I've been talking an awful lot about what this word really means. I mean, in class, with my freshman. The simple definition is this: understanding the language choices we make and using language effectively. Easy, right? Then why does the word rhetoric sound so awful. It sounds like something you'd need to have surgically removed - like an appendix... :)

I came up with that over the weekend but forgot to share it with my class this morning so that was the world premier...

Anyway, I asked my students to reflect on their memory of 9/11 and soon realized that most of them were just starting the 2nd grade on the morning of the attacks. I can't wait to read what they wrote.

Our words can feel so clumsy, or just late when we are taken by surprise. I've been working so hard at staying a few steps ahead of my students that I forgot about all the tomatoes in my garden still waiting to be picked. My yard did not get the memo that summer is over and fall is underway. It's still 90 degrees out. Now I have a sink filled with cherry tomatoes that have seen better days. I am boiling them with garlic. I hope it freezes well. There's no way I can eat a stock pot full of tomatoes.

Today I feel late with the jokes and the tomatoes and basic rhetoric.