Romancing My Brain

Today has been a day of intense preparation for the coming school year. More specifically, for the classes I’ll be teaching starting next week. Vocabulary is part of every English class I teach, and many a student has thanked me for it after going to college. I wrote my own vocabulary curriculum, and it’s been quite effective.

So anyway, today I was figuring out which year of vocabulary words we’ll be doing, because one student will be with me for the fourth year in a row and I wanted to make sure I didn’t pick a list of words she had already learned. I have changed some of my formatting in the last couple of years, so I had to go in and pull up all the files for the first four weeks and start reformatting them.

This is my third or fourth time to go through this particular group of words, and as I started reformatting the documents, I found myself falling in love with the words all over again. English is such a rich, expressive language. Here’s a taste of some of the words we’ll be learning this year: bucolic, ersatz, frangible, frisson, gelid, impugn, inscrutable, lachrymose, poltroon, rubicund, sobriquet . . . . I could go on.

Aren’t they wonderful? I know some people have complained that my words are too “hard” for the students, but I think this is a specious argument. If you’re learning a new word, no word is any “harder” than another, because you don’t know either one, right? So you might as well learn some really robust and vivid words. I love words. So. Much.



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