Thursday, November 16, 2006

Peteney: Frenetically Calm

Pete is routinely described using one particular word: calm. My boss (who he helped set up an information booth about our health communication study) used "calm" and "kind," two qualities that led her to believe that he should be a special ed teacher. Coinsidentily, he then got a job as a paraeducator (teacher's aide) at a special ed school, where is has been described as "calm."

No one has ever, in my life, used that word to describe me. Loud, energetic, frenetic... those ones I've heard. Pete just suggested "unhinged" and "chemically imbalanced." (I'll unhinge him...) But calm? Never. Neither quiet, nor shy. How is it possible that we get along as well as we do?

Calm is a really interesting word. It's kind of inherently positive (unless used sarcastically or ironically, of course).

The calm before the storm.
Calm yourself.
Calm down!
Tazo Calm (mind you: not Tazo Relax or Tazo Unwind: Tazo Calm)

"He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden."
Plato (427 BC - 347 BC), The Republic

Parents desire calm children, but not inactive or phlegmatic children. And a calm man is someone to be admired, but a steady or staunch man is boring and dull.

Meanwhile, I can't think of a single word for those of my disposition that is inherently positive.

lusty (yes, haha, get your giggles in!)
unhinged (thank you Pete...) :)


Anonymous said...

I can't see the word "lusty" in print and not think that it should also have the word "wench" after it. You're right, though. Pete is calm all of the time. It's like he's some sort of secular comtemplative who could give calm lessons to those guys who sit on mountains and chant. You're more like "Oooooh... Shiny! I must know more about the shiny! Let's find out about it! Let's talk about it! Yay, shiny!" Which is cool.
You guys are like this sort of crazy balance thing. Well, really it should be un-crazy, since it's so balanced. You know. You're all complimentary and stuff.

Anonymous said...

Maybe "calm and kind" and "energy-girl and kind" go together well since you've both got "kind" in common!

Sydney said...

Pete has said that my talking all the time and being gregarious works out for him because he's doesn't like small talk and feels like he's not very good at it. With me around, whenever we're out in public meeting new people, the need for him to chat is completely obvated by the fact that he couldn't get a word in edgewise even if he wanted to. : )

Eric said...

Calm. Patient. Graceful. Caring. Loving. Funny. Shy. Handsome. Friend. These are words I think of when I think of Pete.

Crazy. That's the word I think of when I think of Sydney.