Saturday, July 26, 2008

I am completely out of the habit of blogging. I have been at my parents' house since Thursday, and I am just now sitting at the computer. But I must blog! I cannot disappoint my readers - my mom and my granny! So here is a weekly report of sorts. Yesterday, I was in the same building as Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise. It was a homeschool convention. I did not go to their lectures because the ones I wanted are today, and I am not driving all that way again! I picked up my copy of Writing with Ease, so maybe that will improve my blogging! My husband went to a lecture about whining, and he took PAGES of notes for me to read- just what I need! I was there to shop. It was a little disappointing to stand in that huge place and realize I already have most of it! My favorite purchase is How to Teach Art to Children by Evan-Moor. I often overlook Evan-Moor, but I have enjoyed the products I have seen. There are 96 projects about "line, shape, color, value, texture, form and space." It looks completely do-able. My mom looked through the brightly-colored book several times last night, and said she wanted it! I have not made much progress through the MonArt book, Drawing With Children. I read Mill on the Floss and Vanity Fair, but I cannot bring myself to sift through all the information in Drawing With Children. How the Teach Art has minimal instructions and lots of mixing paint shades (on reproducible worksheets) and making textured collages.
I did not buy Miquon Math or Singapore Math to supplement Saxon. I had an armful of cusenaire rods and lab annotations, and then I had an epiphany - I do not have to buy these products because all my friends are. I turned to my good friend E and said, "I do not have to buy these because you did." E's eyes grew large as she looked up above her armload of books, manipulatives and maps. "Okay," she said as she staggered toward the mile-long line at the Rainbow Resources booth. And that was it. It was almost anti-climatic.
On another front, I am re-reading All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. I read this way-back-when in a Southern Literature course - Grit Lit. It was wasted on me then. I remember something in my 19-year old soul was moved, but I did not appreciate - no, relish the language as I am doing now ( in my old age of 35. 35?!!!) " The saws sang soprano and the clerk in the comissary passed out the blackstrap molasses and the sowbelly and wrote in his big book, and the Yankee dollar and Confederate dumbness collaborated to heal the wounds of four years of fratricidal strife, and all was merry as a marriage bell. Till, all of a sudden, there weren't any more pine trees." "So I sat there in silence...and listened to my tissues break down and the beads of perspiration explode delicately out of the ducts embedded in the ample flesh of my companion." " I went out into the street, where the dogs lay on the shady side under the corrugated iron awnings, and walked down the block till I came out to the harness shop. There was one vacant seat out front, so I said howdy-do, and joined the club. I was the junior member by forty years, but I thought I was going to have liver spots on my swollen old hands crooked on the head of a hickory stick like the rest of them before anybody was going to say anything. In a town like Mason City the bench in front of a harness shop is - or was twenty years ago before the concrete slab got laid down - the place where Time gets tangled in its own feet and lies down like an old hound and gives up the struggle. It is a place where you sit down and wait for night to come and arteriosclerosis. It is a place the local undertaker looks at with confidence and thinks he is not going to starve as long as that much work is cut out for him...You sit there among the elder gods, disturbed by no sound except the slight rale of the one who has asthma, and wait for them to lean from the Olympian and sunlit detachment and comment, with their unenvious and foreknowing irony, on the goings-on of the folks who are still snared in toils of mortal compulsions." Yes, sir, I can read Jane Austen with the best of you most of the year, but when it is a hot, southern summer, this girl needs Grit Lit.


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