Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Freewrite at 1:42 in the afternoon

I just made Chicken and rice up in my crock pot. There is something very satisfying about knowing that you have  your dinner decided and done.

I bask in the glow of another British Literature class completed without conflict or dissension. It is a nice class of nine, more manageable, for able to converse without sending out zingers to other people in the group that hurt and wound. Makes me wonder if I have ever regretted setting a boundary when people were abusing?  Nope. Lesson learn still at 50 years old.

Two moms came, and it was very nice to visit with them. Now, all but two moms have visited the class this year. I like having them all come at least once to really get a feel for what is going on in the class.

I only have to edit three more lectures, and I am done for good. If I do a class in the future, I will do it on my own because I would spend as much time lecturing for myself as I do editing and managing. So, as much as I love the partnership with Thelma, I will not be continuing next year. Perhaps I will do Classical Literature if she does it in two years. For now, I need a break this next year, and Paul is agreeable with that.

I organized the cupboard above the fridge. It always gets so darn messy!  I have also cut up chicken for a future meal.  Domestic bliss before writing my Acts 24 post and going to work out at the club.

Still liking Wordsworth. I am reading his famous "The Prelude" which is a very LONG narrative poem about his life. It will take me a while to get through that one.

I intended to freewrite for a full fifteen, but Acts 24 is calling my name. Just 8 minutes today!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Morning Musing

Fifteen minute freewrite. GO!

I haven't done one of these for a while. I am embarrassed to do it online, but this is the most convenient place to do it. 

Michael has been through his first major hump of his writing class and is getting an "A" so far. I am proud of him. He is a good writer, and it is nice to have his instructor give him great feedback. He has been making sure his essays are on track by going to the writing lab at the Benton Center on Mondays. The woman there is so very kind, unlike his writing instructor from last term. I will recommend NO ONE takes a class from her. 

Paul just finished Lesson 8 of Apologia Biology. I don't think he is going to finish by the end of this year, but that is OK. He is working super hard. He is taking notes on each chapter, doing the study guide questions, taking the tests (and has a 90% average). So, I love the study skills he is developing as a result of it. 

Their British Literature is coming to a close. Paul is almost done with Ivanhoe and started writing his 600 word paper today. What a feat for him to read such a difficult and long book. I am so proud of him. He could have taken an easier route and read Pride and Prejudice, but I don't think his testosterone would allow him to read it. :)  Michael read Jungle Book (because we thought he was going to have to do a compare/contrast paper with the book and the movie for his new writing class, but it wasn't part of the assignments). He really enjoyed it, and as usual, he checked out another version that had illustrations with it. 

British Literature has been really good this year, but I would definitely change some things about the class if I were to create and teach it. Notably absent is DICKENS! How can you do a British Literature class without Charles Dickens?  I would spend less time on some of the obscure information in the syllabus and have them read more actual literature.  

All that said, I love Thelma's heart! It has been a joy to work with her these last two years. I only have to listen to and edit THREE more lectures because I am not going to have the kids here listen to the Senior Presentations from the Beaverton class. I will tell them what they are about and have it optional online listening. We will be done with the class on May 18, and George and I are thinking of going to Skamania in the Columbia Gorge for Memorial Day weekend.  It has been a very time consuming class, but it has been an investment in my children. I wish she were doing Classical Literature next year. I would do it if she were, but she is doing a survey of the Old Testament, and I don't need to learn from Thelma on that one. I already could teach it, but I am not as up on my classical literature. 

What I MIGHT do is have an Iliad/Odyssey class showing the Teaching Company DVD's on the subject for the fall. That would give us twelve weeks to read them and cover the first term. I would create my own more reasonable study guide for the class. Then, I would spend Winter and Spring covering some other classical literature that is also covered in the CLEP test related to it (Is there a CLEP test related to it?). I think some of the things that they had to read in the classical literature class that Michael did were not not necessary for them to read. I think I would stick to the list in Susan Wise-Bauer's books. I am sure I could do it myself. It would just mean quite a bit of work, but I could prepare for it over the summer. I also think I would charge for my services since Paul would be the only one benefiting from the class.

Another idea is to do a "Great Books" class using The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics.

Time is up! No proofreading. 

