Thursday, March 7, 2013

Down the Middle

At one time in her life, the running joke was that Fio was so desperate to pick up classes that if a college asked her to teach Chinese wrestling, couch potato Fio would agree, then run out and buy a book on the subject.  Yes, she was the Tony Slattery of the college circuit--check that reference out on Google.  Fio even taught an individualized studies psychology course on behaviors, as she remembers.  It was out a books that said if you look to the left, you're lying, and if you look to the right, you're telling the truth.

Of course Fio, being Fio, urged her student to question these assertions.  What if someone had a vision problem which caused him/her to favor one direction?  What if a shyster had read the book and knew how to look honest?  And if honesty could really be determined so easily, why weren't the police tossing their lie detectors--which, in themselves weren't always that reliable--in favor of eye detectors?

Strangely, her student went along with her, never questioning why an admitted linguist was teaching psychology.  In fact, the only thing she did question was Fio's explanation of connotation and denotation--she thought Fio had them reversed.  But if there was one thing on the entire course that Fio was sure of, it was connotation, which is an implied reference (e.g., dumb), and denotation, which is an exact reference (e.g., blonde).

And as Fio defended herself, she looked straight at the student the entire time. 

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