So, obviously I’m Irish, what with a name like Shelagh and all…although I’ve been called everything in the book aside from Sheila. She-lag. She-laughs. She-lagla. Shelga. I’ve got a list somewhere.
And being as how it’s St. Patrick’s Day, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least acknowledge my roots, of which I am very appreciative. The Irish have such great blessings: “May the road rise up to meet you…” and all that. “May God keep you in the palm of his hand until we meet again…” You get the idea. Poets, they are, every blessed one of them.
Without a doubt, the one phrase I hear most is “You have the luck of the Irish!” Luck of the Irish? I’m thinking maybe the Irish weren’t really all that lucky…well, aside from being born Irish, that is. That’s pretty lucky.
But, let’s look at the history: potato famine, political unrest, snakes needing to be driven out of Ireland, the oppressive Catholic church, etc. Those are just a few. I’m starting to think that we really aren’t that lucky after all. Or, maybe we just say stuff that we think we know, when really we don’t know much.
Kind of like my students. For example, during a vocabulary drill in class, here are some things I heard:
“Who knows what Esperanto is?” I ask.
Student’s hand shoots up. “I know! It’s coffee!”
My reply, “No, that’s espresso.”
“What does infidelity mean?”
Student, oh-so-excitedly: “It’s when you can’t get pregnant!”
Me: “Um, no. That’s infertility. Good try though!”
And my favorite:
Student throws hand in the air, bouncing out of his chair: “I know that one! It’s like when you have sex in a church!”
“No, that’s desecration.”
God love ‘em, they do try; and I can say that at least my students are funny, take everything in good humor, and make me laugh every single day. Much like the Irish.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!