Archive for the ‘education’ Category

lost arts

October 15, 2013

I read the book Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros some years ago and a scene from it just came back to me today.

Part of the book talks about how one of the character’s mother was a renowned maker of shawls.  But the mother died before she could pass on her skills and knowledge, and all the daughter had was a half-finished piece, which she, as a young child, mouthed and took comfort in and knotted and unknotted the strands.  The knowledge was lost forever.

I wonder, if I keep knitting, will my children care about the pieces I make?  Will they want the last thing I was working on?  Will what interest I have in crafting be passed on, or will it be lost?

I do have a plan to teach the kids to knit, regardless of their ultimate interest in it.  Beyond that, I guess I don’t have a say.



Note to all Mothers and mothers-in-law

January 14, 2013

If you’re interested in giving a metallic slinky and several wind-up toys for Christmas, please give a heads-up to your daughter/daughter-in-law to not pack them in her carry-on.  Tell her, and feel free to quote me, “That shit looks like bomb parts in airport security.”

Remind her how they will stop her and empty out her bag, digging out the kids’ toiletries, toothpastes, books, pens and pencils, feminine hygiene supplies, her bundle of knitting and wooden knitting needles and the incredible excess of yarn due to her pathological fear of being left without anything to do in the airport, down to every dirty tissue until they find the slinky box and then comment, “I haven’t seen one of these in years.”

Ask me how I know.


December 3, 2012

I have found the word for the thing I do all the time:


Many a thing have I misheard only to have W look at me like I’m crazy when I repeat it.  Now, at least, I know the word for the condition.  And even better, there’s more words in the wikipedia definition  – about related words.  (Soramimi, and eggcorns,  malapropisms and, and mumpsimus.  I would color those words in rainbows and sparklies, but that might be a bit too hard on the eyes.)

*swoons with joy*

Still around…

March 9, 2012

Not certain what is going on with the mental energy recently.  Only seem able to produce drabbles and write endless, unnecessary backstory for my current works in progress.  Somewhat frustrating.  Might also have to do with having to engage more at work now, and having less time at home to write.  On the upside, I am doing some more cleaning and occasionally go out for a walk when the (crazy, crazy) weather is nice.

Baby J (who is now upgraded to Toddler J) has been sick the last few days.  Nothing too serious – a bad cold.  Her nose is running like the proverbial faucet.

Been trying to work with Henry to get him to read these past couple of months.  Learning to read is a real process – and from the outside, you can really see how hard it is.  It is really frustrating for him.  But it’s not like I can let him not learn.  So, we practice.  Even if it makes him mad and tired of me.  (Side note: English is a pain in the ass.  I get the whole French accent thing for consistency thing now.)  I am also terribly envious of people whose children learn how to read on their own.

I almost got a speeding ticket a couple of weeks ago.  But I saw the cop car in enough time to slow down and then had him follow me until I escaped onto private property (the location of my job).  I was afraid that I had slowed down enough for him to give me a ticket for obstructing traffic.  It almost gave me a heart attack.  I could not get another speeding ticket – nor could I afford the time to wait to get one.  That’s the worst.   (It’s not like I’ve gotten so many, it’s just that once you go through the process, you really never want to go through it again.)

I told a friend of mine about this later that day and she said, “Oh, yeah.  That corner’s famous for the cops waiting there.”  Nobody told me.  I wish somebody had.  Of course, I’m being the fool here.  I drive by that corner every working day.  I should have noticed.

Also, working on taxes.  Sigh.  Citizenship.  The prices of it.  Etcetera.  Discuss.

foreign parent bonus

July 27, 2011

Did a little presentation in Henry’s class the other morning.  Showed off his dol hanbok (first birthday Korean outfit), talked about the party we had for Henry for his first birthday, and then we made a simple version of kimbab.  (Rice w/sesame oil, fried egg, carrots, takwon (pickled daikon) wrapped in a seaweed sheet.  Usually, there’s some kind of meat, and spinach and the vegetables are really well seasoned, but because of allergies and how I was carrying each ingredient separately, and the amount of time the whole thing took, I simplified it down to things I thought the kids would eat.)

It was okay.  (Not my best effort, I have to admit.)  Not every kid ate it.  Some kids ate just the carrots, or egg or whatever.  It was nice to see the ones who tried it.  Some did like it – so, yay.  I tried to keep my expectations low – you can’t get really worked up about 15 5-10 year olds encountering seaweed for the first time.  It can be really off-putting to some of them.

Henry gets some kind of bonus points for having a parent who will come in and do a demo/talk on a foreign place, I guess.  I was the only parent who had done something for the “International” theme of the week.   I don’t mind doing it – it’s just weird that other parents didn’t do it also.  (I know this because mine was the only name in the newsletter, and I am not the only well-traveled parent in the group.)  Henry loved me showing up with the demo.  He even ate the whole thing – usually, he sort of picks it apart before he eats it.

To be fair – it was a lot of prep for 20 minutes (spent 2 hours cutting, cooking, etc. not including shopping time) – and that was because the food was done in two shifts!  Makes me think that people who do food demos really earn their money on the prep, as opposed to the show.

Begin rant here:   How can you say no when your kid’s preschool teacher asks you something directly to share a personal thing that unique to your family? It’s just time.  Not your life’s blood.  It doesn’t require money (the stuff I used I took directly out of the fridge – but I could have easily not done that and just showed the outfits which we already had on hand.).   I work with some of these parents –  and I know they’re not that busy.  (I’m on reduced hours in the summer, but come on.)  Yes, I’m judging.     End rant.

Professor – I mean, Sensei – Uh, Master?

July 21, 2011

The longer I’m exposed to stories about institutions that grant higher educational degrees, the more I’m convinced of one thing.

PhD granting professor = krazy kung-fu master. For reals.

Think about it.  Their tasks seem so arbitrary – and the studies so esoteric – and the demands bordering on ludicrous – the failure rate catastrophic – the training of body and mind to deliver the same punishment to future students – the emotional and physical degradation to purify the student – that has to be the answer.  It just has to be.

Let’s play a game, shall we?  Which is it, phD prof or cray-cray kung-fu master?

Walk 20 miles, gather a thimbleful of water 200 times, squirt blue stuff in there, record, and return.   Then I’ll tell you the real task of the day.  But you can’t have looked in the hollow of the tree on the way there or back, I’ll know!

Ye gods, I should put together a webcomic of this concept.