Friday, April 23, 2010


I had a great day yesterday. From sunrise to sunset, I was filled to satisfaction with people and doing what God has for me to do. Really, from the day before as Wednesday - Thursday are my busier ministry days, but TODAY, I am grumpy. I guess I am tired. I am bummed that J.T. got voted off Survivor too. I cannot stand Russell!

There you have my grumpy thoughts for today for all the blogosphere to see (did I spell that right?).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

British Poets: Wednesday Wordsworth

Ok, I will admit that I am starting this saga on Tuesday, but Wednesday Wordsworth sounds so much better IMHO! LOL!

I like Wordsworth! Yes, he is an early romanticist, but he isn't quite as evil as I expected from all the talking that Thelma does about him. I don't like where his romanticism led us, but I liked the poem I just listened to:


I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed---and gazed---but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth

Very long but very funny too:

The Idiot Boy

An audio of a great English reader:

"She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways"

I wonder who Lucy was to Wordsworth?

SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways
            Beside the springs of Dove,
          A Maid whom there were none to praise
            And very few to love:

          A violet by a mossy stone
            Half hidden from the eye!
          --Fair as a star, when only one
            Is shining in the sky.

          She lived unknown, and few could know
            When Lucy ceased to be;                                   10
          But she is in her grave, and, oh,
            The difference to me!
Maybe this is her:



OFT I had heard of Lucy Gray:
          And, when I crossed the wild,
          I chanced to see at break of day
          The solitary child.

          No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
          She dwelt on a wide moor,
          --The sweetest thing that ever grew
          Beside a human door!

          You yet may spy the fawn at play,
          The hare upon the green;                                    10
          But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
          Will never more be seen.

          "To-night will be a stormy night--
          You to the town must go;
          And take a lantern, Child, to light
          Your mother through the snow."

          "That, Father! will I gladly do:
          'Tis scarcely afternoon--
          The minster-clock has just struck two,
          And yonder is the moon!"                                    20

          At this the Father raised his hook,
          And snapped a faggot-band;
          He plied his work;--and Lucy took
          The lantern in her hand.

          Not blither is the mountain roe:
          With many a wanton stroke
          Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
          That rises up like smoke.

          The storm came on before its time:
          She wandered up and down;                                   30
          And many a hill did Lucy climb:
          But never reached the town.

          The wretched parents all that night
          Went shouting far and wide;
          But there was neither sound nor sight
          To serve them for a guide.

          At day-break on a hill they stood
          That overlooked the moor;
          And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
          A furlong from their door.                                  40

          They wept--and, turning homeward, cried,
          "In heaven we all shall meet;"
          --When in the snow the mother spied
          The print of Lucy's feet.

          Then downwards from the steep hill's edge
          They tracked the footmarks small;
          And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
          And by the long stone-wall;

          And then an open field they crossed:
          The marks were still the same;                              50
          They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
          And to the bridge they came.

          They followed from the snowy bank
          Those footmarks, one by one,
          Into the middle of the plank;
          And further there were none!

          --Yet some maintain that to this day
          She is a living child;
          That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
          Upon the lonesome wild.                                     60

          O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
          And never looks behind;
          And sings a solitary song
          That whistles in the wind.
According to Wikipedia, it is NOT the same Lucy in the two poems!
Didn't care for this one because Wordsworth definitely has a different world view than me::
"Lines Left Upon a Seat in a Yew Tree"
Interesting critique of it here:
The poem documents the life of a hermit. The hermit lives in solitude, away from society. 
He instead finds solace and beauty in nature. However Wordsworth does not encourage
 us to be a complete hermit, but find a balance between accepting nature and society.  
Wordsworth is again relating to the common man in this poem. However, by judging
 the man as a 'hermit', Wordsworth inentions could be constructed as condescending, 
which is the opposite of his objectives in the 'preface' to lyrical ballads.

I still need to read a couple of short poem and "The Prelude" which is a very long poem. 
I listened to excerpts last night, but I can't find it at the library. 
So, I might have to buy it for my Kindle. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Fifteen

This has been a very good morning. I have finished my Acts 12 post and had some good prayer. My back is a bit wonky from a more intense weight and core workout, but I am OK. I will walk around the block and pray (no hills today).  The house is clean, the laundry is done and folded (the boys are doing their sheets today, but I only supervise that), and I have a more leisurely day today. I will read and walk and pray.

