Saturday, November 8, 2008

Election Week Report

Individual Studies - Flower continues to cruise through phonics, Cub finished his ALAbacus B book, Feche-Boy continues to slog through the discussion questions related to Confessions, and KB completed 2 more IEW Rhetoric assignments; another excellent IEW choice even for those who've used IEW for years like we have- there is still more to learn!

Memory Work - we continued memory work in general and added another poem to the repertoire. Tuesday eve as we were driving to town we took turns reciting poems - we have 22 under our belts ytd. The difficult part of poetry memorization, from my pov, is the sequence and pattern of the words. The word picture is readily accessible for all of us global learner types but it's the specific order and detail of the words and phrases- the difficulty, and also the beauty, of poetry. I have love, love, loved teaching The Grammar of Poetry by Logos at co-op. The kids are rocking out on writing, memorizing and defining. Truth be told they are far better at coming up with examples for the tropes than I am. If we are done by the end of this semester, which it looks like we will be, I'm hoping to do the Logos Shakespeare study with a play at the end of the semester.

We are gearing up for Tantara, The Festival of One Act Plays. It's a tragedy year and we have a pick that is sure to make people cry- WWII Czech concentration camp. We're going to have to build some props this year and the kids are so excited they are busting at the seams. We'll do a mini-unit study along with. Start date: December.

IRL - Every campaign that we worked on lost. The kids and adults had invested time canvassing, praying,talking, researching, writing and listening about issues and candidates. The mood was sober on Tuesday evening as we joined others who had worked on Initiative 11. We left just as McCain was giving his concession speech. Hats off to a man willing to sacrifice for others, hats off to a hero. The big lesson of the week was that effort is not in vain even if you don't win.

Frankly, I had a few moments of doubt this week. What is the point of teaching our kids logic and rhetoric when the world is run by ideologies that are in conflict with both; definitions and promises are moment-by-moment rather than meaningful and binding. The audacity of narcissism; " What I want is what I'll get even if I have to cheat and swindle and lie and make promises I don't intend and so can't keep to get there." Oh, and if you ask for accountablity we'll thrown in "you misunderstood" or just plain old name calling. I'm not being party specific here- I think that who threw away their vote on an independent 'cause the candidates weren't pro-life enough for them were throwing as much of a hissy fit as those who called us "stupid, just stupid" because we didn't just acquiesce to thier pov. This doesn't boil down to vote my way or I discount you. My frustration has to do with the lack of reasoned arguments. Name calling and condescension were more common than not and those who were shouting the loudest about what a "Christian" campaign Obama was running were the ones who were just plain rude. Funny, that. Post-modernism as it's finest- which isn't very fine.

I've been thinking a lot about the 9.9.9 reading challenge (using dots instead of dashes just cause I like the look of it better - how is that for a bit of Republican snobbery?) and considering categories and books. As I cruised the education section of a large retailer I see titles such as "From Crayons to Condoms" and "Educations End -Why Our Colleges and Us Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life." These are secularist educators simply commenting on the demise of education. Is the government educational system in decline or just being what it was intended to be all along? I see a lot of what went on with this election, the behavior during it, the Black Panthers showing up at polls to "ensure a black man gets in office" and the outcome on Tuesday to be tied awfully close to the material in the education section. I think the Durants were on to truth when they said, "education is the transmission of culture." If that's the case, fasten your seatbelts, cause the ride is about to get a lot bumpier.

It's winter here where the cold wind blows. Tuesday was a fine 70 degrees and today is windy with snow on the ground- the remains of the blizzard that hit the western part of the state on Wednesday. Viking Man's persona for the day is Buzz Saw Louie, out cutting wood into furnace-feeding sized chunks. I am starting to make dishes for the holidays to freeze; sweet potato souffle (and even though I am most certainly a Yank, it is divine) to work on my 9.9.9 and get ready for the holiday's list and to torture my littles with a leetle more schoolwork today. The sun still shines (albeit hidden by clouds) and life goes on.

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