Table of contents for Journal Project
I teach Rhetoric 2 to sophomores at Logos School here in Moscow, Idaho, and every year around this time, I assign the (now famous) Journal Project. The Journal Project consists of 30 days of journal entries on the same topic. The students are given one day off each week, so we complete the Journal Project over the course of five weeks (writing six days each week). Only this year my students asked me to do the Journal Project with them. So here we go… My topic is my family.
On second thought, I don’t recommend naming your son after a prophet. At first it may seem like a good idea, going for the Bible name and all, and no doubt the grandmothers will all approve. I once thought that too. And when the child is first born, you chalk it up to coincidence: you know, all the little oddities you notice. But after a while you settle down to bracing yourself for the worst.
Prophets were no ordinary race of men. Take a complete lunatic and mix in two parts fire, three parts brimstone, and add a beard and staff to taste, and you’re pretty much talking about a guy you’d expect to find with a homemade cardboard sign at a major intersection in a big city. Naming your son after one of these fire-breathing witch doctors is just not safe. It’s like sticking paper clips in electrical sockets or playing with matches at a gas station or ice skating on your roof. You just shouldn’t do it. But no one wants to admit that they’ve done this to their child, so you try to ignore it.
The permanent scowl, the furrowed brow? Not so rare really, and besides, it’s a hard knock life getting squeezed out of a birth canal. You’d be a little grumpy too (for several months). The bright orange hair? Well there is a little Irish in the family, on both sides in fact. One great-grandmother from Ireland married the Norse man she met on the boat over. On the other side I’m just going with the varying shades of red that streak the beards of the men. (All the women are clean shaven). However, the missing toe nail really was a bit of an anomaly. The doctors shrugged, the nurses laughed, and after ruling out various genetic conditions, we settled on the whole name thesis. A cautionary tale: This is what happens when you name your son after an Old Testament prophet. Some people might call him “freak” or “freak of nature” but that’s just an attempt at avoiding responsibility.
My wife did some research (by which I mean Google), and she concluded that our family gene pool has some sort of pan-generational mutant gene that emerges at unknown intervals or this is a brand new mutation (Google knows everything!). I’m hoping it’s the latter and not the former since it seems a little more exciting to have a new evolutionary leap happening in my own house at this very moment. But I’ve actually suspected that for years. Who knows, could my son be the missing link? I’m pretty sure he’s too cute to be considered an authentic example of Procrustean Man. Though I have to admit that after he’s done with a bowl of macerated sweet potatoes he does have a sort of prehistoric look to him. All in all, I would not recommend naming your son after a prophet, and in the mean time, I’ve begun replacing all the batteries in the smoke detectors.