Monday, September 7, 2009

Retention Comes in a Plethora of Ways


While I plug away at the second round of edits for Mice Don't Taste Like Chicken, I'm also improving my vocabulary along the way as I study for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) that I'll take on October 31. The pages and pages of suggested vocabulary words from my study booklet are overwhelming. I have to resort to any means possible to get these terms to stick.

A popular stop has been pop culture like TV and music. Here are some examples of the odd connections in my mind.

1. Nostrum- "quack medicine--no real medical value": I'm a huge Seinfeld fan. In a few episodes, Kramer acts as doctors named Dr. Van Nostrand and Dr. Van Nostrum. I think of Kramer as the 'quack' doctor, so this word is no problem.

2. Mellifluous- "sweet sounding": Also a Seinfeld reference. During an episode where Elaine sets up George with a woman, George comes into Jerry's apartment thrilled about a phone conversation with her. He tells Jerry that her voice is 'mellifluous."

3. Encomium- "a formal expression of high praise": In high school I listened almost exclusively to Led Zeppelin. In 1995 a Led Zeppelin tribute album released with cover songs by popular bands of the time. The title? 'Encomium'

4. Obsequious- "obedient": They Might be Giants is a strange band--a strange band whose CDs I own One of their songs called "Turn Around" has the lyrics "It was the same obsequious manner, that was the reason I'd had him killed." Random I know, but effective for memory.

5. Plethora- "overabundance, excess": Classic moment from the comedy The Three Amigos. I've attached the video for your viewing pleasure.

6. Effrontery- "arrogance": Sorry readers, but I'm not a fan of Zac Efron. Seems pretty arrogant to me.

7. Edacious- "voracious; devouring": Edward Cullen from the Twilight series is a voracious vampire devouring what he must hunt (besides Bella).

The point of this rambling? For all those who preach the dangers of TV, movies, and music on the literacy and language development of students, it's more important to know that learning comes from anywhere. You only need to keep your eyes and mind open.

"Live, Learn, Teach"

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