August 9, 2012

RE: Word Play

This is the scratch pad I keep next to the keyboard. As you can see, it is covered with nouns and adjectives along with verbs beginning with "re" that describe upcycling and home decor. After a couple of hours of infinitesimal tweaking, the messy brainstorm on the scratch pad is turned into a design for the back of my business cards.
Playing around with these words reminded me of a snapshot memory from 2nd grade. I think it was second grade. The memory isn't rooted in visual surroundings or the people present at the time. This is what I do remember with utter clarity. I was reading out loud during reading group. (Reading group consisted of a handful of students sitting around a table with the teacher. Each student had a copy of the same book. The appointed student read aloud until the teacher appointed another student in the group to continue with the reading.) I was sailing along until I came to the word "please." Now, I knew the word perfectly well and the teacher knew I knew the word. But I stopped dead. Silence. I was completely mortified. I imagine I was beet red from the tips of my hair to my toe nails. The word "please" was included in a section of dialogue in which the speaker was stammering. It was written, "p - p - please." There was absolutely no way I was going to say out loud "pee - pee - please." No way, no how. Pee-pee? Absolutely not. Despite the teacher encouraging me to sound it out (yeah, right) and cajoling me to continue reading, I remained steadfastly silent and flushed with the heat of embarrassment. This battle of the wills ended with the teacher pronouncing the word as "puh - puh - please." And I thought, oh, is that all? 

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