>Christmas and Shopping

> I’m Hard to Buy For

My family hates, really hates, shopping for me at Christmas time, primarily because either I already have it or that dream gift costs more than we can afford (a trip to England would be nice, but that new kitchen has to come first). Take for instance this new book I bought. I got interested in it because of Oldest, and she told her Dad that she was going to give it to me for Christmas. I stole her thunder when it arrived a few days later and she saw it on the kitchen counter. Needless to say the rant I got from Oldest and the DH was just short of vitriolic.

The Book of Knowledge — Not a Pomegranate

So what is the book and how did I get interested in it? It all started when Oldest came home with a sheet of sayings, words, names, etc. that her English teacher (did I mention I like her English teacher?) had given the class. The students were to review this sheet and find three, just three, items that they recognized and write about them (again, did I mention I love her English teacher?). Oldest was having a difficult time with the sheet and was grousing big time about it. So I told her to let me see it, she wasn’t wild about the idea because 98% of the time I agree with her teachers, but she handed me the papers. I was appalled, I mean literally appalled that she didn’t know some of the things on the list. I’m beginning to wonder exactly what she’s been taught over the last 9.5 years! I was lamenting about her education, and in typical teenager fashion, she snaps, “Well, let see how many you get right!”

Ah ha! Put the parent on the spot moment. So I took her up on the challenge. With each word, saying or name, etc. I saw her demeanor go from that “she won’t get them either” to “man, why do I do this to myself, I ought to know better by now.” Irritating as it was to her, I know she’ll remember that moment and others when she has kids of her own. It will make her empathize.

The Damn Book

Ok, so what’s the damn book you’re grousing! It’s called The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy – What Every American Should Know by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

Below is a sampling of what’s inside WITHOUT the answers….tune in over at the GabWagon on Thursday to see what the answers are and whether you were right. I’ve pulled one item from each of the different sections. The section the saying comes from is listed first and then the term.

  • The Bible He that is not with me is against me (I was WAY off on this one! Found the actual answer really interesting on a number of levels.)
  • Mythology & FolkloreElysian Fields (If you’re a Xena fan you should know this one. *grin*)
  • Proverbs — The pen is mightier than the sword. (I’m an author can I help it?)
  • Idioms — chutzpah (I Love Yiddish!!)
  • World Literature, Philosophy and Religion — Abandon hope, all ye who enter here
  • Literature in English — Toni Morrison
  • Conventions of Written English — euphemism
  • Fine Arts — kettledrum
  • World History to 1550 — Nicolaus Copernicus
  • American History to 1865 — Horace Greeley (I really hate it when something is on the tip of my tongue and I can’t say it!)
  • American History Since 1865 — Manhattan Project
  • American Politics — rider
  • World Geography — Casablanca
  • American Geography — Green Mountains
  • Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology — Alfred Kinsey
  • Business and Economics — right-to-work laws (Virginia is a state with this type of law)
  • Physical Sciences and Mathematics — string theory (Ok, so I have a love of Physics)
  • Medicine and Health — pandemic
  • Technology — Three Mile Island
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    About Monica Burns

    A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

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