Friday, March 28, 2008

Unschooling Geography and the Bicentennial Mall

A little Tennesee state geography, a picnic, some dancing, and just good old-fashioned fun on a beautiful spring day at the bicentennial mall.

Ha! I am a yankee.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Inland North

You may think you speak "Standard English straight out of the dictionary" but when you step away from the Great Lakes you get asked annoying questions like "Are you from Wisconsin?" or "Are you from Chicago?" Chances are you call carbonated drinks "pop."

The Midland
The Northeast
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Long Live the Dalai Lama!

Long live His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso. China, you should be ashamed. Again.
"World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not the absence of violence. Peace is the manifestation of human compassion."

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy First Day of Spring!!!

Hello all. Hope you had a wonderfully happy first day of Spring. The girls went to Aunt Susan's last night to spend the night since she is on Spring Break and I got the day to myself. I barely got anything done except: I mowed the front yard (couldn't get the mower to restart to do the side or back), and I went to the bank, and got groceries. Woo-hoo. Those are major accomplishments for my lazy azz lately.

I did some reading online today and found this really cool website and managed to request a lot of books from the library. Here it is, a website on my #1 interest, alternative education, with lots of book suggestions: The Education Revolution.

And speaking of a revolution, I was inspired by these words in an interview with Matt Hern, an alternative educator and a revolutionary guy in this interview on Rise Out!

Questioner: "What sort of suggestions do you have for families who want a quality education for their children, but neither have the time nor money? Perhaps the parent or parents are busy working job(s) to make ends meet."

Matt Hern: "Start talking. Read everything. Trust your heart. Don’t take shit. Stay with your kids. Don’t let em be fed Ritalin or any other grim bio-psychiatric crap. Trust your best instincts. Ask ‘what will it take for my kid to thrive’at every turn. Trust your kids. Listen to them carefully: you are capable of far more than you know, we all are. There is nothing more important than raising our kids: do what it takes to do it right. Listen to your kids’ friends. Think up crazy, ridiculous and foolish plans…things you have always dreamed of and do them. Consider how you want to live after the revolution and start living like that now. Quit whatever you’re doing this afternoon and go build a fort, run on the beach, go to the library, play hockey with your kid."

Cool, huh? Might have to change my quote at the top of this page.

I found out about Matt Hern through Jacki, homeschool coordinator for The Farm School, where I am, ahem, faculty (the at-home kind, anyway!). She recommended listening to this webcast from the radio show To the Best of Our Knowledge, entitled "Learning Outside the Box" <--linked here. If you only want to listen to Matt Hern, go to about minute 23:00 or so to hear his interview. Thanks Jacki, loved the interview. I love the idea of democratic schools and am now considering a move to Vancouver or Eugene (you'll understand if you listen!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

5 Years in Iraq: The Cost of War

3,991 U.S. troops killed.
29,451 U.S. troops wounded.
1,031 amputees (U.S. troops).
30% of returning troops have symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
20% have full blown Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
*** above info from clip below***

An estimated 1,189,173 Iraqi's killed (reference).

Total Cost to date: Over $500,000,000,000, some estimates are higher.
According to the American Friends Service Committee (Quaker) the Iraq War costs $720,000,000 a day. $720 million equals 84 new elementary schools, or 12,478 elementary school teachers, or 34,904 four year scholarships for university students, or 163,525 people with healthcare, or 423,529 children with healthcare, or 6,482 families with homes, or 1,274,336 homes with renewable energy. Take your pick.

Why are we in Iraq? I'm sorry to say: Oil, and because our leaders see Iraq as a way to make money. See: The Real Reason We're in Iraq.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Barack O'bama wishes you a Happy St. Patty's Day!

Had to pass this on:

How to Make a Bunny Hat, part II

I wish I could go back and count all the hits I've had for my previous post "How to Make a Bunny Hat !" Hello Jamaica, Pakistan, Germany, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Spain, France, Austria, Finland, and Australia! Hope I could be of help! And don't be afraid to leave a comment. I would love to see some pictures of your bunny hats!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Thing of Beauty and Grace

Jayda has been taking ballet at the Centennial Arts Activity Center. She has been very lucky to be able to take dance there. When I signed her up for the class, I had no idea how good the dance training was, I just knew that it was very affordable and sponsored by Metro Parks. Last night was her last class and parents got to come watch. The school is really professional, and it is very classic ballet training (keep in mind this is coming from someone who never took ballet. . . not that I didn't want to!). Jayda has really enjoyed it and wants to continue. She has a dancer's body and is very graceful. Ask anyone who knows her, she has always been very active (from birth) and athletic.

Bar work, evidently very important to the ballerina's training, they spend a lot of time on this. She still has a baby's face.
Oh, so graceful and beautiful.
Courtsey. . .
I'm so proud!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Two Rivers Park

We had a great turnout for our homeschoolers group today. It was a beautiful day, in the 60's. Funny, because over last weekend we had about 4 inches of snow and it was freezing cold. That's March for ya!

Naomi was in heaven cause she had a buddy to read Manga with!
Jayda and her crew worked on filling a tunnel with sand. Wheew, that was hard work!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

These Are Days

These are days you'll remember. Never before and never since, I promise, will the whole world be warm as this.
And as you feel it, you'll know it's true that you are blessed and lucky. It's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.

These are days you'll remember. When May is rushing over you with desire to be part of the miracles you see in every hour. You'll know it's true that you are blessed and lucky. It's true that you are touched by something that will grow and bloom in you.
These are the days you might fill with laughter until you break. These days you might feel a shaft of light make its way across your face.
And when you do you'll know how it was meant to be. See the signs and know their meaning. It's true, you'll know how it was meant to be. Hear the signs and know they're speaking to you, to you.
--Natalie Merchant and Rob Buck, 10,000 Maniacs, still inspiring me after all these years!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

News Flash: Elections are Rigged

After watching a screening of the movie, Uncounted, last month, I became painfully aware of how corrupt our election process is. In fact, I've been in denial, trying to suppress the knowledge I gleaned from the documentary. If I think about it too much, I lose excitement about the upcoming election, the ability for an individual to make a difference, and lose hope in the possibility of change. Thus, denial and suppression, my friendly defense mechanisms, have come to my rescue.

The trailer of Uncounted, by Nashville filmmaker David Earnhardt:


Exit Poll Discrepancies?

Electronic Voting?

A threat to our national security and our democratic process? It's not a conspiracy theory!
Not in America! That could only happen in a backward, third-world country!

This whole issue was brought to mind when I saw the following clip today, which thanks to The Onion satirists, puts this whole issue in perfectly depressing perspective.

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early