Some bloggers have their “Chesters.” Call them “minions,” “sock puppets,” “WKers,” or “fangirls.” They take it upon themselves to defend the honor of their “Spike” (or honour if their mistress is from the UK or just a pretentious git). If Spike starts paying too much attention to another minion, Chester has to go dig up another “cat” to lay at his feet.
“Did I do good, Spike? Did I?”
I believe these people are the reason Stephen King wrote Misery. Annie Wilkes was undoubtedly inspired by a real-life person who showed up to every book signing to hand King a Cheetos-stained Sharpie. “Make it out to ‘My number one fan!'”
I love my regular readers. I depend upon them and enjoy our back and forth banter on Twitter, WordPress, and other sites. It feels good to be part of a community of writers and readers. Real readers. Not the Otto Wests who when accused of being apes smugly claim “Apes don’t read philosophy.”
“Yes, they do, Otto. They just don’t understand it.”
I’ve been accused of “Ivory Tower Elitism.” I’m an English teacher. It’s an occupational hazard. I don’t look down on people who have less education than I. Just on people who say “less than me.”
Some of the smartest people I know don’t have advanced degrees. Smart people read everything they can get their hands on. Old books, new books, magazine articles, blogs, editorials, poems, song lyrics, fiction, non-fiction, history, graphic novels, and anything else printed on a page or a screen. Most of what I know, I didn’t learn in a classroom. In school, I learned how to think, not what to think. It’s what I hope to teach my students. What I know, I learned from reading.
As a result, I know a tiny bit about a multitude of subjects and I’m an expert on a few things that either really interest me or that I’m obsessed with against my will. As I commented on another person’s blog recently, I don’t believe in a “cure” for addiction, but I believe that recovery is a lifelong process. Consequently, I shall always become fascinated with some inconsequential thing like a cat with a mouse and then move on when it ceases to amuse me. Or when my Google Docs folder fills up with student work.
Though I don’t look down on people less educated than I, I do look askance on those who claim to have graduated from The University of Life or its sister school The College of Hard Knocks and think that makes them experts on absolutely everything. That what they know is “real.” I like smart people, but I also like interesting people. Sometimes the latter can be real dicks. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
What I do have time for are the two books I’m trying to finish before my school year starts a week from tomorrow (shitshitshitshitshit). Both are trashy, unsophisticated, embarrassments, but I’m learning tons about herbal medicine, the battle for the English throne in the 1400s, and sex in The Last Glacial Period. So I’ll leave you with this.
Thanks for hanging out with me this summer, dear readers. But if any of you bitches ever turns into one of these fangirl minion Chesters, I will smack the shit out of you.
Nope. I’m on the same time schedule as you–give or take a week or two. Sad to see trolls coming to your blog for a “drive-by shooting” of verbal vigilantism, but I have no time to take them on personally. Hope your year goes well! My “To Kill a Mockinbird” poster just got here. Can’t wait to hang it in my classroom and teach the novel the way it was intended!
I’ve never taught tenth grade. It’s the only grade I haven’t tackled, but TKAMB is one of my favorites. I’m excited about my schedule this year, but not my workload. 5 comp classes, all 11th. Still, Huckleberry Finn, The Crucible, The Awakening and all of the rhetoric and comp… I’m getting excited.
I just had to copy you in on this email from my mom from THREE days ago you psychic:
“Remember to use askance somewhere today!”
I didn’t listen to her, but thank god you used it three days later and reminded me of its existence 🙂
Are you reading Philippa Gregory by chance? I hope your last week before school starts back is relaxing and fun. By God, someone on the Internet needs to have some Ivory Tower Elitism and provide an actual educated opinion. I got into a fairly heated debate on vaccination on Twitter last week. What happened to using actual facts on which to base your opinion? Gah.
Yes! I devour her stuff. I’m grateful she’s so prolific. I have to force myself to not “cheat” and Google the characters to find out their fates.
Thank you for keeping us honest, Mrs. O!
2 thumbs up! Nothing says summer like the battle for the English throne in the 1400s, and sex in The Last Glacial Period.
I love your posts but never comment because I’m not as cool or smart as you all are, so there’s little chance I’ll be involved in any white-knighting brewhaha. Best as can be expected to you, and the back to school season.
Remember, #glennonmelton abbess of the #momastery will tell you #lovewins.
I crack myself up sometimes.
Dig the Fish Called Wanda quotes. Funny movie, and Otto was a great character. “Benito Mussolini,” “Volare!” Sorry, I have nothing otherwise constructive to contribute. Should I be starting a mommy blog?
What was that middle thing?
She gets a kick (i.e., turned on) out of him “speaking” Italian. He just says whatever: pepperoni, Mussolini.
I know, silly. Another of Otto’s lines. He always asks, “What was the middle thing?”
Ok, you out Wanda’d me. By far. Shouldn’t you be setting up your classroom this week? No more blogging for you.
For once, I left my classroom spotless, so all I have to do is show up. All the meetings commence Thursday. I predict chart paper and “think-pair-share.”
Of all my useless talents, my second most useless is the ability to remember movie dialogue word for word. Sometimes I remember the dialogue, not the movie, and my sister and I will play a frustrating text game we call “WHAT IS THAT FROM???” This talent is second only to my psychic ability to think about a moment from a TV show or movie, turn on the TV within a day of thinking it, and have that exact moment be on. I know. Call NIMH.
Yeah, I’d have to agree–that’s a pretty useless talent, unless you can make money off of it. Maybe it’s a reality show waiting to be discovered. I have a friend who speaks practically only in movie quotes. My “psychic ability” is hearing a song in my head, turning on the radio, and there it is. My wife’s psychic ability is knowing what I’m thinking, or at least thinking she does.