Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 38 - Claim to Flame

Yesterday I spent about ten hours studying. Some people break their studying up into sections of a couple of hours, take a break and then return to study for a couple of hours.  I prefer to just steady the wagon and ride the long ride.  First I have to be in the mood, have a clean space and then dive right in or as they say hit the books. After about five hours yesterday I got a phone call from one of my IT professors.  I had asked him earlier if he would write a recommendation to the scholarship committee that would be reviewing my application for a scholarship.  [There are plenty of scholarships for high school students but not so many for old divorced women who already have their first degree that isn't worth that much anymore.]  He agreed and this alone was something I was grateful for.
However, he called to ask me if it was ok if he nominated me for Outstanding Student Award. I told him, "Are you kidding me?  Yes of course, but to be honest, I'm so honored that you even thought about me that if you just filled out the form and threw it in the trash right now, I'd be happy.  I've already won!" The acknowledgement for your own effort from someone who you look up to is priceless.  No award or trophy replaces this feeling.

He laughed.  He told me he knew the accomplishments I had made to his classroom but was there anything else I had done that he could add to the nomination application.  I told him with a slip of the tongue, "My claim to flame, I mean my claim to fame was rewriting a brand new edition of the PHP programming textbook by creating a nine-page error data sheet with the publisher ."  I laughed at my Freudian slip.  Claim to flame.

I have no idea where this came from.  It still amazes me that our mind thinks so fast that our tongues don't move fast enough to keep up with it.  We sometimes stumble and our words become something other than what we intended them to be.  This is in complete contrast to what young children do.
Their vocabulary is smaller so they use words that they know to describe the things that they see. They know exactly what they are talking about!

When my oldest son was three he would always tell me when he rode in the car with me waiting at the red light, "Mom, the eye is green you can go now."  If you looked at the older traffic lights, they had a lid over the light and it did look like an eye.  My three year old was a genius!  He also would always tell me before he was two, Paco du.  Paco du momma Paco du!  I had no idea what he was saying, but I tried to let him know, I as his mother surely would understand what my son was saying.  I replied, "Paco duuuu! yes Paco duuuu!!!"  He would walk away from me happy.

About two weeks later, we pulled up to the Taco Bell store to eat dinner.  He yelled, "Paco duuuuuuu!!!!!"  I said, "Oh Taaaaacoooo Belllllll, yessss of course Paco duuuuu!" Paco du meant Taco Bell! So when  he was walking away from me before, he wasn't happy because I understood, he was happy because he thought I was going to take him to Taco Bell.  He didn't know that I didn't understand him. I felt so bad that I hadn't known what he meant.  So my claim to fame may be that I was nominated for the Outstanding Student Award, but my claim to flame surely was not understanding my own child.  I'm sure I'll wear that title for the rest of my life, but I'm going to die trying to rid myself of that title.

“A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.” ~Marthe

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