Monday, March 24, 2008

Tea and Hemlock

If I do not see another progress report again it will be too soon. (I say this knowing full well that I'm going to be seeing them, and more, in less then three months *sigh*).

Meanwhile, I've been sedating my mind by cruising egl sites (elegant gothic lolita) Goodness, ssoooo much lace and bows and frills and, well, da-rama. ..... I do like that clodhopping alice in wonderland mary janes though *g* Sweet and amazing at the same time. Along with this of course I'm continuing to indulge in the Nick marathon so it's rather intersting to look at kawaii dress up pics and listen to lyrics that only Nick can write -

Red Right Hand indeed.***CV

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Green Gloves.....

Lovely Creature

There she stands, this lovely creature
There she stands, there she stands
With her hair full of ribbons
And green gloves on her hands

So I asked this lovely creature
Yes, I asked. Yes I asked
Would she walk with me a while
Through this night so vast

She took my hand, this lovely creature
"Yes", she said, "Yes", she said
"Yes, I'll walk with you a while"
It was a joyful man she led

Over hills, this lovely creature
Over mountains, over ranges
By great pyramids and sphinxs
We met drifters and strangers

Oh the sands, my lovely creature
And the mad, moaning winds
At night the deserts writhed
With diabolical things

Through the night, through the night
The wind lashed and it whipped me
When I got home, my lovely creature
She was no longer with me

Somewhere she lies, this lovely creature
Beneath the slow drifting sands
With her hair full of ribbons
And green gloves on her hands

by Nick Cave, Murder ballads

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Roll the Stone Away!


Anyone there?


I am still in the cave that is progress reports. However, as this weekend would imply, there shall be a recovery. I see a crack of light and with only 9 more to go (see I kinda had to re-do them starting yesterday but I seriously buckled down today and 20 are as complete as I'm going to do them) I have hopes of some free time tomorrow.
Meanwhile I started making a baby surprise sweater (I simply cannot report progress on my commute) but had to rip it because one decrease side had 25 stitiches while the other had 21 and symmetry seemed kinda important. My stitch count is still (albeit symmetrically) wacky though. Hmmmm***CV

Sunday, March 16, 2008

flash from the front lines

I think that copy and paste are my new best friends. Without them I do not know how I will manage to survive this progress reporting. Yes, I should be working on them now. But after 3 and a half hours so far today I think I deserve a weee bit of a break.

I do admit I have never filled out a seven page report before. Umm seven per child that is. And this is only the first semester.

Okay, break over***CV

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Okay, it's been so long since I posted about books (and I'm waaay to lazy to look) that I may repeat myself.
Morality Play, Barry Unsworth (206pp) A half starving run away monk stumbles upon a troupe of medieval players while they are saying a final farewell to one of their group. He decides to join up with them as a replacement for their dead comrade. They continue to travel (with the corpse in their wagon) towards their destination when they come upon a village which has been the scene of murder. A guilty person has been found and sentenced. The evidence is not as clear cut as it should be however and the troupe decides to step out of its routine of miracle plays and recreate the crime itself. Read this book for the setting and detail, not the mystery.
Hikaru no Go, vol.11, Yumi Hotta (195pp) Hikaru is up against Ochi who has been studying with Akira. Who will be the victor and join the ranks of the professionals??
Cast in Secret, Michelle Sagara (521pp) I finally found a copy of this book in Portland. It's not literature. It's a lite read about a spunky girl on an inaginary world with two hot guys interested in her; without all the heavy petting. It's a fun series. I must admit I liked Cast in Courtlight more (but then I'm a word girl). This time Kaylin must face her fear of the Tha-alani in order to retrieve a pandoras box. I do wish there had been more of Nightshade( I like the tall dark, brooding and dangerous in my romantic leads); however, I suppose Severn needed some of the spotlight.
While in Portland I restrained myself and only came home with a few items;

The Black Sheep, Balzac
Hikaru no Go, Yumi Hotta
Classical History of the World for Children, vol. I
The Songs of the Kings, Barry Unsworth
The Portland Bridge book
The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, Justin Pollard and Howard Reid
Alexandria and the Sea, Kimberly Williams
Gods Graves and Scholars, CW Ceram


Okay I guess it's time to return to writing progress reports****CV

Monday, March 10, 2008

Scroll XVII.iv a

The conference I attended was all about the ancient city of Alexandria. It is essentially a way to recreate aspects of an historic multicultural setting in which children can learn about the people places and events as well as that language of a specific city in a specific time. There are stories, paintings, mummy portraits (paintings of themselves people had made while they still onsidered themselves beautiful), timelines, who am I games, a model of the city, an ancient coptic scroll : all sorts of fun things to do inluding learning to speak and read Alexandrian latin.

This particular course was created by an amazing person named John Wyatt. He has been working on it for over twenty years. I am so very glad that I was able to attend this past week as Mr. Wyatt is reaching a point in which travelling cross country is not the best use of his time. He is very funny and charming and extremely smart. (Well anyone who speaks at least five languages should be, right?) He also likes fairy tales and of course is a classicist.

I also heard him speak two years ago and this is why I can say that I hope he takes good care of himself so we have him for a very long time :)
Before telling the story of Alexandria to the children this afternoon I went on line looking for pictures of the new Library Alexandrine and discovered: they are looking for a head librarian.

