When I was in the 3rd grade, I missed a lot of recesses. My teacher used it as a motivational tool whenever I was behind on homework. And while I loved learning—especially when it came to language (I aced the class spelling bee and earned the second-most construction-paper-ice-cream scoops for A grades on assignments), I hated one weekly assignment in particular called "Dictionary Words."
The concept was, Mrs. Church would write a word on the chalkboard at the beginning of the week. And at some point throughout the week, each student would use his or her free study time to lug the heavy class dictionary off of its shelf and look up that word, then write it neatly along with its definition on a ruled sheet of notebook paper.
That was the part I loathed. My handwriting has never been neat. And the dictionary was really heavy. So, I figured out that if I got behind by a couple of weeks on my words, Mrs. Church would plop the heavy tome onto my desk and command me to stay inside from the playground and copy down their meanings until I was no longer lagging in assignments. It never took me much recess time to catch up on the work. And when my friend Cassie was behind on her Dictionary Words, too, we got to stay inside together and share the heavy book. Sometimes we would stay inside for the entire recess period, because there was rarely a teacher in the room to supervise us. We'd look up extra words in the dictionary, like "crap." (It was really in there!) Or I'd teach her all the curse words my hearing-impaired cousin had taught me in American Sign Language.
You don't have to miss your recess to look up this week's word. What's stopping you today from doing the heavy lifting? Try any of the links you see in this blog to learn the meaning of "tergiversation."
(c) KiKi Productions, Inc. 2009