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Showing posts from July, 2012

Compendium of Links #33

Hey, I’ve had a good couple weeks at work. Did I mention I got promoted? No? Well, I got promoted. That means a salary. And that, in turn, means I buy frivolous things more often. (Don’t worry; basically all my frivolous spending is done at Goodwill, so it’s about $5 frittered away.)Apologies to the blogs I frequent. I can’t remember where I first saw most of these links…Honor Code – an NYT op-ed writer reflects on how Shakespeare’s Henry V would fare in today’s American elementary school atmosphere:First, Henry would withdraw. He’d decide that the official school culture is for wimps and softies and he’d just disengage. In kindergarten, he’d wonder why he just couldn’t be good. By junior high, he’d lose interest in trying and his grades would plummet. An Unschooled Church – Barnabas Piper writing over at WORLD Magazine’s blog suggests churches shouldn’t always be pushing for the right answer – that in fact, congregations imitate the failure of educational institutions by squelching c…

Life on my own #28: Neighbors and Friends

I have a bed! After living here three months, I finally got a bed!Now, that’s not to say I’ve been sleeping on the floor the whole time. Only about three weeks of it. And only because the floor is comfy. Pretty sure the carpet acts as a mattress in its own right. It’s that long.But most of the time, I slept on one of my couches. I should say, I slept on the couch that unfolds into a sofabed. I tried sleeping on it like a couch but it was a bit too narrow. And I’m too tall to fit between the couch armrests well.So, most of my evenings have been spent in the living room on the sofabed. Which really wasn’t that bad. I hear horror stories about uncomfortable sofabeds, but mine’s practically a Cadillac of sofabeds – there’s a good measure of support underneath and the mattress itself is quite springy.There was just one bad thing about it: It’s in the living room. That means I can hear every single thing that the upstairs tenant plays on his TV.I once woke up to the smoke alarm’s intermitte…

Lewis on imprecations

I came across an excellent observation on imprecatory and abusive language from the prolific pen of C. S. Lewis:…In the vocabulary of abuse and complaint we see things that once were words passing out of the realm of language (properly so called) and becoming the equivalents of inarticulate sounds…The “swear-words”—damn for complaint and damn you for abuse—are a good example. Historically the whole Christian eschatology lies behind them. If no one had ever consigned his enemy to the eternal fires and believed that there were eternal fires to receive him, these ejaculations would never have existed. But inflation, the spontaneous hyperboles of ill temper, and the decay of religion have long since emptied them of that lurid content. Those who have no belief in damnation—and some who have—now damn inanimate objects which would on any view be ineligible for it…. It has ceased to be profane. It has also become very much less forceful….So with abusive terms. No one would now call his school…

What I learned today #5: About acting

One of the things I covered today was a children’s theater workshop. Like, there were two five-year-olds in this class. Can you imagine getting a couple five-year-olds to actually do anything intelligent on stage?Apparently it’s not impossible. And it can even be done without all that fidgeting and pulling at their shirts.How, you ask? Simply this: You tell them to press their thumb and middle finger together on each hand (right thumb with right middle finger… we’re not playing itsy bitsy spider here) and pretend they’re pushing into the floor with their feet, like you would on sand.That keeps their feet planted and their hands busy.I had never heard of that technique before this morning. I wonder if it would work on busy Sunday Schoolers?

Fair week

Why is it that 4-H fair week always happens to be the hottest week of the year? OK, maybe not always. But hyperbole is easier to use than precision. Who wants to say “often one of the weeks in which the sun shines more often than the rain falls and the temperature rises to the mid-90s like it does at least five times a summer”? In the county where I was working last year, it certainly seemed like the hottest week of the summer, if not the decade. The sun beat down on the animal barns, baking the poor chickens and grilling the hogs. I was never so glad I was not a hog. Those things can’t sweat! And for all that, they don’t even lose the awful smell of body odor. But the 4-H’ers who have to stick it out under the hot sun to care for their animals? Kudos to them. (And to their longsuffering parents.) Although I was in 4-H, my home in the suburbs wasn’t allowed to play host to farm animals. No goats for me. So I had the enviable position of displaying sewing and cooking projects at the f…