'm ranting. But when I write a sentence on the board with no punctuation, no transitions, poor spelling, etc-- my students look at it and will say, "What's it say? It doesn't make sense!" We then try to figure out what the person meant to say, rewrite, and even if they persist in poor writing online, they understand that HOW you say what you say is very influential on its meaning. They know when they can hear and understand or read and comprehend then certain basic patterns have been followed and that is what makes communication WORK.

I'm not picking on any one person here. And yes, my own MS may impact my ability to spell (I don't use spellcheck, preferring to edit as I go). But seriously-- if you think your experiences and worldview is worth sharing on a widely public sphere online-- give more than a passing thought to its expression. It will help make your voice more powerful and, in some respect, more meaningful.

 Here endeth the lesson/rant.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Unbearable pain-in-the-assness of being

I'm so fantastically poor at blogging consistently, even though sometimes it is helpful. The heat rising here in cr*AZ*y, though, is already taking its toll. I find myself thinking that you know, maybe I DO want to be on a drug, even as I realize my clinical trial drug is actually still doing its thing. It's the little stuff, you see. And for some reason, perhaps due to the heat, MS, and my crappy state, I'm much more in a funk than usual. I feel unusually alone, but also maybe a little hypersensitive to things. I don't have PBA, but still, sometimes I just feel like crying. Sometimes, I'm so tired I feel like crying. On the other hand, it's not like I have many very close friends around here, and indeed, sometimes I wonder about the friends I have- y'all ever do that? Like I worry or believe that I'm either not worthy of the friendship or that I'm more annoying than a friend. This of course would be a good time to find a good therapist, but I have tried and I just think there's not a lot of talent around here. OF COURSE, there's always that cloud of hey, are you ever gonna think about your mom's death, or your mom period, are you ever gonna really clean up your home and stop living like you'll die any second, and afre you going to stay with the person you are with now forever? Weighty issues, and I'm beginning to feel too many of them all at once now. See, this is when blogs become dull! I should probably carry on and write some story to get junk out of my head and onto the page. A little fiction now n then rarely hurt anyone:)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

WEGO Health post #1

My MS poster!

"Dear 16-year-old-me. Write a letter to yourself at age 16. What would you tell yourself? What would you make your younger self aware of?"

At 16, I was graduating HS, looking forward with a naive sense of possibility that only a teen can. Looking back, I think I would have told myself to be, oh, a little less in a rush:

Dear Sam: You feel on top of the world, and you have good cause to be proud. You're smart, fast, and enthusiastic, but not very socially bright. I have to say, perhaps you should learn to listen better. You'll need it in the future.

In addition, don't lean on your ability to get things quickly in school. I can tell you that you will hate math in the future if you don't dedicate some time to it and other subjects you're not very interested in. Don't wait until grad school to learn your limitations and push to overcome them.

You won't need to make everyone happy all the time-- so try to get over that. I know it will be hard, but your life will just be better.

Also, please enjoy the health and energy you have. It's too easy at such a young age to take everything for granted, including walking and seeing. Work out, play, and have fun, but do take care of yourself-- because ultimately, no one else will.

And know it'll probably be all right, but you may always have to be a little stronger, a little better, and a little faster than others, because the world won't be equitable in your lifetime. Don't let that get you down. But also know it's ok to get angry about it, and remember-- people will always say YOU'RE the one with the problems about race/gender/culture/politics, not their own unexamined selves.

Find friends. Find mentors. Find happiness in you, and remember to sit and be quiet once in a while, especially near water. You need that.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


My first attempt at MS fundraising!

So this week is MS Awareness Week, and a few weeks ago I decided I wanted to try and fundraise for MS-- I do Zumba, which has been really great for balance and exercise, so it seemed logical to have a Zumba Party to benefit MS. My Zumba instructor is absolutely awesome, and I managed to get the close middle school to donate the space.

These benefits do pretty well in this area, but I'm a novice at advertising this kind of party, and I'm hoping we are able to have a lot of fun but raise some money as well. Yes, it falls on March 17th, but we've got some high hopes that since it goes from 4-6, that people will want to work out before seriously partying :)

The above is the poster, and I love it... I love how they have the information there, and I love how dynamic it is. Regardless of how many people come, I am sure I'll raise more money than penny-drives! :)