Vrooooom! · 30 June 2018

Apparently, we all talk with our own sound effects.

I never really noticed it until I laughed at my wife for doing it, but people talk with sound effects more than I would have guessed. Her reply to my laugh was, “Doesn’t everybody talk like that?” I did not have an answer. Instead, I just started listening to people.

What I noticed is that people really do make their own sound effects.


These simple onomatopoeia do not do the actual sound effects any justice. For how can you really make that sound of a person strafing the beach? “Rat-a-tat-tat!” does not show the person’s cheeks filled with air as he pushes that same air out of his mouth and stops it rhythmically by pressing his tongue to the top of his mouth. Or more accurately, presses his tongue to the top of his mouth and lets out quick bursts of air by pulling it away. You have certainly heard the sound during a conversation and it does not sound like “Rat-a-tat-tat!”

I guess that is why the written word sounds so much different than spoken conversations. You simply cannot create a word for every sound effect that people speak with. Regardless of the thought that the word onomatopoeia implies that we can make any sound into a word that sounds like the sound.

Thinking about onomatopoeia takes me back to my own childhood. We used to watch 1960s Batman TV show, and even though it is cheesy, I still love to see the visual effects they used when fighting the bad guys. “Kapow! Wham! Bang!” Again, the sound words (how many times can I use onomatopoeia) do not do the real sounds justice, but we still loved the show.

I know I have strayed from the topic a bit, but then again, maybe not. For I suppose we do the same thing the old Batman series used to do. We insert sounds into our conversations all the time. We know people are familiar with them so it is easier to mimic the sound of a jet flying overhead than it is to say, “the roar of the jet.” It is easier to just go “Vrooooom!” instead of saying “the sound of the car rushing by at 100 miles per hour.” It would be fun to have those Kapow! Wham! and Bang! graphics show up when we talked too, but we simply do not get to have talking or thinking bubbles above our heads like they do in the comics. At least not with current technology.

There are surely people out there who do not make their own sound effects during conversations. Just as there are people out there who do not make appropriate gestures or move their bodies or hands when they talk. Yes, conversation without sound effects does exist. But after observing for a while, most of the people I know talk with their own sound effects. “Vroooooom!”

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Wordless · 23 June 2018

It is interesting. Today, I am speechless. So to speak.

As I am sitting here writing, I realize that I have nothing to say. Not one word. Which is odd, because here I am writing. So what am I writing? I have no idea. It is just that I know I must write. Period. It is like the proverbial shark who needs to keep moving in order to survive. I need to keep writing in order to survive. Writing is like oxygen to me. Without it, I will die.

Metaphorically, of course.

I am sure that if I stopped writing, my world would not come to an untimely end. I would still keep breathing and surviving. It is just that I would not be as fulfilled. Sure, there would be a little less drivel on the internet, but that does not matter to me. Littering the internet with my words is not really my concern. After all, it is not like I litter the ground or sea with garbage. (At least not consciously.) The internet has the capacity to take all my garbage and filter it out. Unlike the ground or sea.

But I am not here to preach about litter. I am just flabbergasted that I have no ideas. No thoughts. No words. (Ironic I suppose, since I have already written four paragraphs. If you can call them all paragraphs.)

Speaking (rather writing) of paragraphs. Is a paragraph a paragraph if there is only one sentence in it? Or only one fragment of a sentence? How many sentences does it really take to make a paragraph? One? Two? Three? The world may never know. All I know is that when I end a thought, I like to end the paragraph. Or so I was taught. Something like that anyway.

Well, I am not sure I am through writing about nothing, but it seems like I am about to stop. It is interesting. I never really know what is going to come out when I am speechless. Rather, wordless.

(For those counting, I wrote 339 words about being speechless. More when you count this parenthetical thought. I wonder if that is how those streams of consciousness writers write? All I know is that it is strange to be speechless and wordless, and yet still be able to write a few hundred words about nothing. I suppose some people think I do that every week.)

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Where Has the Time Gone? · 16 June 2018

A calendar from
the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad

by Visitor7
Licensed under
CC BY-SA 3.0

Here it is the end of another school year and I am wondering where the time has gone. I am wondering what the students have learned. I am wondering what I have learned. And I am wondering if I am still doing what I am supposed to be doing.

I hope the answers are lots, lots, and yes.

Most of my students have learned lots. They have learned how to program computers or how to make cool 3D stuff on computers. They have learned that work ethic is important. Some have found their passion. Others have found that their passions lie somewhere other than in the subjects I teach. And still others have found that they just like to be in my crazy environment.

I know I have learned lots. First and foremost is that I am sure I know less than I thought I knew. It is the old maxim: the more you know, the more you realize how little you know. I have realized this over and over again, and still, it never ceases to amaze me. (Of course, my friend Marc is always quick to point out that he has always known how little I truly know. But that is a different story.) But seriously, I learned a lot more Java than I knew before, I learned that I can still program computers, and I learned there are many more ways to use CAD software than could ever be learned in just a year of class. I also learned that you can never stop learning. Or at least you never should. For even when you are learning, you are probably going backwards. (It goes back to that thing about realizing how little I really know.) I also learned a lot more about throwing the shot, discus, and javelin. (Yet another story.)

The answer to the third question is also yes. I am supposed to be teaching and coaching. And believe it or not, writing. I do the best to listen to what God is telling me about all three questions, but especially the one about doing what I am supposed to be doing. After all, I want to be the one saying, “Here I am, Lord.” And whether He tells me to stay or to go, I want to be the one saying, “Yes, Lord.”

No. I do not look for signs, but I have said since I started teaching that I would do it as long as I was having fun. I probably should amend that and say that I will keep teaching and coaching as long as I am having fun, the kids are having fun, and we are all still learning. And as long as they will still have me.

Each year flies by quickly. Seemingly quicker than the year before. And as I stop to think about where the time has gone, I reflect on my original questions. I hope my students keep learning. I hope I am still learning. And I hope that I am still doing what I am supposed to be doing.

Another year has gone by. All too quickly.

© 2018 Michael T. Miyoshi

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