If ONLY I'd studied Arabic *sigh*

Perhaps I should apply anyway. Can you imagine having a rejection letter from the Library of Alexandria?!***CV

Sunday, March 09, 2008

I am the Pause

You Are a Comma

You are open minded and extremely optimistic.
You enjoy almost all facets of life. You can find the good in almost anything.
You keep yourself busy with tons of friends, activities, and interests.
You find it hard to turn down an opportunity, even if you are pressed for time.
Your friends find you fascinating, charming, and easy to talk to.
(But with so many competing interests, you friends do feel like you hardly have time for them.)
You excel in: Inspiring people
You get along best with: The Question Mark

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

animal q & a

One of the aspects of presenting lessons the way they are done in my school is that there is that potential for great work. Not great in the sense of, omg you just dicovered a new source of pollutant free energy that will last forever! But great as in large. I honestly haven't seen much of that type of work this year.

Until today.

Today I decided to present a material that was completely upended and confused yesterday. It is a set of photographs of different animal species with facts about each animal on the back. So today I invited three children to come play a game with me. (It's another classification work). We chose how to organise a miscellaneous set of cards under a broad category and then refined it into subcategories. After the lesson the children chose to either continue in the same category or another.

One group decided to continue the same and also decided to do every single animal card -that was not already in use by the other two gropus (yeah I had this lesson double again in process). Anyway the box contains easily 100 cards. The pictures were literally climbing the walls in one subcategory. And in order to have all the cards fit the children had to move tables and chairs to create space to lay out the rugs to lay the cards on. I think they used 8 rugs total.

They reorganized the cards at the end of the day (because they spent all day on it) so that tomorrow they could start making their chart of it.
On another note, and taking into consideration that not all people percceive things the same, I presented the Noun work to a different group today.

Facility with words: a natural gift or a learned skill?


Monday, March 03, 2008

to Name

I have to share.I had the most fun lesson today. One of the children last week requested a lesson on the spiritual noun (we have a really pretty symbol for it) so I said sure. So today we arranged a time and I set it up in one of the rooms. Meanwhile I got sidetracked by questions and when I came back another child who had seen the chart asked if he could join: sure.

Also during this time I invited a third child who really needs the busyness of lessons. So we sit down and I ask them what the work of a noun is.

"A person place or thing"

Yes a noun can be a person, place, or thing but what is the function, what is the work of a noun?What does a noun do?

Once that was answered we could get into the classification: Because people who work with words realised that if someone didn't organize them it would become really messy. Nothing but nouns everywhere.

So of course we seperated the common from the Proper (Sherlock Holmes versus detective) and then the concrete from the abstract. That was fun because the children could see, literally, as we stacked our cards of nouns that the concrete pile was so much higher than the abstract one, then we seperated the high stack into collective and material before sorting though our 4 abstract nouns into aspects of quality, action, state, idea.

In fact I lifted ball from the concrete pile after we all agreed ball could also mean a dance.

Where does spiritual come in? We had the word 'word' as an abstract idea (it can't be touched, it can be given and kept but not seen) and from that we had a conversation about the Word.

I love socratic type lessons and the children were so involved that some other children sat-in! ***CV

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Cardboard Box part II

How, you might wonder, did I find out that the hotel was sold out? (It still boggles me that such a thing is possible. I really can't fathom a400+ room building selling out. But I digress.) Using the handy phone number attached to the conference acceptance letter (uh yeah so I can attend but you won't let me actually sleep 'cause, I dunno, the conference will be so fascinating I would rather be awake all 84 hours of it. Riiiight).

Said number connected me to a lovely and chatty lady who, in the time of our conversation of finding out the rooms were gone and locating other possibilities which were either twice the original rate or so far out that cab fare would make the flight ticket look like the cost of a cup of tea, or rooms that had their own conference table for eight, seperate loft bedroom and breakfast included - all I want is a bed I kept saying, not my own conference hall: the one affordable room she found was booked out from under me.


So I went online. I found a room with a web discount only slightly more than the conference rate. It's located maybe ten blocks from where I used to live which means (quel horror) I will have to walk past Powell's: every. single. night.

Oh dear***CV

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Cardboard box to spare?

About a week ago I received a flier for an upcoming teacher conference. One of those get on a plane and travel kind. It looked really interesting. It was all about the city of Alexandria and incorporated latin language as well as ancient history. However, part of my team is still in training and so both have to take time to go and do observations at other schools; as well as the fact that the conference is not months away but less then two weeks from the date of my receipt of the flier.

(I really want to go)

So I figured it couldn't hurt to ask as the worst that could be said is, "The notice is too short so maybe next time".

(Did I mention I really want to go?)

I gave the flier to my admin. and she said she'd talk it over with the directress but .... I said, I understood it was really short notice. Both of them came back later and told me that it looked wonderful and wow they sure wished I and another of my team members could go, it would be such an opportunity but the timing ... again I said I understood, and really, who knew if there was any space anyway, you know? They said let's see what works out with the observation rescheduling (one of my team has been trying to rearrange her 2 week observation so she can be back in time for an important school function). Sure, I said.

(I so want to go)

Last Wednesday, while my team mate was still waiting to hear back from the school she is to observe at my admin said, "Just go. We'll figure out coverage". That night I booked my flight and paid my conference fee. Yay!

Today I called to book a room.

They're sold out.***CV