I teach undergrad vocabulary and test prep at College of the Sequoias in Visalia.
As much as I love, love, love teaching composition and rhetoric—as well as the one semester of Nirvana I had teaching creative writing—vocabulary may very well be my favorite class:
- I’ve always been a nerd about prefixes, roots, suffixes, etymology, mnemonics, etc.
- The study of itsy-bitsy bits of language helps re-frames the meaning, the power, within every word, like real Alice 19th style thought experiments.
- I think about the pieces of words, the musical sounds of vowels and consonants, and micro-level language issues all the time.
And speaking of oddities of English, this one drives me bonkers: Why does biweekly mean “occurring every two weeks” and “occurring twice a week”?
“Bi” means “two,” but not any specific interpretation of “two,” so it swaps interchangeably, and maddeningly, from every 3-4 days to 14 days. Fortunately, the English language also has a word for fourteen days,my favorite K-12 teacher, 🤓JoAnne Clark🤓, used to use it all the time: albeit an old one:
Fortnight, n., “a period of 14 days.“
That’s right, fortnight!So why don’t we use “fortnight” for “occurring every two weeks,” and “biweekly” for “occurring twice a week”… I’m just sayin’. Fortnight is a word from a time in history when we moved slower, unfettered from the high demands our equally high-paced technology expects of us. In the 21st century, we have free same-day shipping on select Amazon Prime orders of $35 or more; we just don’t think in terms of fourteen days anymore.
Yet I’ve a suspicion that one of the roots of my depression—the exhaustive side of my depression, the borderline-narcoleptic side, singing lullabies during the day, then heavy metal at night—lies in my resistance to our high-demand, high-pace world, the shutdown of my turtle-wins-the-race brain.I can’t wait to read Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow.
So I want to slow down, to see if that improves my neurochemical responses, like how Phoebe walks deliberately and meditatively through the house. I want to take a long, self-loving, and self-exploratory fortnight challenge emulating Phoebe’s inner diva.
The Fortnight Diva Challenge
Part of why Phoebe looks so relaxed and collected—at least, when she isn’t gripped by anxious, panicky fear; when isn’t reliving trauma—she carries a magnificent, diva-like aura about her; she knows she’s one awe-inspiring mammal, inside and out.
I think she likes to take car rides to the drive-thrus to see the reactions of window cashiers. Also, when she takes longer trips to Anaheim, she meows “Hello!” at the semi-trucks. She loves looking at their twinkling red lights at night.
And she loves posing for cameras. Not selfies—just the cameras of others.
I am so enormously inspired by this anxious-ridden, mirror-strutting, talkative cat, I have a fortnight schedule for exhibiting her awesomeness—as well as mustering the courage to exhibit my authentic personality—throughout different social media:
- Monday A: Instagram
- Tuesday B: Steller
- Wednesday A: Twitter
- Thursday B: Goodreads
- Friday A: Pinterest
- Saturday B: Amazon
- Sunday A: Facebook
- Monday B: Tumblr
- Tuesday A: YouTube
- Wednesday B: Reddit
- Thursday A: PicsArt
- Friday B: DeviantArt
- Saturday A: Yelp
- Sunday C: Kourtnie.net
- when A represents social media with a visual text element, i.e., casual reading audience, &
- B represents social media with a traditionally rhetorical element, i.e., life-long learning audience, while
- C represents patch notes.
Of course, I’ll update my various social media outside that schedule. But it’ll be quieter ideas. Less diva-like ideas, specifically. I just want to make sure, twice a month, I’m saying something with strength, value, and confidence at its core.
Social media feels like an explosion of new, writing-based mediums, and it worries me. It’s hard to strut around on all these platforms, speaking powerful words with a lioness flare, when I’m awkward and lanky on my social media platforms, just like I am in “real life” social situations. Social media scares the piss out of me, like how my ex used to scare the piss out of Phoebe. 😕
But maybe the Fortnight Diva Challenge will help me improve. The way Phoebe’s improved her social anxiety, and her coping mechanisms for trauma. She’s improved much faster than me. 💦
Phase one of this challenge starts April 1, 2018 and ends May 12th, 2018. After six weeks of fortnightly rotations, write a reflection with addendum.