the way my mind works

Last night I was on twitter.

(I know, shocking).

And I was having a discussion with @prettyalltrue and @moveovermaryp about school crossing guards.  @prettyalltrue was letting us know her daughter–who is a crossing guard–does not approve of talking to the guard.  not even a “thank you.”

This prompted me to remember that Cort was once a crossing guard, but we called them “safety’s” back then.

Which caused me to ask Cort, “who sang “The Safety Dance?  Was it Men without Hats?”

He thought it was Men At Work.

So I tweeted that I was thinking of Men at Work.

But then I tweeted, “You can dance if you wanna,” and I was quickly informed that I was thinking of Men Without Hats.  Which is what I thought in the first place, but every time I tried to picture them, all I could see in my head was the Devo “Whip It” video.

So i tweeted that.

And @prettyalltrue commented on the fact that my mind works like hers…strange connections.

This is not new, people.

In high school?  I would do the same thing, but instead of explaining the transition?  I would just go from us all talking about Spanish class to me saying something like, “My brother used to ride a bright orange bike!”

Forgetting that no one is in my head getting why I just said that.

In college I realized the blessing of these random connections.

I had this Children’s Literature class with a crazy professor who insisted that every week we take a matching test of 40 authors and the kid books they wrote.

every week.  40.  for 16 weeks.  You do the math.

Anyway, everyone always failed them because REALLY?  Everyone except me.  I aced those mother hubbards.

The girl next to me caught wind and asked me in front of everyone the next week how I did it.

“I just make connections.  Connections and flashcards.”

They didn’t get it.

“Ok, so like this guy’s name is Paul Weiserman* and he wrote that book about “Billy Brushes His Teeth.* First I put that on a flash card.  Author on one side, Title on the other.  Then I start thinking.  Paul Newman always had really straight teeth.  That is an easy one.  That is how I would remember that one.  But sometimes they get more complicated.”

(*these are fake.  I am clearly too lazy to look up anything real)

Everyone just stared at me.

When class started?  I was handed another test with an A on it.  They were all there early the following week quizzing me on how I remembered each one so they could use my tactics.

Fast forward to the present day where I am all older and more mature and a teacher of the next generation and stuff.

I am still using my crazy connection skills.

Because I teach English, I am required to teach vocabulary.  We have these orange vocab books that have units in them of 20 words/definitions.

Since we really don’t have time to spend hours and hours working on vocab (and we shouldn’t anyway, these are high schoolers), I usually go through the words with the kids the first day of the new unit.

But instead of just reading the word and definitions, I go through them and talk about how to remember the words and their definitions.

You want an example? Ok…let’s see…ok…last year we had the word “aplomb” meaning poise or assurance.

I told my students that I imagine a PLUMBER.  They have so much assurance in themselves that they just feel cool about their butt cracks hanging out.  He’s got butt crack poise.

This is ridiculous, of course, so no one ever forgets the poised plumber with his plumber crack.

And then there is the word “assuage”.

My students always think it looks like “a sausage” so I go with that.

Since it means to make something milder or to soothe, I tell my students that to assuage my dog* while giving him his heart work pill, I give him a sausage.  An assuaging sausage.

(*I don’t have a dog, duh)

Anyway, these are easy ones.  Some (like the word bona fide) involve me remembering lines from movies (O, Brother Where Art Thou, anyone?  yeah, my students don’t know that line or that movie either).

My logic can get pretty crazy.

Um. wait.  Where was I going with this post?

See…I don’t remember.

You can dance if you want to!


Please tell me I am not the only person who makes weird connections and transitions.

Tell me I am not the only person that while someone is talking you really want to bust in with what you just thought of but realize because it took you 37 connections to get to that thought?  It really doesn’t apply at all.

Please. Tell me I am not the only one.


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