The Laughing Diary Intervention

I just added two new categories to my Feelings & Needs category list (see list on the left): fun and humor. How could they have evaded me for this long?

Just a week ago my sister saw a t-shirt with the word “serious” on it and said I *should buy it. Nothing like a sister to set things straight. It seems that focused attention on all-things-TESOL was starting to take its toll: limited utterances of joy; too many conversations about what’s wrong with the Korean education system; and a vague memory of the term joke. Then the other night I caught myself Googling “Why so serious?“. It was time for an intervention.

PLN to the rescue! It started with Anne Hendler’s self-directed plea for ease and joy in her post Best Medicine, where she put forward a challenge for others to join her in keeping track of things that made them chuckle. If it wasn’t for her, I may not have finally noticed my humor drought.

The ever inspiring and “woopingly” funny Vicky Loras was the first to take up the challenge with a delightful description of family and events that make her smile. Then this afternoon saw two more of our hilarious Twitter friends/colleagues, Kevin Stein and Laura Phelps, list up some items that had me having a healing lol at my desk. Thanks to all this inspiration, laughter came back into my life.

Here are my first picks:

1. Sawyer in “Lost”

When I need a little downtime, I have a few go-to TV series I like to indulge in. I’m now re-watching Lost. Lost fan or not, I think you’ll understand why Sawyer’s one-liners get me all the time.


Just click and turn up your speakers. You won’t regret it. Big thanks to Mike Griffin for sharing this with me during one of my bouts of seriousness.

3. Lou and me speaking our household language: Acadian with specially added twists of exaggerated slang, franglais and turns of phrase.

This picture was taken during such a sisterly dialogue:

vargué tight

The words that were uttered for the picture below are what made me vargué tight (Clare Acadian for laughing wholeheartedly). Note: tight is used as an intensifier (see bigtime (adv.) or the synonyms for tight (adv.): securely; soundly.)

H’allons nous gasser tight.

So while searching for videos that could give you an example of what we sound like, I came upon this:

Seeing my family name used for the parody brought a comforting chuckle. Well played (there was a mighty long list of LeBlanc’s in our phone book when I was growing up). I had forgotten how much I loved This Hour Has 22 Minutes, so that was an added laughing bonus.

And through this searching adventure, I remembered this movie: Les gossipeuses by Phil Comeau, filmed in the 70s in my hometown with a homegrown cast.

photo from

Nothing like the Clare dialect delivered through the lips of a gossipeuse for a good laugh. This is the perfect example of what Lou and I sounded like at times:

  • Gossiping with the gals: from the beginning to 4:30
  • A little franglais svp: 18:50 – 19:35
  • The classic gossipeuse phone call: 40:09 – (especially 41:43) – 42:07  (the woman on the phone, and the main character, used to be my jazz and tap dance teacher back in the day.)

Miss you Lou. Check out her rockin’ blog! Le blog musical.

4. Mullets – Mullets were a big theme on Twitter this week. I had the pleasure of teaching this word to my course participants during a culture class on stereotypes. This was the featured picture:

Photo by Mike Griffin and Jostens

Enough said.



5 thoughts on “The Laughing Diary Intervention

  1. Dear Josette,
    Thanks for sharing this post, there’s nothing better than laughing to get away from stress and to be able to cope with daily life. You are so amazing and such a great writer. I found myself laughing with the Zombo and your pics, I had to learn mullets, you deal with franglais, I deal with spanenglish. We have a #notebookclub now, I think we already have a #laughingfor lifeclub


    1. Dear Debbie,

      What a pleasant surprise to find your comment one of the funnest posts I’ve had the pleasure of writing. I smiled imagining you listening to :) Such a treat isn’t it? I also enjoyed connecting on the franglais/spanglish. I think it adds a little spice to our perspective on English. I agree that our #notebookclub is definitely in the big smile category of life.

      May your life have be full of laughter my dear.



  2. I’m still laughing as I type this comment. Thanks so much for sharing the laughs. I love the photos, videos, colors. I love the humour and honesty. And I love that you never stop teaching.


    1. Anne, thank you so much for inspiring me to take the time to find humor in my life. I didn’t realize how much I needed it, and since that post, I’ve been finding it more often. Life seems lighter now.

      Haha…thanks for the comment re: my teaching. As I was typing it (the explanation of vargué tight ) I was laughing because I had never taken a grammatical approach to this expression. Bouncing between English and Acadian grammar was funny for some reason. A #TESOLgeek attempt at humor.

      Looking forward to more laughs with you!


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