Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Blaise Pascal

My computing students (I don't teach them Computing, but Communication) were to choose a subject, research it and give a presentation. Any subject. They mostly chose football teams or computer games. But one student decided, surprisingly, to give his presentation on Blaise Pascal.

I knew about as much about Blaise Pascal (French, dead for some considerable time, writer and philosopher) as I do about Britney Spears (American, alive, singer and Celebrity). So it was interesting.

"Then," said the lad, "he became a Gee-Soot."

Gee-Soot? I thought.

Ah, a Je-Suit. Jesuit. Gotcha.

19 comments:

  1. Very funny, how do you keep a stragiht face, or maybe you don't?

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  2. I swear that cat winked at me!

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  3. Self education has that one drawback, erratic pronunciation.

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  4. This made me laugh. I knew how to pronounce Jesuit before I could read, as It was part of my world and my father had a Jesuit cousin who was a missionary in India. Little things like this show the extent of culture change in the world. This student has an original mind though!
    Your shawl is so beautiful, and what a superb piece of knitting. Lovely daughter to do that for you. The crochet one is beautiful, too. I feel a crochet shawl orgy about to sweep over me.

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  5. Very funny indeed. I do wonder how you reacted to that ;)

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  6. Matt and I were just talking about the Gee-Soots last night, and we both noticed that each mention from either of us had a slightly different pronunciation. Him a good (if lapsed) Catholic boy as well.

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  7. HAHAHAHA! I would never in a million years have figured that one out -- you're brilliant. I didn't realize that Pascal was a philosopher -- Pascal is (was?) one of my favorite programming languages and was named after Mr. Pascal. I thought he was just a mathematician.

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  8. I now know 5 things about Blaise Pascal....thanks, I think....

    Lesley x

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  9. Actually, 6 or even 7 as I just read Thimbleanna's post....

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  10. Never a dull moment around those communication students of yours!

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. I sincerly hope the Asian Invasion here is not like the one I have. It keeps on & on leaving some indecipherable comment on just one old post. I keep blocking sender, & deleting comment, but it keeps on.
    A Gee-Soot. Hmm just as mystifying as any other 'reigious' item!

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  13. Very funny. And worth an extra mark for originality.

    BTW, have you put that ?Chinese? comment through a translator site at all? Or could you read it? I had one the other day, and thought I'd try to get the gist of it before publishing. Babelfish revealed that it was... er... not QUITE related to my blog post, and contained quite a few references to "sexual affection", and the memorable phrase "toot toot sentiment color adult net".....

    Lavish apologies if your comment turns out to be something complimentary about your ability to teach!

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  14. He liked a wager that Pascal...

    As Zhoen implies, there's something quite impressive and a bit touching about someone who goes to a lot of effort to find out about something quite challenging, but clearly never gets to actually talk about it to anyone. The pronunciation is imaginative too.

    Hope you're all keeping warm and comfy up there!

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  15. Hee hee. But I can totally understand how that happens. Don't you find that there is a whole category of words that one finds in books, but rarely hears spoken? Like chasm, dearth, and perhaps Jesuit. I was a reader from an early age, and always thought 'chasm' was pronounced with the 'ch' sound. Silly me.

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  16. Did you tell him?

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  17. It's a laugh a day (at least!) with students :)
    BTW, I think Kylie will get your comment in her inbox. I'll ask her if she received it, and say hello for you :)
    She's been too busy to blog because of school work and life in general, but she's the one who got me started: "Mom, you'll love it!" And of course, I did :)

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  18. Exactly how is Jesuit pronounced then? Is it Jez-yew-It? Or am I showing my limited education yet again - lol!

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  19. One of my high school P.E. teachers pronounced Freud as "Frooood". I was aghast. Did she not stay awake during her college psychology classes?

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