Eating was dismal yesterday. So, I am counting every calorie from here on out. I am getting a gut!!!!! YUCK!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Free Fifteen

Already Thursday. Amazing!  Noorul canceled for her English lesson today. So, I have a pretty free day, and it is gorgeous and sunny out there. :)  I think I will start some bread to bring to Noha and Ghada.  Then, I will get the house ready for Valentina and Pieter to clean it. Then, I will take a walk in the sunshine. :)

I have some teaching to do tonight. So it wouldn't hurt for me to get ready for that and also for the teaching on gifts that I will be doing next week. I think it is about time I prepared a PowerPoint for the gifting portion. I haven't done that yet, and it really helps to make the talk more interesting.

Last night, George talked on Peacemaking, and it was really good. It was so good to review everything in this important topic, and it is so applicable for the future.

Wellness is Body: I am doing GREAT in the exercise department these days. I am up to my pre-injury workout routine (1 hour of cardio five days a week, weight lifting 2-3 days a week with 120 lbs on arm pull, 40 lb chest, 70 lb hamstring leg curl, 110 lbs adductor and abductor, 50 lunges, 25 calf raises, and the lifting up to strengthen the back muscles (never thought I would do that again!). So, GOOD JOB with that.

The eating is a different story all together. What happened to my 90 day buckle down! It went out the door. I am not using ANY self control whatsoever. It is PATHETIC.  So, every other area is GREAT, but this is the only one where I suck at it.

I think I will go back to taking pictures of what I put in my mouth OR writing it down. Taking pictures is such a hassle that I don't put as much in. So, I think I might do that!

Well, here is my TOP TEN for the day:
1) 1 hour cardio and weight lifting
2) Prayer
3) Acts 12 finish
4) Laundry
5) Straighten up for Valentina
6) Bake bread for Noha and Ghada (and sweet mothers)
7) Prep for Chi Alpha
8) Read Koran for 1/2 hour
9) Visit Ghada and mothers
10) Teach at Chi Alpha

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Freewrite

Free Fifteen - Ready GO!

I wonder if I will write more here once I am done with the Bible Book Club in November. I have to admit I will miss the BBC when it is over. I love the discipline of synthesizing what I learn from scripture in writing and applying it everyday!  It has become a definite habit for me, but I will admit that my actual writing in a journal has suffered miserably as a result. I used to go through two to three standard size journals a year. I think I have gone through 1 1/2 in the 27 months of the BBC!  I like having a documentation of my journaling in print though.

Yesterday was a very productive day. I forced myself to take a full sabbath rest on Monday, and I had my "Top Ten" list of things to do yesterday, and I did them all and was able to rest in the evening. Today is a little busier with outside activities and more people than task, but that is OK!

Here is Today's Top Ten:

1) Prayer 3:30-4:30
2) BBC in Acts 12 some of it 9-11 pm 
3) Walk 1 hour 3:30-4:30
4) Edit Brit Literature lecture 27 (only five more, and I am done! [maybe forever]) YES! 9:15-12:30
5) Dial a Book/Library run 12:45-3:30 YES
6) Piano for Paul YES
7) Orthodontics Appointment for both YES
8) Read 1/2 hour (9 pages/2% of Koran) YES
9) House spruce up (vac, dust, kitchen) 5:00-7:00
10) TOAG night 7-9:00

I also need to go back to counting calories again. I have been out of control!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Means Back to Work: Fifteen Minute Freewrite

Well, I did make those reservations for our coast trip, but that was fun. George just plopped a whole wheat English muffin with melted cheese down on my desk as I type this Free 15!

As much as I loved our like-hearted guests, our overnight guests are gone after nine days and two different sets (one guy solo and a married couple). It is nice to be in my PJ's right now and not wonder if I should be getting breakfast ready. So, I sit knowing that my kids are probably going to sleep in a bit more (Michael has a college class at 11:00 am), and George has already made his lunch (and my breakfast) and will go to prepare for work.

I slept a long time last night. I think I am still fighting some kind of bug. I wake up congested, and I also have sort of delirious dreams. This time we were on our way to a nice hotel but stopped at a flee bag hotel to sleep for a couple of hours to rest only to wake up the next morning still there with the hotel managers at our pillows fighting. I could  not wake up though to kick them out. Strange!

