Life-isms

Vocabulary Sentences

My English teacher my freshman and junior years of high school was a feared and often resented man. Mr. Schoonover drove a Harley to school, and it wasn’t a secret that he used to sport an impressive ponytail. Notwithstanding his biker appearance, his standards for the use of the English language were high. He was a harsh grader and failed an innumerable number of students. According to my mom, the line to visit him at parent-teacher conference was always incredibly long.

Most students’ downfall in his class stemmed from his vocabulary tests. This test was not multiple choice, and the words were required to be spelled 100% correctly. One of my classmates struggled with spelling, and although he usually got most of the words correct, it was rare for him to spell the words correctly, and thus he would fail nearly every test.
At the beginning of each week we were given a new vocabulary list with the assignment to use each word correctly in a sentence. This was always an easy and reasonably enjoyable assignment for me. Sometimes my sentences were random and had nothing to do with each other, while other times I made it story-esque.
There were several lists in which I told the story of Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus. For whatever reason, the hardened biker/English teacher, Mr. Schoonover, liked Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus. One day he found my sentences so entertaining that he read my assignment out loud to the class. I was both flattered and appalled.
A few weeks ago my husband was flipping through channels and stopped on PBS. A show called Word Girl was on. I was immediately reminded of Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus. Thus, I created a random vocabulary list and resurrected both Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus, complete with their English accents.
It’s strange, random, and has no point. But that’s just how Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus are.
Master Benjamin, His Pet Hippopotamus, and the Dark Figure

One lovely morning, Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus set about the tedious task of picking up pinecones. “Master Benjamin,” the pet hippopotamus exclaimed, “I don’t think it is feasible for us to gather every pinecone!”

“My dear pet hippopotamus, we must strive to gather all the pinecones! Otherwise, you will have nothing to eat this winter,” said Master Benjamin.

The pet hippopotamus heaved his heavy basket of pinecones over to the next tree. “Master Benjamin, this is somewhat unnecessary! I don’t particularly enjoy eating pinecones. They are far too crunchy and get stuck in my teeth!”

“Hush,” Master Benjamin whispered as he gazed deep into the woods. Master Benjamin had caught sight of a dubious dark figure climbing up a tree. Master Benjamin wrinkled his forehead, “I do not recall giving anyone the authority to climb the trees in my woods. How dare that dark figure go against my will!”

Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus hastened to the tree. Master Benjamin called up to the dark figure, “Excuse me, but you are up in a tree. That is contrary to what I wish.”

The dark figure then began to throw miscellaneous items at Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus. “Perhaps Master Benjamin could dictate that this dark figure is allowed to be up in this tree,” the pet hippopotamus suggested as he dodged a flying crock-pot.

“We are the victims in this matter!” Master Benjamin shouted as an alarm clock narrowly missed his head. “And I do not allow this dark figure to be in this tree!”

Just then, the figure called down, “Hello? Do I hear a familiar voice? I do believe that pet hippopotamus is my kin!”

Down the tree climbed a very large mammoth. Master Benjamin juxtaposed the mammoth and his pet hippopotamus. “You don’t look very much alike,” Master Benjamin said thoughtfully. “The mammoth has a very large nose and tusks that rival the nose and teeth of my pet hippopotamus.”

“The mammoth and I are portrayed quite differently—there is no possibility that we are related!” the pet hippopotamus explained nervously. The mammoth’s tusks and lengthy nose left the pet hippopotamus feeling very apprehensive.

Master Benjamin nodded at his pet hippopotamus’s interpretation of the matter. “I believe my pet hippopotamus is correct. Let us go obtain a scoop of raspberry sherbet.”

And with that, Master Benjamin and his pet hippopotamus thanked the mammoth for the crock-pot, alarm clock, and other useful objects that he had hurled at their heads, and the two of them set out for the nearest sherbet shop.

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3 thoughts on “Vocabulary Sentences

  1. You are the REAL Word Girl, Lindsey! Is Kevin really your monkey-like sidekick, Mr. Huggy Pants? Perhaps you should commit Master Benjamin's adventures to paper and submit it to a publisher.

  2. I watched the TV version of Word Girl yesterday…sorry I messed up Kevin's name. He would actually be 'Captain Huggy Face'. Sorry, I was confused before, I hope he isn't mad at me for calling him "Mister Huggy Pants"

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