I just didn’t get it— even with the teacher holding an orange (the earth) in one hand and a lemon (the moon) in the other, her favorite student (the sun) standing behind her with a flashlight. I just couldn’t grasp it— this whole citrus universe, these bumpy planets revolving so slowly no one could even see themselves moving. I used to think if I could only concentrate hard enough I could be the one person to feel what no one else could, sense a small tug from the ground, a sky shift, the earth changing gears. Even though I was only one mini-speck on a speck, even though I was merely a pinprick in one goosebump on the orange, I was sure then I was the most specially perceptive, perceptively sensitive. I was sure then my mother was the only mother to snap, “The world doesn’t revolve around you!” The earth was fragile and mostly water, just the way the orange was mostly water if you peeled it, just the way I was mostly water if you peeled me. Looking back on that third grade science demonstration, I can understand why some people gave up on fame or religion or cures— especially people who have an understanding of the excruciating crawl of the world, who have a well-developed sense of spatial reasoning and the tininess that it is to be one of us. But not me—even now I wouldn’t mind being god, the force who spins the planets the way I spin a globe, a basketball, a yoyo. I wouldn’t mind being that teacher who chooses the fruit, or that favorite kid who gives the moon its glow.

Denise Duhamel Quotes

The busybody (banned as sexist, demeaning to older women) who lives next door called my daughter a tomboy (banned as sexist) when she climbed the jungle (banned; replaced with "rain forest") gym. Then she had the nerve to call her an egghead and a bookworm (both banned as offensive; replaced with "intellectual") because she read fairy (banned because suggests homosexuality; replace with "elf") tales.I'm tired of the Language Police turning a deaf ear (banned as handicapism) to my complaints. I'm no Pollyanna (banned as sexist) and will not accept any lame (banned as offensive; replace with "walks with a cane") excuses at this time.If Alanis Morrissette can play God (banned) in Dogma (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "Doctrine" or "Belief"), why can't my daughter play stickball (banned as regional or ethnic bias) on boy's night out (banned as sexist)? Why can't she build a snowman (banned, replace with "snow person") without that fanatic (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "believer," "follower," or "adherent") next door telling her she's going to hell (banned; replaced with "heck" or "darn")?Do you really think this is what the Founding Fathers (banned as sexist; replace with "the Founders" or "the Framers") had in mind? That we can't even enjoy our Devil (banned)-ed ham sandwiches in peace? I say put a stop to this cult (banned as ethnocentric) of PC old wives' tales (banned as sexist; replace with "folk wisdom") and extremist (banned as ethnocentric; replace with "believer," "follower," or "adherent") conservative duffers (banned as demeaning to older men).As an heiress (banned as sexist; replace with "heir") to the first amendment, I feel that only a heretic (use with caution when comparing religions) would try to stop American vernacular from flourishing in all its inspirational (banned as patronizing when referring to a person with disabilities) splendor.