Good heavens! Over six weeks since last I reported in. Did ya miss me? My goal is to write and post every other week, but my son and I have been slogging through months of disruptive routines – our stories and studies times have been cut short and I have so much less to write about. Not happy about this, but there you have it.
The Odyssey – we are coming to the end of Gillian Cross’s superb retelling of Homer’s ancient adventure poem. As we bid farewell to this book we will discuss C.P. Cavafy’s poem, “Ithaca” and its Odyssey references. Next up: “The Iliad” (which, if I had been a more aware scholar, we should have read first. Darn.).
We are Citrus Savvy – it seems like we always have a book in the nightly line-up about sailors, pirates, the sea and such, and one cannot read about sailors, pirates, the sea and such without reading about the SCOURGE OF SCURVY and the importance of citrus. So, after reading through the Wikipedia entry on citrus, we got out the pastels.
There is always time for a story problem – Poor Farmer Brown. Literally, poor Farmer Brown. He is spending so much money replacing items that his cats, Olive and Owl (the hissing sisters), have destroyed. Over the past twelve months, Farmer Brown spent:
– $300: area rug in kitchen (shredded)
– $150: winter coat (clawed to death)
– $100 each: 3 farmhand bed quilts (each mistaken for litter box)
– $200: office blinds (permanently bent from bird watching)
– $100: large ceramic planter (tipped over so many times that it finally cracked)
– $ 78: small ficus tree (casualty of repeatedly tipped over planter)
– $300: neighbor’s yarn stash (don’t ask)
Judging the past year to be typical, how much should Farmer Brown budget per month to replace things Olive and Owl will most likely have their way with in the coming year?
A). $59 B). $79 C). $99 D). $119
Classical Music: How I am able to act like I know what I am talking about –
- ClassicFM.com – a hip website that makes you feel like you are sitting at the cool kids’ table at lunch. The graphics, clever topics, quizzes, surveys, contests, video links – all VERY COOL.
- The Great Courses – (college level courses offered on DVD, etc, through thegreatcourses.com) so far, I have taken 17 of 26 music history courses taught by the organized, captivating, and hilarious Dr. Robert Greenberg. These classes have had enormous influence on the classical music experience I share with my son.
- Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin – an hour-long radio show broadcast 5 times a week, full of entertaining anecdotes from decades of Mr. McGlaughlin’s music profession memories. If my son and I are in the drive-thru lane of “In-N-Out” at 7pm we are tuned to “Exploring Music”.
- Wikipedia – in terms of the 300+ classical music entries I have come across, this resource offers dependable and comprehensive information. A+.
- “The Secret Lives of the Great Composers”, by Elizabeth Lunday – this is the first book that made me aware that the very finest composers are quirky individuals. Jarringly quirky.
- The Really Terrible Orchestra (Edinburgh, Scotland) – I cannot get enough of this ragtag group of enthusiastic musician wannabes who find themselves blatantly unqualified to play with any recognized orchestra. Just thinking about their performance of “Entry of the Gladiators” makes me collapse in laughter:
- Mozart in the Jungle, both book and Amazon series are eye-opening and entertaining. A few pieces that I have shared with my son, after hearing them in various episodes:
– Mozart’s “Oboe Concerto in C major”, movement III (rondo) – composed in 1777. This is such a proper, almost fussy, piece but it moves right along and my son and I love it:
– José Pablo Moncayo’s “Huapango” – this Mexican folk dance was composed for orchestra in 1941 (which is why we listen to this piece played by orchestra, not by a mariachi band)(even though we LOVE mariachi bands). Absolutely full of the flavors of Mexico:
– Maurice Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloe”, suite 2, dawn – composed in 1912 for a ballet based upon the ancient Greek romance between goatherd Daphnis and shepherdess Chloe. So much to listen for in this 6 minute piece, but when dawn actually breaks we hear nothing but GENIUS!
Welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH
(story problem answer: D). $119.)