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Sunday, September 20, 2015

My Last Meal (Vocab # 1)


Since I read the NY Times regularly, I’ve decided to use the paper to my advantage and learn some new vocabulary words that I come across while reading. For those that are interested, (Mrs. Berkeley), I was reading September the 17th's edition of the paper. The articles read include the 2nd G.O.P debate debrief, the homemade clock, Putin’s view of Syria and the Pope’s planned meeting with those who are less fortunate.  

Donald Trump, as seen in the 2nd G.O.P Debate





This has led to a treasure trove of vocab words that I read, and later looked up. Here are the words and their definitions in my own words:


1.  Mettle: Courage and fortitude (Noun). Similar to Valor
2. Sophomoric: Of or relating to a sophomore (Adj.). Similar to Childish
3. Lampooned (Lampoon): To mock/ ridicule (Verb). Similar to Sarcasm
4. Provocative: Tending to provoke, to cause annoyance (Adj.). Similar to Irritating
5. Belittled (Belittle): To portray as less impressive (Verb). Similar to Downgrade
6. Cowed (Cow): To make someone too afraid [by intimidation] (Verb). Similar to Daunt
7. Denigrated (Denigrate): To say unfair things about someone (Verb). Similar to Belittle
8. Caricature: Give an exaggeration of a person in a foolish way (Verb). Similar to Lampoon
9. Pragmatic: Dealing with problems in a logical way (Adj.). Similar to Sensible
10. Caucuses (Caucus): A group of people in a political party who choose candidates for election (Noun). Similar to Party, Group
11. Incendiary: Designed to cause “fires”, create tension (Adj.). Similar to Pot-Stirrer
12. Grist: Something useful for an argument, an advantage (Noun). Similar to Point
13. Pernicious: Having a harmful effect, not noticeable (Adj.). Similar to Damaging
14. Ingratiated: To gain favor or approval for yourself (Verb). Similar to Win Over
15. Welter: Mass or jumble, chaotic (Noun). Similar to Confusion
16. Envisages (Envisage): To picture something as a possibility for the future (Verb). Similar to Imagine
17. Coalition: A group of people/countries joined together for a common purpose (Noun). Similar to Alliance
18. Tumultuous: Violence, confusion, disorder (Adj.). Similar to Stormy


Phew! That was a mouthful. I decided to make it more interesting, I would write a small short story/ free write that included over half of the vocab words in it. Since I recently read about last meal requests in the prison system, I thought that my prompt would be: What would you want for your last meal, and why? So, here goes…


I finally had the mettle to think about my last meal. It is not that I’m scared or timid, it is just that I usually don’t think about things like this often. So here I am, 14 years old, envisaging what my last meal on Earth would be. Boy, it better be a good one. Since it is my last meal, I’ve decided that I would want a full course dinner, to include as much food as possible. This may sound a little sophomoric, but my last meal is going to be something like a feast. Hey, they didn’t say you had to eat it all in one sitting, so this may very well be my last meals. In order to stay organized and on top of things, I’ll need to be pragmatic and start from the beginning.


So, first things first, I’m going to have an appetizer course consisting of mozzarella sticks, various chips, lots of fruit (especially strawberries) and some vegetables (no celery). A common misconception among people is that when eating chips, one must eat dip as well. There will be ABSOLUTELY NO dips present in MY last meal. Dips are unnecessary, block the taste of the chips, and do not taste good at all. Now, before one of you smart Alecks say that I am making denigrating remarks about chips, this is MY last meal, not your last meal. Anyway, where was I? Oh I remember, the appetizers. That is enough of an appetizer for me, as I wouldn’t want to spoil my appetite for the coming dinner.


Next on the list is dinner. Now dinner is a confusing subject for the common people, as they often think that dinner is one thing on the plate. No, there are tons of things that make up a dinner including the various sides, main Entrees and drinks and all that. I plan on including all of that for my dinner. My favorite meal is spaghetti with homemade meat sauce. (The way my mother cooks it). Therefore, one of my entrees will be a pile and a half of spaghetti. Of course when one has spaghetti, one must have garlic bread as well. Another of my entrees will be a double bacon cheeseburger, a close second to spaghetti. Hey, we’re in America, don’t judge. Remember earlier, when I said that I’ll have many sides? Well, scratch that. I think I’ll only be having a fruit salad, nothing more thank you. On a side note, do you know how many people it will take to prepare such a meal? I can already see the title: The Coalition of Chefs Dedicated to Cooking and Preparing Jack Goodenough’s Last Meal, or TCCDCPJGLM for short. Oh boy, that’s a tongue twister for sure.


Now before we move on to dessert, I’ll be having a drinking course in between. I don’t mean alcoholic beverages, although I’m sure I would want one by the time of my last meal. No, I mean drinks that are appropriate for adults and 14 year olds alike. What a belittling scene: Adults trying to be taken seriously while drinking Apple Juice! Anyway, besides Apple Juice, there’ll be water and seltzer and soda and so forth. What I am saying? I’m acting as if a whole welter of people are going to show up for MY last meal. Well, I guess people can come, but they have to provide THEIR own food. What? Am I being lampooned by the imaginary audience as being too greedy? Well, those people certainly aren’t welcome to MY last meal, that’s for sure. Talk about ridiculous, jeez…


On to dessert! Here’s the way I think: instead of having one set favorite dessert, why not have many different desserts with all your favorite foods in them? That sounds like a great idea to me, so every dessert that is served will have at least one of the following things: Peanut Butter, Bananas, Chocolate or some combination of them. Sorry to all the people suffering from peanut allergies out there. You guys can still come, but I imagine that you’ll have to be extra careful come time for dessert. Remember even earlier on how I specifically stated NO dips allowed? Well, there has been another food item added to that list: NO whipped cream allowed. Again, don’t try to use this as grist against me because it won’t work. Whatever I say no to, you guys also say no,period. After the meal, you can eat all the dips and whipped cream you want, but not during MY last meal.


And I believe that that completely covers it! (Tumultuous applause from the imaginary crowd) From the appetizers to the desserts there was a WHOLE lot to talk about, that’s for sure. In fact, there was so much there to read that I think you forgot what I stated for appetizers. In fact, why don’t you reread that whole paragraph again. Just to be sure. What? You don’t want to? Well, just be sure that you know what to expect when you come to MY last meal.


Thanks a lot for reading, and stay tuned for the next vocab blog in the future!
See you then,


 Jack Goodenough  

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