High School English with a Twist

The musings of Susan E dot Cohen

Month: July, 2013

The Royal Evolution Continues

Yesterday, I had the television on most of the day, had my twitter feed open, and had NBC’s live feed up on my computer. All was intended not to miss the announcement of Baby Cambridge. In the end, the live feed paid off. I heard Brian William’s voice and quickly turned on the television. Brian sent me (us in case you watched it too) over to Natalie Morales and soon, the announcement came. It was exciting and once again, a chance to see Royal protocol on display.

Today, I woke up a few minutes before 7 in case the Prince of Cambridge leaves hospital (Note: Missing definite article like the British). I have the Today Show on in the background ready for Natalie to return from in front of the Lindo Wing. For those who know my television habits, I rarely watch it in the a.m. So, the fact that I watched part of the Today Show yesterday and woke up for its beginning today, demonstrates that not only am I a (huge) Royal Watcher, but I feel NBC is providing excellent (and I mean this) Royal coverage. They have the perfect balance of reporting the news and additional commentary. I commend them for a job well done!

As I have previously written, my interest in the Duchess of Cambridge is one of admiration and to illustrate my feelings, I quote myself below:

I want to approach things the way Catherine does. She takes her time in order to do things right. She see things as incremental and part of a bigger picture. I know that my view of Catherine may not be how everyone see her, but this is how I see Catherine. I see her as a strong, powerful woman who understands how the world works. The world requires patience and she was patient and it paid off. Look at her now.” (Cohen, March 1, 2013)

This admiration has a lot to do with my interest in personal evolution and my first piece on Catherine touched upon that point (Note: I only used Kate because the piece required it, but I refer to her as Catherine or Duchess of Cambridge):

The process of evolution is powerful. Maybe that is the power that intrigues me. The power to evolve and change oneself. Evolution is a chance to decide who you want to be and how you want to get there. Kate has decided what kind of Royal she wants to be through her wardrobe that ranges from Top Shop to Alexander McQueen as well as her charity work.” (Cohen, July 13, 2012)

I feel strongly that when the Duchess of Cambridge leaves the hospital today with her husband and son, she will have thought things through, likely impress us with her poise, and most importantly, do what is best for her young family. Going forward, she will continue to see the bigger picture. I look forward to watching her evolve into a Royal mother. I believe she will be an excellent one.

Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

No Need for a Passport: Vast/Small Distances

I have traveled vast distances in the last week. To Japan and Mongolia to be exact. Well, not exactly. I took the subway and the crosstown bus to The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) a few days ago and went slightly downtown to Lincoln Center last night. However, through the portal that is New York City and its cultural institutions, I had a chance to experience a world beyond my own. I was temporarily transported to Japan through the Met’s exhibit “Birds in the Art of Japan” and to Mongolia through the incredible band Hanggai.* I had a chance to expand my horizons without leaving my horizon. No need for a passport. Although, one could say my MetroCard acted as my passport. By traveling a short distance to travel a great distance, I have awakened a desire to learn more about what I saw and heard. Soon, the distances will become smaller and the desire bigger.

And, what would travel be without a few photos!

*More on Hanggai soon!

My MetroCard (Passport) Case/Holder.

Proud owner of this MetroCard (Passport) Case/Holder.


Some of the awesome members of Hanggai.

Bought a CD and got it signed.

Bought a CD and got it signed.

More signatures!

More signatures!

Answering An Admissions Question

I found the following article on the Twitterverse, “Tufts Is Asking Its Applicants ‘What Does #YOLO Mean to You?’” This seems like a tough (which actually sound like Tufts – trying for a pun) question. The answer needs to be interesting without being crazy. It needs to give enough insight, but not enough to have your application thrown in the “no” pile. Basically, Tufts has found a way to look like it’s staying hip and relating to its applicants, when in fact, Tufts is just masquerading a “cool” question as a means to differentiate thousands of applicants with the same SAT score from each other. One smart admissions office.

If I had to respond to this question in 200 words, I might just write that acronyms can be extra-grammatical and therefore can be analyzed linguistically. With this perspective, one does not have to view YOLO as pertaining to oneself, but as it relates to the study of morphology. I definitely think that would get me in. Then again, I learned all of that in graduate school. Go figure.

The Kardashians Inspire Linguistics Student to Study Morphology


During the Fall of 2012, I walked to the front of the classroom and wrote out the word Kimye on the board. Kimye is the name the media granted to Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Kanye. After writing the name out, I performed a morphological analysis of it. Kim would be the free morpheme (can stand alone) and ye the bound (cannot stand alone). A morpheme is the smallest unit of linguistic meaning and my attempt to create morphemes out of this celebrity name was just an attempt to show I understood the material.

However, months later, I find myself analyzing Kimye completely differently. For research reasons, I will not reveal more about my work. What I will say is that the work I have done –  and continue to do – demonstrates that Keeping up with the Kardashians  has lead me to not only study morphology, but to study it very seriously. In other words (a pun! morphology deals with words!), the Kardashians have had an academic impact. Kris Jenner, thank you!

And Kris, if you would like a copy, let me know!

Staying Cool was Literally Cool

The following thought is brought to you by a hot July in New York.

I could have used a spray fan here!

I could have used a spray fan here!

In the 90s, spray fans and their combination of a spray bottle with a fan on top was essentially all it took to be  cool – in both senses of the word. Amazing to think that the ability to spritz water while receiving a slight breeze from a fan made of a non-plastic synthetic material was all it took to be the coolest kid during the summer. If only a cool mist could do the same now at business meetings. Imagine walking in with your spray fan and getting high fives and requests for a spritz and mist. Dream on Susan.

Since this clearly will not be happening, maybe I’ll just stick to my air conditioning and leave the glory days of the spray fan behind me. However, if you happen to locate a 90s era spray fan with its white bottle and pink fan, please let me know. I can’t find one online.

Andy Cohen – Take Responsibility

Dear Andy Cohen,

You’re probably busy sipping a drink in the Hamptons right now or maybe you are working on your tan, but what you have not done is take full responsibility for what occurred on Princesses Long Island on Sunday. You – not the representatives at Bravo, but you, senior level executive and face of the network Andy Cohen – should have apologized to the Ielpi family and to the 9/11 community.

As of publication of this letter to you, you have yet to do so. Even if you had issued an apology or even plan to issue one, it’s not enough. There is no excuse for what took place. It never should have happened. Period. Since it did happen – which there is no way to explain – you should have acted swiftly and not relied on your staff.

During the time you could have done the right thing, you continued to promote shows and tweeted about Nick & Toni’s. You even rewarded Ms. Bertoncini with a spot on your show, Watch What Happens Live, this coming Sunday. Perhaps she was always set to be on the show, but you and your staff should have changed the guest list already just as you and your staff should have canceled the show already. Oh wait, you, your staff, the Network, and the production team behind it never should have made a show like this in the first place.

Regardless of the advertising lined up for the season of the Princesses Long Island season, cancel it. Be a mensch.

No longer a fan of you or your network,

Susan Cohen
Thankful to all who protect and serve. Raised in Great Neck. Not a Princess.