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wotd: cozen

cozen \KUZ-un\, transitive verb:
1. To cheat; to defraud; to deceive, usually by petty tricks.
2. To obtain by deceit.
intransitive verb:
1. To act deceitfully.


Inexplicably, cozen is proving a difficult word for me to write about. Maybe it's because in my world there's no room for one to cozen another, or if I feel cozened I can usually find a way to rationalize it. At the end of the last school year, the one I'd spent co-leading with that Teacher from a Totally Different Philosophy, if I were an external locus of control person I may have felt cozened (though strong-armed would be more descriptive). At the end of that year, though, when I accepted a contract to return to my position as an assistant in the younger threes, the rector at my church (head of the preschool's governing board) and the preschool director both apologized, indicating they felt I'd been coerced into the position. I accepted those apologies, forgave myself for the rough time I made even rougher, and moved on to a happier school year.

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wotd: temporize

temporize \TEM-puh-ryz\, intransitive verb:
1. To be indecisive or evasive in order to gain time or delay action.
2. To comply with the time or occasion; to yield to prevailing opinion or circumstances.
3. To engage in discussions or negotiations so as to gain time (usually followed by 'with').
4. To come to terms (usually followed by 'with').

It's easy to tell yourself that you'll write a daily blog entry using the word of the day from dictionary(dot)com as a prompt, and equally easy to temporize your daily entry by waffling over what to write about, or evading your obligation by procrastination. There. Bedtime.

expanding my culinary horizons

After last night's culinary debacle, today's culinary surprise was particularly welcome. My dear friend Rukmi brought me lunch! Rukmi is Sri Lankan. She cooks the best food. I ate a fish and egg croquette, lentil curry, saffron rice, all with delicious chicken and what I thought might be tuna. I asked Rukmi what the meat was, and she told me it's all chicken. "The flat, triangular meat? With the spices? Is it tuna?"

She laughed lightly. "That's a wegetable," she said, in her lovely Sinhalese way.

"Oh, yeah? Like a beet?" That made sense, because it flaked like tuna steak or like beets might.

"It is jackfruit."

Jackfruit? Jackfruit! I ate jackfruit today. Rukmi told me all about it: she used canned young jackfruit she bought at G & L Market on 22nd St.; fully grown jackfruits are gigantic and if one fell on your head it could kill you. When fully ripe, jackfruit is full of big pods that each have a seed in the middle, like a po…
Jack doesn't have many "activities." I don't relish the thought of driving him to soccer, piano lessons, gymnastics, tae kwon do, KidzArt, swim team, T-ball, so on, and so forth. Not to say that I don't recognize the value of these activities, but I witness firsthand the toll a full schedule takes on little ones. On Monday nights Jack and his cousin participate in Young Champions of America Karate, which is more about learning discipline, respect, and self defense than it is about martial arts.

Recently we've picked up a new activity, which is also about learning discipline, respect, and creativity: Tucson Lego Club.


He was invited to join by Nathan and Lucas, friends from church who also attended the preschool a few years ahead of Jack. Here he sits between them, at a table surrounded by 6 other boys, each of them building a lavish Lego creation.


Members spend an hour building and fraternizing, sometimes more fraternizing than building, but at the end of the h…