Even though it's summer vacation, there is still plenty of learning going on in Krinkeland. Madeline joined a book club with her classmates. Elisabeth is tutoring a younger student. Amanda is taking driver's education. Benjamin is figuring out odds for his favorite football teams on Madden 2017. It's all good.
Maddy, of late, has had a lot of questions regarding language usage and vocabulary. My journalism background comes in kind of handy, but I also find myself wishing I was an English teacher. First, she asked me about the word department. The context was Maddy asking me what exactly a department store was. Since I know as much about shopping as I do about words, this was not a problem. We even discussed the difference between a department store and a discount department store, and branched out into the term "big box store." However, the next day, she asked me what DNR stood for, and became more puzzled when I explained it was Department of Natural Resources. What does the word department mean here? I fumbled more over this definition... and had a moment of appreciation for all who learn English as a second language.
Maybe it's a shopping thing, but, today, Madeline asked me what a rear was. I said that word means your bottom. "My butt?" she asked, because bathroom humor is always in style. I nodded. Maddy was quiet for a few moments and then asked, "So, why do they say 'the rear of the store?'" I broadened my definition to the back or the back end. She's still thinking.