My Dratted Bible Study

So there's been some objection about my last post, in which I refer to "my dratted bible study." The feeling (I gather) is that I shouldn't be using the word 'dratted' to refer to something like studying the Holy Bible. Honestly, I'm trying to find something nice to say about this study. Probably the best that can be said from it is that in a desperate attempt to get out of it, I managed to memorize the order of the books of the Old Testament, organize my spice rack, clean my kitchen, re-read Madeline L'Engle's 'Wind in the Door', write ranting blog posts and watch way too much You Tube with B.
"S, S, What Begins With S?"
What's the big deal, you ask? I'd have to point to the gross liberalities the writer of this study tends to take with the Bible. She ends up doing that thing I hate to come across in children's literature-when the author decides everything needs to rhyme, so they end up using terribly awkward verse and archaic words that are totally unsuitable for children. The study writer really painted herself into a corner. Everything needs to be about the early life of Samuel, and it needs to start with the letter S. So when the Scripture doesn't match up with her lesson, when it starts to deviate from the formula-does she change the formula? NO! She changes the Scripture, giving it a spin that might have had ole' Samuel spinning himself.

Now, the last thing I want to be is all snarky and nit-picky, but it's because it's important! I dragged myself out of the house to hang out with a bunch of women (which already sounds hard-I imagined it to be all dried flower arrangements and insipid sentiments. And I was wrong! The women there are really the saving grace of these 6 weeks) because I thought the Bible was important, and I wanted to hear what it said, not just someone's teachings that pull in Scripture here and there. So there it is. My dratted bible study.

Now because God seems to like the hard cases, somehow, He is managing to speak to me through all this. Maybe that is the benefit: I feel like I am panning for gold, hunched down beside the creek, sifting through the silt, pebbles and fool's gold; searching for the real thing, hoping to strike it rich


Susan Harwood said...

Funny really, I misunderstood your remarks about the 'dratted Bible study' in a completely different direction.

I took it to be the kind of thing you would say about something you love but which ocassionally takes on the aspect of being a bit of a chore. An affectionate way of referring to something you wouldn't dream of not doing. Like, I might say, "now I've got to collect my awful children from school" - I would be totally taken aback if anyone took me literally!

But now, when I realise this particular Bible study turns out to be a bit of a pain, why, I'm wondering do you persist with it?

I hope you are feeling better, by the way.


rosa said...

This brings up a funny yet significant difference between our two cultures: I think Americans, generally, are too literal, (or dense?) to get the obvious irony of a statement like "my awful children". You Brits are famous for your irony. Also, it took me a little while to realize that my British friends were using terms of endearments about each other and me that I would never hear at home-expressions that sounded a bit rude, but actually meant that we were liked. I'm thinking in particular of a B&B innkeeper in Bath where we spent part of our honeymoon who kept refering to us as "you lot", and then our good friend Lee, from Wolverhampton, who was famous for regarding us, head shaking, and saying with a sigh, "just look at you, the pair of you!" I like it now, but it took some getting used to.
To be honest, about 70% of me is still going to the my D.B.S. because of old-fashioned peer pressure, and the rest of me is mixed up with thinking that it's making me read the Bible, which I wanted to do anyway, and that it's only got 2 more weeks left!

And thank you, I am feeling better, it wasn't an ear infection, thankfully!

Susan Harwood said...

Hmm. Infinite possibilities for misunderstandings!

I don't think it's 'irony' though. I think it's because in English we don't have familiar forms for 'you' (as they do in languages like French and German).

To speak to family, children and friends in words which, if used differently or in another context, might cause offense - shows you trust those around you to know that you love / like them. In certain situations, as with your B and B man in Bath, it introduces a level of friendly informality.

As a contrast, there is a growing fashion here for complete strangers (even telephone sales people!) to ask 'How are you?'. I instantly find my hackles going up and it is hard not to feel wildly angry and 'intruded upon' that they are asking such a personal question when I've never even met them before!

I assume this is something that is being copied from the USA and that, there, it is as inocuous as saying 'hello'. I expect old fuddy-duddies like me will get used to it in time and loose the inclination to ask why they want to know! (Which genuinely is being rude and I am trying to stop myself from doing it.) (Sort of!)


rosa said...

Yes, this drives me crazy here as well, especially when clerks at the supermarket ask how I'm doing, and I am expected not only to reply, but to ask how THEY are doing. I usually refuse to play into this, and then there's this strained silence that follows, and I try hard not to feel like I am a rude, insensitive jerk for not inquiring into their lives. It can be torturous to buy groceries over here, if you don't want to play the game.

I lived in Hawaii for a little while (my dad still lives there) and it definitely took some time to get used to the local pidgin; esp. when, instead of 'hello', people say 'howzit.' The proper response is not 'oh, I'm doing fine, a little tired'-no, the proper response is to say 'howzit' back to them. Very confusing.

Read Your Way Through the Garden: Choice Tomes From Garden Literature

  • A Book of Salvias by Betsy Clebsch
  • Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon
  • Making Bentwood Trellises by Jim Long
  • RHS Encyclopedia of Plants & Flowers
  • Rose Primer: An Organic Approach to Rose Selection & Care by Orin Martin
  • Start With the Soil by Grace Gershuny
  • Sunset Western Garden Book
  • Sunset Western Landscaping Book
  • The Book of Garden Secrets by Patent & Bilderback
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Botany
  • the Gardener's Table: A Guide to Natural Vegetable Growing and Cooking by Richard Merrill & Joe Ortiz
  • The Gardener's Year by Karel Capek
  • The Hutchinson Dictionary of Plant Names: Common & Botanical
  • We Made A Garden by Margaret Fish

lotsa latin: rosa's botanical & etymological ruminations

  • vespertinus: flowers in the evening
  • vernalis:spring
  • veni vidi nates calcalvi: we came, we saw, we kicked butt. This was printed on a T shirt I bought at Abbot's Thrift many years ago. It encircled the NEA symbol. I wish I knew why.
  • superciliaris: shaped like an eyebrow ex: sturnella superciliaris, the White-browed Blackbird
  • rosa-sinensis: species of Hibiscus: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Lit. Rosa of China, so named by British plant hunters.
  • placentiformis: shaped like a cake ex: discocactus placentiformis
  • nudiflorus: flowers before leaves show ex: flowering quince, magnolia
  • nivalis: growing in or near snow ex: galanthus nivalis (common snowdrop)
  • muralis: growing on walls
  • mirabilis: marvellous, wonderful
  • formosa: beautiful ex: dicentra formosa, a.k.a.western bleeding heart/dutchman's breeches/lady in a bath
  • carpe vitam: get a life
  • Carolus Linnaeus: Latinized name of Carl von Linne (1707-1778), Swedish naturalist considered the father of plant taxonomy. Whatta guy.