Posts Tagged ‘Mark’

Childish Lit Crit

November 21, 2009

“Fox in socks and Knox in box.” These are just a few of the words that I have had the pleasure of trying to stumble my numb tongue over tonight. I think Dr. Seuss’s use of the “Tweetle beetle bottled muddle puddle paddle battle” is the same last straw it was for Mr. Knox. But it was a lot of fun to read this book to my son tonight for more reasons than the pure oratory athleticism it requires to make it through the book in less than 15 minutes.

Childrens’ literature is written and illustrated by adults. I’ve read a fair share of it to my son, but so much of it, like fiction in general, is just not worth reading. The plots are so obvious that my four year old can tell me how it is going to end before we’ve finished the first reading, and they either aim too high or too low for children. These books should have a lasting appeal in case I don’t happen to read a book during the three month period in my child’s development that he would find it interesting. I think, (and not originally, might I add) that the books penned by the author with the incredibly famous pseudonym of Dr. Seuss stand up to this test.

My son, right now, can’t read. He’s four, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for now. He likes the rhyming and silliness of the situations that make up a Dr. Seuss book. (I use the doctor term because I think he’s earned it.) But I, the parent with an English Degree, enjoy the clever rhyming, unique metrical style, punning, and the artwork that was also done by the same person. People usually are blessed with a superior talent in life, where the good Dr. Seuss was able to illustrate as well as he wrote. These qualities of the books cause parents to smile as often as the child, and that is the true beauty behind the absurdity of books like “The Cat in the Hat comes Back.”

What are some other childrens’ books that will stand the test of time as well as Dr. Seuss? I am always looking for new recommendations and would like to hear yours.


Promotion Speech

June 30, 2008

Effective 1 July 2008, I am promoted to Sergeant Mark Mansfield. The ceremony was actually on the 30th, at 1700 hours in the evening. I was pinned by LTC Robinette, and CW2 Diaz read the orders. Below is my speech after a flattering introduction by LTC Robinette.

“Thank you, Sir.

As the colonel mentioned, I have a degree in English Literature, and not in Public Speaking, so I’ve written this very short speech out.

There are a few people who I would like to thank for helping me have this privilege of becoming an NCO.

First, my parents and family for providing the support and role models that have helped and inspired me to get here. I have countless old war stories that are not mine, but that I grew up with. Whether they were told by pilots, MPs, Rangers, enlisted, officers, or even military spouses, I grew up to appreciate how incredibly noble it is to serve in the military, and from an early age, I knew I wanted that for myself.

I also want to thank the officers and attorneys I have worked for who have listened and taken my advice. When they disagreed or I didn’t understand, they thought it was important enough to take the time and effort to explain it to me. It has been an education, and a pleasure.

I’d especially like to thank all the NCOs I’ve worked for, SFC Davis, SSG Cooper, SFC Neal, and SFC Preston, all who have taken large amounts of their time to give me advice (whether I asked for it or not), answering my limitless questions, and for taking an interest in this soldier ho wanted to live up to the good things his NCOs have said about him. I am sure I wouldn’t be promoted without their hard work and good graces.

Finally, I’d like to thank my wife and child. They could not be here today, but they are my inspiration to continue to try and make the world a better place; one job, one day, and one soldier at a time.

I’m not going to be cliche and say I know exactly what it is that makes people good leaders, because leadership is not like some object you can hold on to, and tell what color it is. Forms of leadership are as varied as the people who have it. It is one of those qualities that is easily recognized, and hard to duplicate. But I am confidant that with the leadership I’ve had, I will be able to lead soldiers and provide that good example that I have had provided for me.

Thank you.”

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