Discover Prompts, Day 13: Teach

Play School stock image. Image of learn, point, hand - 53106071

Do kids pretend these days the way we did when we didn’t have fancy toys? I hope so. I know my grandkids pretended when they were younger.

I liked playing house, but even more than that, I loved to play school.

I always wanted to be the teacher.

I wasn’t very old when I got my first opportunity to actually be a “teacher’s helper.” I was 8 or 9, and I was a fast reader. I would finish the reading assignment and whatever written work quickly. Seeing my boredom, the teacher asked me if I would like to help some of the other kids who struggled with reading. Oh, you betcha! And my “students” didn’t seem to mind, which I find a bit surprising on looking back.

When I was 12, my preacher-dad told me I was going to teach two-year-olds in Sunday school. That was a “learn-as-you-go” experience. I discovered, before much time had passed, that two-year-olds were cute and fun, but I didn’t have the patience one needs to actually teach them. They loved singing, so we sang. Everything from Jesus Loves Me to “I’m a Little Teapot.” The teapot wasn’t especially spiritually enriching, but it helped to pass the time ūüôā

When I was about 16, I was a camp counselor one summer. My girls were 13-14, and I enjoyed that a lot. One can actually have intelligent conversations (well, sometimes) with kids that age.

Then I went to college, and teaching was put on the back shelf. I’d hoped to major in applied keyboard, but I didn’t have the natural talent or the training for that. One of the music staff suggested I think about teaching music instead of doing music performance. Brilliant. That became a minor, while Bible and English were my majors.

After graduation and, a week later, marriage, I was soon involved in teaching elementary school music, as well as English, which became my first love. And I naturally progressed from the elementary grades to the high school. There is nothing quite as rewarding as seeing the light go on for a single student, or even a group of students, which does happen.

All the while, I was teaching in Sunday school, gradually working from high school to adult women; also, I was privileged to speak now and then for seminars and conferences.

Now I’m old, and I’m delighted to still be teaching. I get to teach a women’s Bible study at my church, which has been interrupted by Corona. That will pass, though, and I’m looking forward to being free to gather again.

I also get to teach high schoolers in a homeschool co-op our church hosts, also interrupted by the virus. Not sure what’s going to happen there, with the end of the school year being so close.

As you can see, today’s one-word prompt sent me down Memory Lane. My family has several teachers–it must be in the genes ūüôā I love to teach.

They Live On

PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Paul and Ringo are knights now, honored for their contribution to music.

John was shot and killed a long time ago.

George died of lung cancer, possibly exacerbated by a stab wound inflicted by a thief.

Their music lives, though, and much has become classic in the genre.  But their guitars will never sound quite as sweet. Their synthesizers are stilled. The sound systems they used are obsolete.

Yet, the music lives on. The fun music, the obscure, the love songs and the laments all live on.



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From the Greek root arkhe, beginning, this word has come to mean very old or old-fashioned. 

Younger folks today, for example, often think that the music I love is archaic. Maybe, but at least it has a melody consisting of more than four or five notes repeated endlessly until the song is finally over.¬† I’ll take archaic to what passes for some types of music today. Here’s one example of what I mean:

If you’re a fan, then enjoy yourself. If¬† you’re bored after the first 60 seconds, feel free to move right along. You are not required to listen to the whole thing. You’re welcome.

There are some things, of course, that truly are archaic–and that I’m thankful have passed off the scene. High-button shoes.¬† Bustles.¬† Foot-binding.¬† Hoop skirts. Corsets. Layers and layers of petticoats. That list is endless.

I’m also very glad that I don’t have to deal with a wood-burning kitchen range; that my water is available at the turn of a knob or lever; that I don’t have to use an outhouse or a chamber pot;¬† that I can luxuriate in a daily shower or bath. That list could go on for a long time, too.

There are things about the “olden days,” as they are sometimes called, that I think we should bring back.¬† No public displays of affection. That’s a big one.¬† I’m not a prude.¬† No, I’m NOT!¬† But I really object to having people make out Right.In. Front. Of. Me. in the grocery checkout line.¬† Good grief.¬† Get a room.

I also think it would be a good thing to just turn off all our electronics for a few hours now and then. Civil conversation has become a lost art, which is one of the reasons I do so much marital counseling in my office. People just don’t know how to communicate with each other any more. Listening?¬† Yeah, that’s a thing of the past.¬† We need to learn to listen in order to understand, not just to respond.

However, when I think of some other archaic practices, such as blood-letting or the use of leeches in medicine, I’m very thankful to be living in the present.¬† One archaic practice that I wouldn’t have minded¬† was that women were expected to remain in bed for two or three weeks after giving birth.

I think we should revive that one.





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I enjoy words that sound like what they mean.¬† Swish. Slice. Bop. Pop. Rumble. Giggle. It’s a very long list, and our one-word prompt today is a good example.