So, this is what is up for today:

1) Update friends about what is going on with our lives
2) Grade Perspectives Lessons and Papers
3) Grade Paradise Lost paper
4) Bible Book Club post for Acts 11
5) Preview Michael's rough draft for Writing 121 observation and proposal for final art project
6) Lift weights and do cardio (maybe go for another walk)
7) Prayer
8) Read for 1/2 hour something educational (maybe finish Beth Moore book)

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Free Monday

We have been going great guns this last week. We have had nine straight days with guests, lots of face-to-face time with people, prayer, fun, and . . . TAXES.

All the other things were fun and exciting, but the taxes were NOT. I had it hanging over my head during this busy season and finally decided I needed to finish them up yesterday and THEN take my Sabbath day. NOT!  They ended up taking from the time I got home from church until 2:30. Then, I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up and sorting all the papers AND all the file folders full of prior year taxes. It was nice to get them back in their appropriate places, but I was BUSHED after all the brain power.

So, I have officially declared today a DAY OFF. I am not going to grade the Perspectives lesson or their final project. I am not going to grade Paul's Paradise Lost paper. I am not going to write my prayer update (although that can be sort of fun, actually). I am not going to make room reservations for a getaway. 

I am going to take a walk, lift weights, spend time with God, and read a book. Maybe even read some poetry. 

We'll see. Tee Hee.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

English Romantic Poetry

Encompassing a broad rage of subjects, styles, and moods, English poetry of the late 18th and early 19th centuries is generally classified under the term "Romantic," suggesting an emphasis on imagination and individual experience, as well as a preoccupation with such themes as nature, death, and the supernatural.  (From English Romantic Poetry: An Anthology edited by Stanley Appelbaum)

Alexander Pope was the chief English poet of the 18th century. His death in 1744 is conveniently regarded as the end of the period known as ClassicalThis ideal gradually gave way to what we will refer to as the Romantic Revolution

The Romantic Revolution of 1798

To the romantic poets Wordsworth and Coleridge, Pope represented everything they would repudiate: order, convention, and control.  We will see the romantic thrust towards the worship of nature and the revolution of the Hierarchy Conception.  God will move from the top to the bottom, nature will move from beneath man to above him on the scale. They reflect the escape from the world of conventions to the gods of nature and imagination. (British Literature Survey by Thelma English)

An artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th century and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual's expression of emotion and personality more than self-restraint, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, values imagination more than reason, and rebellion against traditionally established social rules and traditions (especially Christian).

After the English romantic revolution of 1798 and the revolution of the medieval hierarchy conception/worldview, nature assumed dominance in the hierarchy.  The romantic worldview of nature sets the needs of the earth over and above the needs of mankind.  Man is viewed as the pillager, or plunderer of the earth.  Every possible step is now taken to reduce the human impact; every need of Mother Earth is viewed as more important than the needs of mankind.
See Green Concept. (Syllabus, British Literature Survey, Thelma English)

Still Pinching Myself for the Boundaries

My Tuesdays used to be filled with dread. I couldn't sleep beforehand. Now, I just go through them and am so pumped afterward. I love my British Literature class now. These are a VERY good group of students. I am SO glad I did what I did!  TOTALLY different atmosphere in the class, and I will never again hesitate to ask someone to leave that is disruptive. It is not in my nature to have to be a hardened and tough classroom teacher. I can just be a mom facilitating a class of well-behaved kids now. YEAH! In addition, the remaining moms who were aware of what was happening are 100% behind my decision too. They observed it too, and I almost feel stupid for not doing something about it sooner. 

So, now I am to Wednesday. I have a touch of the flu though, and the sun is glorious. I want to go grocery shopping. I want to work on the next Brit Lit class and get a bunch of stuff done before Kyle and Kara come tonight to sleep at our house for the next week. I also want to go and see Noha and her new baby. So, Lord, heal me please.

I am also going to develop a Summer Reading List. I know I still have quite a few more TWEM books to read, but I am itching to read:

Perspectives on the World Christian Movement
Oh darn, there was another one I thought of, but now it has left my mind! 

Well, I am off to do wash to prepare for Kyle and Karen. 

Loving life and the Lord!

Old Herbaceous

This was a sweet story about a gardener in England from the time he was a boy to an old man. It made me cry it was so short and sweet.  Here...