Thursday, March 3, 2011


I picked up comic book-sized drawing tablets with thick paper at the local Japanese market, Marukai. Originally, I just got one for Nathan, since he's on a comic kick and there are loose papers all over the house covered in his sketches. I wanted him to have a single place to do all his drawings, and what could be better than a tablet especially created for manga for my comic loving boy? But considering the price (98 cents), I figured Benjamin would appreciate one as well.

Picking up the living room after the boys were in bed, I came across Ben's tablet and flipped through it. Like the excellent student that he is (he's so different from the other 3/4ths of the Chase family!) he's used his tablet to create a homework reminder guide, telling him that he has to do spelling on Mondays, math on Tuesdays, etc. And then I came to this page:

Rehearsal, Breakdown, Iconoclast

I was puzzled. Ben is 7 and in the second grade, and his spelling words are things like Circle, Doubt, and a bonus word, President. I never shy away from using big words with them, even when little ones will do, so the boys do have rich vocabularies. But I've never seen either of them make a list like this. We work in entertainment, so he's heard the word Rehearsal. A lot. Breakdown? Well, that's a common word. Cars break down, rides at Disneyland break down. But iconoclast? He's a voracious reader, but I can't imagine that's a word used in Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Captain Underpants.

Iconoclast, noun. 1: a person who destroys religious images or opposes their veneration. 2: a person who attacks settled beliefs or institutions

For several days I kept forgetting to ask him about his list. When I finally did, he was totally nonchalant. "Those words? Oh they're from a vocabulary game on my DSi [handheld video game device]. They looked interesting so I wrote them down."

Benjamin is an iconoclast when it comes to my settled beliefs that video games simply rot your brain and don't have any redeeming qualities beyond a good leveraging tool when I want the kids to behave a certain way or do a certain task.

Carry on, my sesquipedalian boy. Carry on.

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