The opposite of cacophony  is euphony, which simply means good or pleasant sound.

So that tells you what¬†cacophony¬†means. Not so pleasant.¬† I think right away of the TV program¬†The View,¬†in which the women on the panel spend an hour interrupting and talking over each other. Makes me shudder.¬† I don’t watch it.¬† Most unpleasant.¬† If I don’t watch it, how do I know?

I watched it twice; once, just to see what it was about; the second time to see if my first experience was just on an off day. It wasn’t.

The word comes from two Greek roots:  kakos, meaning bad, and phonos, which means sound.

Think of a flock of crows.  Or geese.  A gang of angry bees. Hurricane winds.  An angry crowd.  The screeching and banging of a car accident. So many sounds to which we automatically react with dislike, fear, or dread.

I love good music.¬† Lots of different genres, but all euphonious.¬† I strongly dislike the angry, screaming sounds of some of the “music” that is popular with young people today.¬† It is not meant to relax, to enjoy; it is meant to pump up, even to enrage. No thanks.

A lot of the political noise out there today is cacophony. It’s been a long time since we’ve experienced any real political harmony in America, or even the sound of civil, courteous debate. Just lots of anger, dissonance, hatred, and outright lying.

Cacophony.  Bad sound.

A Few of my Favorite Things


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I looked up the etymology of this word, and found that it was, in the 15th century, almost exclusively a legal term meaning, in modern terms, “You just lost your case.”¬† It was to lie under the power of someone else’s arguments, to submit whether you wanted to or not.

Today, I believe we think of it more in terms of finally losing the battle with death.¬† An obituary may read, “Mr. Smith succumbed to double pneumonia after a long struggle,”¬† although it’s actually pretty rare for an obit to name the cause of death.


Speaking on a purely personal level, there are other things to which I succumb. Voluntarily.


Chocolate. Good coffee. what-makes-22good-coffee22-good

Aromatic tea. Pot roast. A sappy romantic movie that I haven’t seen before. A book that engages my attention to the point of obsession. Sleep, especially when it’s been elusive for a couple of nights, aided by the My Pillow I recently indulged in. Got it on a special deal, and it’s one of the smartest purchases I’ve ever made.

Newborn babies with their fuzzy little heads cuddled into my neck.intl_mex_monica1_021_wide

My granddaughter’s new puppy when he snuggled his little snout between my arm and my side, warm and trusting.

Good music.¬† I like lots of genres, and I’ve filled up my Alexa with all sorts of songs.

A really good hamburger, juicy and fully loaded. Likewise, excellent pizza.







Good friends who “get” me, and with whom I can be completely relaxed, completely me. That’s a rare and precious gift.


These are a few of my favorite things, things to which I succumb with pleasure.

Too Much


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Two things immediately come to mind.  The song, of course:



The second isn’t quite so pleasant. ¬†I was in fifth grade. We’d had a Christmas party in our classroom in which we exchanged inexpensive gifts. ¬†I have been given a huge Sugar Daddy Lollipop.

Sugar Daddy Giant 1-Pound Caramel Pop

A solid pound of milk caramel sugar on a stick. I couldn’t leave it alone. ¬†Sugar is addicting for me, and I leave it alone most of the time. But this time, I was only 11, and I had the sense of a fruit fly. By bedtime, I’d eaten about 3/4 of my big lollipop. ¬†Then supper. An hour later, I was rushing for the bathroom and didn’t quite make it. Tossed my supper and my candy on the floor in the hallway. ¬†No one was very happy with me that night.

I’ve never eaten Sugar Babies or a Sugar Daddy since. ¬†In fact, I really don’t much like caramel.



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Pluck¬†is another one of those funny words that, when you say it over and over, will get you giggling. ¬†Why? ¬†I don’t know. ¬†It just does ūüôā

And here’s something I didn’t know: ¬†One of its definitions is¬†the heart, liver, and ¬†lungs of an animal for food.

Huh. ¬†Well, it used to be that people thought courage and stamina came from the liver, so maybe that’s why we say that a courageous person has a lot of¬†pluck.¬† In any case, I don’t expect some critter’s heart, liver, and lungs will become part of our daily diet in this household.

You can also¬†pluck the strings of an instrument with your fingers or with a little doodad called a¬†plectrum.¬†We’re more likely to call it a¬†pick.¬†


Or you can pluck a duck. ¬†You could pluck a chicken, but I like “pluck a duck” better because, you know, it rhymes.

Or, if you’re willing to tolerate the pain, you can pluck your eyebrows. ¬†Isn’t it funny how fashion changes? ¬†Sometimes beauty is a thin little line of brow, other times it’s more full and carefully shaped.


This is a 1930’s glamour girl. ¬†We like eyebrows more full today.


And now I have to pluck up my courage and get ready for work. Farewell.



