Friday, February 6, 2009

post without a witty title

Have you seen the commercial for Rosetta Stone? I know the software is popular, and I've heard it's effective, but the commercial gets me every time.

An attractive woman strolls casually through an immaculate home that just happens to have the Rosetta Stone package sitting all alone on a lovely glass-topped table, nowhere near a computer. She delivers her lines with a look on her face that tells you she doesn't buy any of your excuses. "Are you one of those people who think you just can't learn a new language? It's not that you can't learn . . . "

Now, tell me, don't you just hear your parents finishing that sentence over and over again, regarding algebra, world history, geography, spelling, chemistry, or whatever subject it was in school that tortured you day in, day out? And they never finished that sentence in a way that made your mental block someone else's fault, did they? It was never the teacher, or the text book, was it? Nope, it was always your fault you couldn't learn That Subject.

Of course, the Attractive Woman Selling Rosetta Stone goes on to assure you that if you just tried this software, you could dance linguistic circles around Dr. Daniel Jackson ("I speak twenty-four languages. Pick one.").

But let's insert some reality, shall we? After all, she's probably somebody's mother. "It's not that you can't learn, it's that you won't learn." If you would just turn off the radio and crack those books . . . If you would shut off the tv and get started, already . . . If you would quit wasting time on the internet and do something productive, for a change . . . If you would just buckle down and apply yourself . . . you would finally master Spanish/French/German/Mandarin/Russian/Japanese/Swahili once and for all.

Hmmm. Then again, I'm the kid that got in trouble for reading in school.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You Say it's Your Birthday . . .

Well, it's my birthday, too! (Okay, not mine, but . . .)

Yep, Penny and Emma are six today. Before they went to bed, they spent a fair amount of time ruckusing around in their room because, in Penny's words, "that way, we'll be tired and fall asleep so the night won't be as long." (You may think that the longest night of the year is December 21st, but it's actually February 3rd. Now you know.) They've also agreed to wake each other up in the morning. According to Emma, whichever one of them wakes up first will go over to the other girl and say, "Hey, [that girl's name], open presents!"

We've left their gifts for each other in the dining room, so they have something to tear into first thing. Oh, and there will be their big pink banner in the living room and two giant "6" balloons. The rest of the loot will have to wait until the evening. Oh, and dinner at the Moose Place (Bugaboo Creek) about which we've already said we'll be okay -- we promised to not die of embarassment -- if they want to have the staff come out with the giant moose puppet and a dessert and sing to them. Which, being 6, they want. So.

Happy birthday, Munchkins! Being your mom is the coolest, most perpetually satisfying thing I've ever done. I love you.