Sunday, August 2, 2015

You Watch Your Phraseology!

This is not only a warning issued in one of my favorite musicals (the original movie version of The Music Man), but it is also a good summation of what I do as proofreader/copy editor, teacher, tutor, nanny, writer, editor, avid reader, book reviewer, etc.

I must admit Kevin and I share a guilty pleasure many don't know about. Because we enjoy laughing together, we often read aloud certain publications, websites, status updates, blogs, and the like that regularly have particularly hilarious typos, grammatical errors, and unedited rants.  I say that "we" read them aloud, but really the vast majority of reading done in our household is done by me.  

It's become such a habit, that I will often pull out a highlighter to mark the funniest misspellings, ridiculous quotes, and unfortunate phrases as I'm reading, so that I can share them with my husband. To be honest, several of the pieces I've read with a number of glaring errors and downright amusing grammatical goofs have been my own.     

Words matter, people!  Be careful which ones you put in and leave out.  It makes a difference not only to the panda, who eats shoots and leaves, but also to the recipients of your correspondence and those darn English majors. 

I often intentionally phrase things in a way that makes others laugh.  This time I didn’t realize the severity and possible entertainment value of what I’d sent until after I received an e-mail back from my supervisor approving the attached letter to parents about this last week’s camp.

I’m fairly certain that if anyone scans school e-mail subjects, this will likely be one that stands out: RMS Survivor letter to parents    
So much for watching my own phraseology.  Oops!  

Someone has a sense of humor, and fortunately, I do, too.  Last week I was lead teacher for RMS Survivor Camp for the Primary 3-6 age group.  This is ironic for a couple of reasons: enrollment for afterschool Montessori Enrichment isn’t filled to capacity as it has been in previous years and was in the spring last year, so I don’t have any guaranteed hours for the school year as of yet, and thus can’t technically be considered among the RMS teachers who have survived some shifts, changes, and reorganizations throughout the spring and summer months. The other irony is that I was sure I wouldn’t make it through the week.    

We identified things that are living, were once living, and/or are not living and never were.  We categorized the things in our classroom as well as outdoors.  Last Monday we had a discussion about our favorite animals.  My co-teacher, counselor-in-training/alumnus, and I all agree that our favorite members of the Animal Kingdom are people, particularly children. 

We  talked about what living things need: food, water, sunlight, and air and that they have the ability to move and grow.  We reviewed how we breathe in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide, and plants use carbon dioxide for photosynthesis and give off oxygen, so we’re good for plants and plants are good for us. 

We experienced nature through our five senses.  We explored gardens, the Wishing Woods, and our classroom.  We tasted some exotic fruits that might be found on a tropical island, learned about different types of ivy and how to identify the poisonous variety.      

After recording my last scheduled summer shift on my time sheet, I left RMS to go out of town.  It felt strange leaving mid-week and without having any guaranteed hours at RMS come the start of this next school year, but ministry called. 

For the past four years, I’ve been learning about Theophostic Prayer Ministry (TPM) and studying to become a TPM facilitator.  New Creation Community, a Charismatic Catholic group and facility in Chesapeake, Virginia, have enthusiastically welcomed us to join them in a journey of healing life’s hurts through Theophostic Prayer Ministry, created and developed by Dr. Ed Smith. 

The training I took this past week was awesome! I'll write more about it and share some of the photos I took in an upcoming blog post, so check back for an update on the latest and greatest in ministry musings.  
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