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It’s not unusual for the daily prompt to immediately trigger music in my head. Today, there are so many songs flooding my mind that I can hardly separate them.
First? ¬†Love Me Tender, ¬†sung by Elvis. I didn’t much care for the guy, but he really did have an amazing voice. This song is a perfect vehicle for his talent.
Another is¬†Tenderly. ¬†An older song, maybe back to the 1940’s, but just as lovely.
And that’s probably enough ūüôā

More to Say than I Thought!


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Uniformity can be a good thing. ¬†Most of the time, though, in my own experience, I’ve found in myself a resistance to uniformity. Now, before you classify me as a rebel, just hang on a moment.

There are some things in which I believe we must have uniformity. My faith is based on what I believe the Bible teaches about sin, salvation, and redemption through Jesus Christ. ¬†So naturally, if I’m looking for a church, I’m going to look for one that sees the Bible the same way I do on what I consider to be the fundamentals of the faith. Not that there’s any such thing as a perfect church; and if I find one, the moment I join it that church is no longer perfect ūüôā

I believe there should be uniform compliance with the law of the land. This is just a simple matter of preventing total anarchy, which is the next step downward from pure democracy. ¬†America is not a pure democracy, although our young people are so untaught these days that they think it is. ¬†We are a democracy in a republic, and that’s a huge difference. We do not vote as a nation on every single issue. ¬†We’d never get a single thing done if that were the case. Our votes are done through representation, which is why it is so important that we vote in all elections, not just the Presidential one.

Where I resist uniformity is in other matters, such as appearance, music,  diet, and dress. These are personal choices. It goes without saying that we can do ourselves harm if we ignore, for instance, certain dietary guidelines. However, I completely resist a Michelle Obama telling me, forcing me, to conform to her ideas of proper nutrition.  It is not the job of government  to supervise my diet.

Nor is it the job of government to supervise my clothing, the music I listen to, or the books I read. ¬†It is MY job to use some common sense in those areas. ¬†I do not need nor want some other entity to tell me what I may or may not wear, eat, read, watch, listen to. Uniformity in those areas brings nothing good, everything bad. We’d become a bunch of sheep, keeping our eyes on the ground and eating whatever is in the path, never questioning why. ¬†We would enter in reality into¬†Animal Farm or¬†1984. ¬†Don’t know what I’m talking about? ¬†They’re books. ¬†You would do well to read them.


I tend to march to my own drumbeat in matters of dress, which most people would consider conservative and maybe boring. But I’m happy with what I choose, and I don’t plan to make any changes based on current fads or ideas about what a woman my age should or should not wear. That’s my business, and my right to choose.

It has always been a source of interest and amusement to me that when any particular segment of society chooses to rebel, they adopt a form of dressing that is the extreme opposite of the older generation. It is, however, all the same for those who are doing the rebelling. If you want to be a Goth, for instance, then you adopt an all-black wardrobe; you feature skulls and such in your jewelry, and your makeup is black. All the same Uniform. ¬†No individuality, just conformity to a different set of behaviors than your parents adhered to. They’re all different the same way.

Of course there are times and situations in which it makes sense to demand uniforms, and uniformity. The military has always worked on the basis of teamwork, and part of that is the uniform No problem with that. And people who join the military do so with the knowledge that they’re going to all look alike. That’s a choice they make¬†before¬†they sign on the dotted line.

Well, who knew I had so much to say about one word?

Learning to Compromise


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I’m sure you’ve heard the old joke:

“Do you wake up cranky in the morning?”

“No, he gets himself up now that he’s retired and doesn’t need the alarm clock.”

I’ve written before about Terry being a morning Tigger, while I tend to be a morning Eeyore. ¬†I just need some time for my brain and body to reconnect before I have to start talking or being cheerful. ¬†Half an hour will usually do it, especially if I’m having coffee.

Crankiness is a state of mind. ¬†I believe we choose it, just as we choose any other emotion. ¬†I could put on a facade of cheerfulness, and sometimes I do. ¬†No one should have to put up with a raging grouch in the morning–or any other time of day.


Big¬†however coming up here: ¬†Just as I respect Terry’s need ¬†to have it quiet in the house because his hearing is deteriorating–he can’t hear me if there’s ambient noise– I believe he should be able to give me that half hour in the morning to get my systems in gear.

I love having music ¬†playing. ¬†All day. ¬†Now that he’s retired and home most of the time, my CD player isn’t nearly as busy as it used to be. This is hard for me. He keeps telling me I can go ahead and play my music, but the minute I do he seems to need to talk, and I have to turn it off anyway.

This is not a hill I choose to die on. ¬†Marriage is about accommodating each other and not insisting on having your own way. So he is learning to leave me alone for half an hour or so in the morning, and I’m learning to use my iPod Shuffle when I want my music.

Neither of us needs to be cranky. ¬†There’s always a way to compromise.