Maiasaura Whozit? Whatzit?

As an English major, I put pressure on words. Not all words – just the ones I choose to use when I either speak or write. I have always felt the weight of words and the scrutiny of my audience on how I use those words. As if having two degrees in English means I must be perfect! But I’m not. I break conventions and start sentences with “but” and other conjunctions. I misspell. I even write in – gasp! – fragments from time to time! Mostly, though, I try to speak and write in the way I see the world and my world gets a little rambly and longwinded at times and it definitely includes words that I make up (one of the perks of those degrees, you see). So how does a longwinded, rambly writer like me transform those Faulkneresq sentences and thoughts into a blog with readable prose? I take the pressure of words and work it as best as I know how.

All of this rambling leads me back to the main point here. You all know what it means to muse over something or someone. How many of you, though, have ever encountered the word “maiasaura” before this blog? My Mac wants me to change it to “samuri” so even Apple is confused by this strange scientific word. I’m not big on scientific names, but I have a feeling the next few years of my life might be overrun by them if Harrison’s current interests hold strong. You see, he is a big fan of trains. He is also a big fan of dinosaurs. So imagine our delight when we stumbled upon Jim Hensen’s Dinosaur Train on PBS’s kiddo programming! An instant favorite (and something my own brother would have adored as a kid), I (and, I would imagine, my son) have learned a lot from watching the Pteranodon family and their friends explore the Mesozoic Era.

One new dinosaur friend that caught my attention was the Maiasaura, a creature whose name literally means “good mother lizard.” I found it fascinating that fossils could convey parental tendencies, but apparently it’s possible! In thinking about my own herd/brood/nest/what-have-you when I was setting up this blog, I kept coming back to my attempts (successful and some not) at being a good mom; this in turn led me back to the good old DT and Maiasaura. I especially like that the word “lizard” is a part of the name’s meaning because, well honestly – don’t we all have lizard days from time to time? I figure I can work on finding balance between the good, the mother, and the lizard. Doing this might just help me live up to the Maiasaura’s example.

So there you have it. The pressure of words, the pressure of naming a blog, and the pressure of being a parent…all of these are contributors to what awaits you here on the screen as you read this. Have I gone off the deep end, even for an English major? Perhaps. But at least I used alliteration to get me there!


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