We could all stand to learn a thing or two from Reese

Elle Woods: "The rules of hair care are simple and finite. Any Cosmo girl would have known." -Legally Blonde

Mrs. Frye's inaugural spelling list of first grade contained some difficult words. Reduce, reuse, recycle and trash- to name a few.

I remember looking at the word recycle and being astounded. Seven letters! That was more letters than my age.

I also remember the feeling of panic I experienced when Megan, who sat next to me and colored so well, looked at the list and said, "This is so easy!"

So I studied. (And studied.)

I vividly recall sitting at the kitchen counter, while my mom poured frozen peas into our macaroni, saying over and over R-E-C-Y-C-L-E. It was like a little song.

I'm certainly glad I learned how to spell it, now that being green is cool (which is not what I learned in middle school...) recycling is the way to go.

A different kind of recycling seems to surround us, though. The more I read, hear and watch, the more I realize that everyone is continually recycling works of the past.

I think it's most evident if you compare Cosmo from month to month. Really, now, is there much of a difference between "12 Ways to Make Him Want You Bad" and "10 Ways to Make Him Want Your Bod?" In the end, Cosmo says it the same each time.

But I'm not faulting Cosmo. Everyone does it; Cosmopolitan is just a little more blatant about it.

The copycat phenomena is everywhere you look. Techno became so popular a few years ago because it's an art based on recycling the great things of the past. Of course it would thrive during our recycling-crazed time.

Michelle Obama
is gaining praise for recycling Jackie's look.

The Blacked Eyed Peas have been quoted saying that they try to emulate Earth, Wind & Fire.

Jerry Seinfeld even admits he has the same feeling- it's all been done before.

We've exhausted all of our ideas; now we're just disguising the old ones with new characters and technology.

On Sex and the City, Charlotte hosts a party where the guests bring a man they're no longer interested in, in order to trade with the other women. It's a male-recycling program, essentially.

I guess if we're recycling our trash we might as well go ahead and recycle our treasures too.

I've decided that an essential element of successful recycling is that you have to do it better than it was done the first time. It's kind of like a sequel.

No one wants to listen to Fergie's remake of Stairway to Heaven if she's going to ruin it. And no one wants to buy a headband made of recycled water bottles if the headband is ugly. You have to make it more appealing than even the original product was.

There was no pity for poor Reese Witherspoon when she attempted Legally Blonde 2: Red, White and Blonde. And yet, Broadway has embraced Legally Blonde: The Musical with open arms.

Reese learned the hard way; we all must take a lesson from her. If we're going to make something old into something new, we need to make it better (maybe if you're a bride, you can utilize something borrowed and blue in order to make it happen. That way, all four items are in one- talk about reducing waste.)

I guess there was a lot more wisdom wrapped up in that spelling list than Mrs. Frye originally realized. Can you imagine if she'd given us solveworldhunger as a word? The things I could have accomplished!