Monday, March 14, 2011
I didn't spell it wrong. I wasn't trying to say what you think I was trying to say. I think I was trying to say what I'm trying to say. Oh, just read on...
Tomorrow, within the hallowed walls of Roosevelt Middle School, my 8th grade lab rats (metaphor) will be tested over their vast knowledge of many things, including the subject of "figurative language." Their incredible grasp of this facet of language arts must surely be credited to their brilliant teacher's capable instruction. Cough! Cough! (onomatopoeia)
I don't know if weather tampers with testing or not, but I heard it could be raining cats and dogs tomorrow. (idiom)
Okay!! Enough with the figurative language, I know! But, there is something I do want to tie-in to life tonight...and that would be hyperbole. Or, as we like to say in Room 310...exaggeration for effect.
My students really struggle with this one, and I don't know why. I mean, come on...they're junior high students! Exaggeration for effect? Seriously? All children and many adults seem to incorporate hyperbole into their lives on a daily basis, but teens are especially adept.
I realize most people refer to it as "drama" these days. But, what is drama at it's very core? Yup. Exaggeration for effect.
This hyperbole-in-life manifests in many forms. Fit-throwing two-year-old. Whiny four-year-old. Belligerent nine-year-old. "I'll be the only one not at the party! Everyone else is going!" 14-year-old. (That would also be an example of the "bandwagon" persuasive technique, but that's another blog altogether...)
How about the "If you don't let me date him, I'll just die!" 17-year-old? Let's push ahead a few years...ever seen the "I work and work and nobody ever notices or appreciates me!" 40-year-old?
Ah, hyperbole. Or, sadly, most days, that would be Hyper-ol-Me.
Look! There's me freaking out over not having the house clean! Look! There I am again, telling someone I am the worst mom in the world because I couldn't get to my son's school for Parent-Teacher Conferences tonight. Now, I expect all of my students' parents to line up tomorrow night at RMS to visit with me! Great! Now I'm also the worst, most hypocritical teacher ever!
She's hyper! She's old! She's...me! She's Hyper-ol-Me:
Ms. Exaggeration for Effect!
But, what if she could use that exaggeration for effect as a tool of good and not evil? Mmmm...
You see, I looked it up and one synonym for "exaggerate" is "amplify." Like it. I just got to thinking a little bit ago, "What if I stopped exaggerating the bad, negative, stupid (well, sorry, but some of it is just plain that!) in my life and started amplifying the good?" Or, since I fully know that any good in my life comes from God, I could say "amplifying all that's God!"
Then, my exaggerations for effect just might have positive affects on everyone around me. And that's no exaggeration.