Friday, October 05, 2012

when i have time i sorely miss my old friends in illinois, my religious community, my workmates, the friends i'd gathered. here, folks are nice, but i just don't know them well enough. it's kind of an urban scene; our house rambles along a busy street, and although we can tune out the noise, it never really quiets down, and certain times of day it's intense. this weekend is game weekend; oklahoma is coming to town. now it's kind of nice hating oklahoma, it's kind of like hating the yankees, they're a kind of traditional enemy, whether you're from iowa, or kansas, or nebraska, or texas.

the weather here is beautiful, clear and cool, with blue skies and a stiff north wind bringing welcome cool canadian air. or maybe it's rockies air, either way, it's cool and sometimes cloudy, but always windy, and i like this. it restores my faith in winter and in a world that was heating up a little too much.

the school in some ways cheers me up too; maybe it's that students have an economy to move into (their being texans and all), so there's some sense of hope. the university has built five buildings in three years; it's adding dorms and cafeterias, mass com school, that kind of stuff, as it goes from 34 000 to 40 000. my last school went from 25 000 to 18 000 while i was there, while all spending for football became a cruel joke as they refused to hire teachers, shut down departments, began to welsh on dentist bills, etc. though i know the system is sick, and that will probably hit this place too, sooner or later, i would have to say, i'm almost at the end, i just want a few more good years. i want to enjoy teaching a while longer. i want to feel that hope of a young person who wants to learn and can.

so i challenged my young people to tell me the truth about "y'all" and i'm hearing a few good stories. they say "y'all" a lot down here; it's y'all this and y'all that. but i kind of like it; it's a lot easier to adjust to than, say, yes ma'am or yes sir. politeness is king, and that's why y'all can be for just one person, because, even if there's only one, if he's important, or he's a visitor, or you like him, or whatever, you use y'all as a familiar and show him your best. i like this. they can call me y'all anytime.

we're one block from campus, maybe two blocks from tailgating, maybe five from the stadium. people will park all over the place. a few styrofoam cups will end up on our yard. it's a city, and it has good weather at night, and things begin to get lively around now when i go to bed. i'll put the seven-year-old to bed upstairs in this old house, and up there you can see the city drive by below, and see the campus out over the trees. he'll fall asleep quickly by the fan even as the city traffic picks up a bit. he's ok with calling his teachers "ma'am" and the "yalls" will be coming soon from all of us. it's a friendly place. we can do it too, we just have to learn.

we're not the first folks to move to texas. apparently lots of people have been doing it.


Anonymous bruce said...

Around here, many people say "yinz" or "yunz", short for "you ones". This includes some, but not all, of my in-laws. Funny thing though, I wasn't aware of it when we were growing up. I've even heard it turned into a possessive, i.e. "yunz's".
If either of your younger boys is interested in marching band, all of a sudden you will be going to lots of football games.

10:19 AM  
Blogger tom said...

in the article about y'all are links to places where "yunz" or "you'ns" (which I prefer) are discussed on and on. I linked to them from my other blog ( where I said all I wanted to about them, except that you'ns is related to his'n, her'n, your'n and our'n, some of which I've never even heard, and may not be real. Their spelling is questionable too. But if you have something so antiquated who cares about spelling? It's not like you're ever going to write it

10:05 PM  

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