A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Saturday, March 27, 2004 :::
Hearing from a Soldier, and Great Moments in Teaching.

This Saturday was another late start for A Mind That Suits, who had not slept much on Thursday night (though he was not misbehaving) and so he needed sleep on Saturday. Two days of that is too much for older bodies, which A Mind That Suits indisputably has.

A Mind That Suits has heard from Young Friend Jason over at Just Another Soldier, and it turns out he is not quite so young (30). His sterling and distinctive writing style is indeed the product of an edcuation, courtesy of the New York State University system, though this university teacher continues to believe it is more a product of Sort-of-Young Friend Jason's independent reading. He has not, however, finished the degree, which explains his status as a sergeant.

Here is his latest bulletin to his list subscribers:

Our convoy left Camp Udairi, Kuwait on 10 March and we arrived at our forward operating base (FOB) on 12 March. The drive took the better part of three days, mostly due to the fact that convoys drive slow, inherently. The weather was perfect and the trip uneventful other than the convoy coming across a dead dog thought to be disguised as an IED on the side of the road a few klicks out of the FOB. It was blown up by EOD (explosive ordanance removal) with several pounds of C4. There was no IED and all it did was launch the dog sky high.

We now live in the middle of nowhere in an what used to be an ammo bunker. Imagine a lower-manhattan loft that would be to die if only it had windows set in the middle of the old west. Anything we want we have to build ourselves out of scavenged material, the Mad Max metaphor taken to a whole new level. We get a hot meal about every other day and there is no running water and therefore no toilets so we have to burn our own shit. Hearing massive explosions, be it EOD or mortar fire and random gunfire from everywhere is so commonplace that we already ignore most of it.

We've been really busy and we're still trying to find our battle rhythm, so I haven't written for a while. There is so much to photograph and write about that I barely know where to start. So I'll just start at the beginning. Here are some photographs from the convoy:


I hope God doesn't throw lightning bolts at me for saying this, but for the record, I'm having a ball

Sort-of-Young Friend Jason enjoys getting e-mail it seems, so enjoy the photos and then write to him and thank him for what he is doing.

How To Teach Boys, Only Don't Tell Their Moms

In passing along Friend Jason's latest to a friend who is a prominent but older writer, A Mind That Suits allowed as how there was a certain roughness to the language. Not much, just not the sort of thing that writers who are not actually on a college campus usually hear. Unless they go to the movies.

In any case, A Mind That Suits was reminded of the fact that he has had considerable success teaching English to foreign boys and young men because he is in charge in class and funny out of class. When most of his students were indeed actual boys, it was understood that he would translate the swear words but only out of earshot of any young ladies. And he has never flinched from telling people why what they said accidentally was screamingly funny.

One day after class he ran into the students at the very most basic level, college age kids from Eastern Europe. To give them "the opportunity" to practice, he asked them what the teacher had told them that morning. This one very serious kid--pedantic and deliberate about everything--screwed up his face and somberly advised A Mind That Suits that "he told us we must fart." "What??" came the reply. More serious expression: "He told us we must fart." At which point A Mind That Suits explained that final verb, shamelessly pointing at his own posterior and producing the appropriate sound with his mouth, which caused the somber student to blush and giggle slightly and all the other kids to collapse on the floor.

Which puts A Mind That Suits in mind of the time when he began a sojourn in Italy by advising the proprietor the best pasticceria in Rome that he could not indulge in anything other than coffee because he was "allergic to a really large gluteus."

What a difference one letter makes.

"GlutIne" is in bread, and pronounced "GLOO-tee-nay," sort of; "glutOne" is what you get if you eat too much bread, and is pronounced "gloo-TOE-nay," sort of. Alas, A Mind That Suits had said, "Sono allegico a glutOne."

Fortunatley, that did not set the tone for the whole trip. The Italian improved a lot.

Have a great Sunday.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 6:44 PM



Post a Comment


A Related Website on Christian Spirituality
The Fullness of Him
The Easiest Way to Keep Up With the News:
Best of the Web
Links to Web Friends
One Good Turn
A Dog's Life
Power Line
Rambles and By-ways

What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Powered by Blogger