"All words are symbols that represent unspeakable realities. Which is also why words are magical." (Donald Miller tweet)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

introspective cogitations derived from a hastening ecclesiastic**

i'm getting there.

"taking the complicated and simplifying it since 1994" - that's my motto as a pastor.

OK, it isn't, really. I don't think I have a motto. I have a lot of possible mottos, depending on the day. Sometimes my motto is hysterical giggling. (Is it just me, or is "motto" starting to sound like an over-priced coffee?)

Sixteen years, and much of it spent simplifying. Life is complicated - but sometimes breaking it down into little pieces helps. Theological tomes could hold your house in place during a tornado - but they probably aren't comforting on a cruddy Tuesday. So I simplify (which is not easy to do, and which has fat nothing to do with offering patronizing platitudes or simperingly simplistic solutions).

Thoughtful moments aren't common on this blog, but allow me one - I think Jesus was more into simply loving people, than debating theories full of multi-syllabic words. That's why He got invited to parties.

However ... it should be respectfully noted that Jesus was not a sociologist.

And sixteen years of simplifying is not a skill that is helpful in the world of academia. Papers are supposed to have big words, and dense thoughts, and messy concepts, and above all, they must never, EVER offer an answer. Sociologists don't have answers, it turns out. They just raise more questions.

I can't think about that for very long. It makes me crazy. I like a good conversation with some research on the side, but good grief, let's DO something with it, shall we??!!!

But I'm back in university now. And I have a Lisa-Simpson-like craving for good marks. And being married to Spike gets me invited to parties, no matter what. So I have written, re-written, re-worded, re-formatted and re-gurgitated my latest paper until it has been pounded into a lifeless and vocabulous piece of work that doesn't look like me at all. I used the word "problematized". Which feels a little snooty. And at the end, I firmly opined that further research certainly must be done, because having a solution at this point (or ever) is entirely out of the question.

Ah well. At least I don't have to create a bristol-board poster.

(**title translation: thoughts of a running pastor)


Janer said...

Think of it as a roleplay of sorts. It's not you, it's who you need to be, on paper, for the purpose of gaining the marks you crave. You're in a foreign country and you need to speak they're language to more than get by. "Problematize" is snooty! It's a made up word! (but wait...aren't all words made-up?)

And on a related note, I had to type in "bumbence" to verify this post. Please use the above word in a sentence.

Janer said...

Oooh...I hate it when i get they're/their wrong. Typing too fast...really!

Patti said...

"problematize" - it gets used ALL THE TIME in the sociological world.

Bumbence - used by fence sitters in order to make the fence sitting a tad more comfortable. i.e. "If I'm not going to choose a side on this issue, I'm at least going to bring my bumbence along, so as to avoid hemorrhoids."

OK, now do my word verification - "unbru".


AB said...

your paper is not lifeless...its quite good

problematize is a very weird...I might use problematic, but not problematize...did I?

once a person's suggested edits go past sounding like you, stop taking them...seriously! there is an admitted limit when editing goes past editing to opining

Anonymous said...


Do NOT lose a single word between "theological tomes..." and "...simperingly simplistic solutions" because they must - MUST! - be used in the book you must write some day.

I too would go nuts if one were not allowed to ever come to an answer; is that not the whole POINT!?!



Meredith said...

"bumbence" sounds like the adult version of a Bumbo.

i have never heard of "problematize".. lol.

vjc said...

If your paper looks anything like your blog post today, you should do very well. It's always good to be bilingual. Unless you're trying to say "Be quiet" at the speedskating venue. Can you believe how many times the English version of "Silence, s'il vous plait" was "Shhhhhhhhhh"?

"Bumbence" is the mumbled apology you offer when you physically back into someone by accident in a crowded place. "His bumbence was scarcely discernible over the constant grinding whine of the cappuccino machine." See also "offence" (same suffix suggests the existence of a barrier, partition or divider of personal space).

"Unbru" is the result of unsuccessfully trying to personally (and in the absence of a mirror) separate connected facial hair of the upper regions into two distinct eyebrows.

Patti said...

AH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!! nice definitions! :)