Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shut Up

Shut up. Just shut up. 
We try to take it slow, 
But we're still losing control. 
And we try to make it work, 
But it still ends up the worst. 

Every profession has its own jargon. The terminology associated with a subject, the acronyms comprising a vocabulary of alphabet soup and of course, the buzzwords, create a language only those privy of the knowledge can comprehend.

Educationese is the language educators (a.k.a. teachers) speak, usually on a daily basis. In fact, in order to become a teacher an educator, certain requirements must be met, including taking an ordinary, everyday activity and turning it into a multi-syllable word or sentence, or better yet, an acronym. Why? Teachers are smart, you know. So everything they say has to sound impressive.

The Columbia Guide to Standard American English defines educationese (or teacherese) as the name sometimes given to the jargon too frequently employed by some of those who train our schoolteachers. It is characterized typically by its humorlessly abstract, Latinate, and polysyllabic diction and its convoluted, rambling, and frequently passive syntax. Fights are never “fights” and rarely even “quarrels.” Instead, fights are “conflict situations.” At its worst, instead of correcting imprecision and ignorance, Teacherese tries to conceal learning activities, frequently from teachers themselves.

A child interacting with manipulatives in order to increase fine motor skills and critical thinking is probably just playing with blocks. If he should engage in low-organized physical education or consumer awareness, he was most likely playing outside until his mother asked him to escort her to the grocery store.

Every year there seems to be an abundance of overused buzzwords. "Thinking outside the box creates a new paradigm that authenticates assessment to meet the objectives of lifelong learning and college readiness". Sometimes they are just ordinary words, twisted and combined to sound important. I’ve heard comprehensive support, expectation, and building capacity run together in sentences that don’t even make sense. “The expectation is that the expectations will be met with the objective being that the expectations of the expectation occur in a timely manner that is conducive to the expectation of the expectations in order to build capacity to ensure comprehensive support.” Uh…right.

A few years back when Palm was still popular I had a game called BS Bingo. You could enter all the buzzwords at that particular time then during a meeting you could mark them off as they were said. It was quite entertaining (to me) and helped me get through a boring meeting or two. I should check to see if there is an Android app that is comparable. Now, I just keep a tally to see how many times certain terms are repeated. It just takes one time for it to be said then every speaker from there on out repeats the word, adding their own bit of emphasis.

It’s not that I’ve built capacity. It’s more like I’m filled to capacity. And the expectation is that I remain attentive until time to go. I’d hate for my accountability to be damaged so I’ll hide my attention deficit disorder while I continue with my authentic learning so I can pretend to be engaged in a collaborative experience. Oh…that’s five for expectation.  

Let's forget the past 
And let's start this new plan. 
Why? 'cause it's the same old routine. 
And then next week I hear them scream.  
Shut up.
Just shut up.

Hard to believe but my firstborn grandson had a birthday this week. That’s not the hard to believe part. What's unbelievable is that he’s 8 years old. It seems like just yesterday we were anxiously awaiting his arrival.

He wanted a specific toy, but I wanted something special for him. I decided we’d give him some money and his mom and dad could take him to find that toy. And I made him a coupon book, good for different things.

Cover for the Bday coupon book

I cheated, because of time, and edited a printable I found on the Internet. I altered the text and changed pictures and made coupons with things we wanted him to have. And after seeing how easy it was I’m sure I can make my own from scratch next time. We brainstormed and he had coupons for spending the night with us, breakfast in bed, lunch with us, candy, a new shirt, a movie date, driving the bobcat (a little tractor thing that occupies a lot of my husband’s time), a trip to the ranch, a new toy and any other thing we could think of he might like. He ended up with about 15 coupons. My husband printed them in color; I cut them out and made a cover. It was kind of cute.
Printed coupons

We met at Mr. Gatti’s, a pizza place with games. I put the coupon book and a couple of other little things in a bag for him to open. He had a friend with him and his brother and sister and all were anxious to get to the games. He looked the book over, but was more excited with the other little prizes in the bag at the moment.

Lots of coupon fun!

I do know that once he settles down and looks at the book he’ll realize what he can do with it! He can’t have breakfast in bed unless he’s at our house. So, if he uses that coupon it’s a night or weekend with us. He can’t very well have lunch with us unless it’s at our house. So that’s another night/weekend over. He’ll figure it out pretty quickly! In the meantime, I’ll be glad for a visit from him, anytime.

Lunch coupon means overnight stay!

It’s a lot of fun when they come over, whether it’s all of them or just one or two. We play, watch movies, have picnics and just enjoy the time together. And sometimes, if we need to, we all just shut up and rest! It’s all good.  

Stop the talking baby, 
Or I start walking baby. 
Is that all there is? 
Shut it up, just shut up. 
Shut up, 
Just shut up.


  1. BS Bingo - I love it! I guess it wouldn't be appropriate to install on a device provided by work, but I would love to see if I can find it for my personal blackberry!

    And I'm a fan of coupon books - yours turned out cute!

  2. Management speak. Where did this come from? It's so annoying. I had to laugh at your BS bingo, I used to do this all the time with certain colleagues who overused some of these phrases. I'd guess how many times they were going to say them & then keep score.
    I love your grandsons coupon present, I think it's a brilliant idea!

  3. The bingo game was fun and a way to pass the time...not that I wasn't paying attention in the meeting! :)

    Thanks on the coupon book. It was fun!

  4. You are so clever! You have to report back & let us know how he liked his gift.