Science Museum and Oklahoma Talk

We went to the Science Museum after school today. We haven't been in longer than we've ever not been before. I'm happy to report that I finally figured out how to bolt down the three-story slide.The secret was a fleece jacket and my arm wrapped around the center pole. Anyone who has seen this slide and had to take children down it know exactly what I'm talking about.

We spent the most time with a huge display of cardboard boxes. We built a small two room house that we were very proud of. I enjoyed sitting in it. I could have curled up and fallen asleep in the back room, which Cora turned into a bathroom by adding a box that was the bathtub, right in the middle of the museum. I love small spaces that feel secret.
 The girls inside their house.

Cora taking a peak out the front door.

 Magnolia looking at Cora.

 Sizing up the other builders.

The whole picture.

While eating lunch, I was eavesdropping on a group of teachers sitting next to us. They were talking about the various places they'd smoked in or around the school building in the past...and not so distant past. I couldn't help but think back on my time as a teacher. Some of the bathrooms almost always smelled like smoke, and I always assumed it was from sneaky students. Now I wonder.

And finally, I heard a good example of Oklahoma Talk today. There was a little boy playing blocks next to my girls, and his mom said, "Look up there at sister!" He looked and spotted her and began to wave. His mom said, "Now you see her. Say hi to Tyler." And as he excitedly waved, he said, "Hi" to his sister Tyler. What makes this Oklahoma? It's the way the mom said her daughter's name. I say, "Tie-ler." She said, "Tah-lir," but I know she means what I say as Tyler. It made me think about Jake's cousin's husband's name. His name is Cooper. Easy, right? But I bet you just read it wrong. Cooper is his mom's maiden name, and her family is from Alabama. They say the "oo" like book or look. Pretend like you're southern ('suth-uhn'), and you'll probably say his name right. I practiced and practiced because there's no rule that makes two o's before a p say the same sound as two o's before a k. But I am a great respecter of names being pronounced as they were intended. The way I finally made it work for my very-from-Arizona-self was to say a hard 'C' and add 'per' - C'per. 

Why did Tyler make me think of Cooper? I wondered if someday this mom would have a conversation with someone who would say, "Oh, your daughter's name is Tyler? How cute." And she would reply,

"Thanks, but it's actually pronounced, 'Tah-lir'." Or maybe it made me think of Cooper because he has a twin brother named Tyler. I don't know. But I think it's fun to live in a place where most of the voices sound different from the ones I grew up being familiar with. I still sometimes have to ask people if they mean "pen" or "pin" because the "e" in pen rarely exists here. Some of the accommodations for this lack of "e" make me smile. I'd never heard a penguin called a peen-guin before I moved here. Not everybody says it that way, but I've heard it several times, and my darling husband is one of the people who utters it. I think there's something dreamy about Southern accents. Nouns and consonants run together smooth as butter, and in Oklahoma emphasis is placed on different syllables which is fun for the surprise factor. If I could pick any accent to claim for myself, it would definitely be British. There's an interview on Mormon Stories with Terryl and Fiona Givens, and I could listen to it over and over again just to hear Fiona speak. Perfect "English" accent.


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