12/4/11

Recalcitrant with bur oaks


Standing in the middle of the preschool classroom pondering our students' future twenty years down the line, "recalcitrant" popped into my mind.  Didn't even know my slow mental search engine was seeking that word. True, I rarely realize my darn computer is searching the cosmos for updates or trying to run a comprehensive scan.  My computer's refusal to do my bidding is spreading to my head.


This group of  students doesn't so much kick (L. calcitrare "to kick," from calx (gen. calcis) "heel.") as push, distract, and wipe nose goobies on each other.  They stare at me unfazed no matter what, which is why I wonder, "Did I take my blood pressure Rx this morning?  Did I  pop the vitamin D, swallow the big horse pill calcium and multivitamin, and manage to not drop the tiny hayfever generic fake Claritin on the bathroom floor again?"  I'm getting too old to see a rosy future twenty years down the line.

Daily reviewing of calcium pill intake improved with beneficial fiber is Recalcitrant.  I could be the spokeswoman for this wonder supplement according to my ex.  Our relationship was already prickly that vacation on Galveston Island when he pronounced me "obstinate and recalcitrant".  I pronounced a dictionary a prerequisite for all future vacations.  "Obstinate" is easy to recall, but not so "recalcitrant".  

Obstinate is obviously an anti-osteoporosis med, or I've been watching way too much local t.v. news between five p.m. and six-thirty.  Ask your doctor if you may have low testosterone, chronic dry eyes, dry mouth, Frosted Flakes, insomnia, or marriage flashbacks.


As for the Brickel bush, I ran and found one, and hid myself away.  A Dr. Seuss Brickel bush looks a lot like this bur oak nut-cap photographed out at Oak Point Nature Preserve recently.  I got brickels in my britches, but I stayed there anyway.  


One student has lots of splinters in her hands.  She has been digging in the new layer of playground wood chips.  Maybe that's not the best idea. Should the school have to eradicate every potential source of splinters?  Perhaps that is the Rx in our current litigious educational climate.


Once upon a time in a city park a little girl rolled down a hill in the crunchy grass of autumn.  Prickleburs covered every square inch of the little girl by the time she reached the bottom of the hill.  Her dad scooped her up in his arm and set her in the '54 Chevy and drove her straight home.  Once there, she sat atop the tall metal Cosco stepstool/chair while her mother and dad pulled the pricklebur splinters out of her skin with tweezers while she sat very, very still.  


Was there a lawsuit?  Did the little girl ever do that diggity-dog dumb thing again?





recalcitrant Look up recalcitrant at Dictionary.com



1823, from Fr. r├ęcalcitrant, lit. "kicking back" (17c.-18c.), pp. of recalcitrare "to kick back," from re- "back" (see re-) + L. calcitrare "to kick," from calx (gen. calcis) "heel." Used from 1797 as a French word in English. Verb recalcitrate "to kick out" is attested from 1620s; sense of "resist obstinately" is from 1759.--Now flavorless and easily dissolved ....

obstinate Look up obstinate at Dictionary.com



mid-14c., from L. obstinatus "resolute, inflexible, stubborn," pp. of obstinare "persist, stand stubbornly, set one's mind on," from ob "by" (see ob-) + stinare, related to stare "stand," from PIE base *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Related: Obstinately.


© 2011 Nancy L. Ruder

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I will now be thinking about how recalcitrant and prickly some people and burrs can be...!

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