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When I was still teaching, students would throw around their favourite slang, usually in proper ways. Gnarly was a favourite word of one of the young men I taught for five years.

A young woman used beast. The first time I heard her say that I was unsure what she meant, but it described her play as the Michael Jordan of her basketball league.

Mike photographed a tree and entitled the post Gnarly. It is cool which is what the young man meant when he used gnarly. It is cool there is wisdom in that tree as it does its work. It is also cool to find wisdom in the everyday world of words.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and spent the last 14 years teaching in an incrediable hybrid school setting. My dissertation topic and research were how teachers experience becoming who teachers, as human subjects. For me, teaching is a calling and vocation that allows me to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what will call me. We have begun a small consulting and leadership firm called Rocky River Leadership & Consulting Ltd.

20 responses »

  1. How about Acceptance

    So much more than the letters

  2. I remember ‘cool, man’ and ‘awesome’ being slang, but haven’t heard ‘gnarly’ for a long time… smiles!

  3. Gnarly reminds me of my So.Cal. teenage years and hearing the surfer dudes talk about wanting to catch a gnarly wave. Nice memories. 🙂

  4. Reminds , I should have kept a log of the evolution of slang words to mean the same concept over 33 years in the classroom. “cool” still remains though.

  5. A lovely, lovely post! I’ll never hear ‘gnarly’ the same again! 🙂


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