We want a GRAND SLAM – Go Dodgers World Series 2017!
We always want THE GRAND SLAM (our version) – setting the scene: I am reading to my son, finishing a chapter and am starting to close the book, and out of nowhere his hand comes slamming down on the page, clearly communicating DO NOT EVEN THINK OF CLOSING THIS GREAT BOOK. KEEP READING. It happened again last night.
Last night we started reading “The Great Animal Orchestra – Finding the Origins of Music in the World’s Wild Places” by musician/naturalist Dr. Bernie Krause. When we begin a new book, we read only a few paragraphs to get a sense of what awaits us, but I was so pleasantly surprised with this book – the writing, bright and observant – that I was half way through the 8-page prologue before deciding to close the book for the evening. This was met with a decided difference of opinion from my son – his hand came crashing down onto the page. It was the GRAND SLAM once again. YES.
We didn’t want to cheat on Robinson Crusoe – I hate to admit this, but we just finished an abridged version (A REALLY ABRIDGED VERSION) of Daniel Dafoe’s classic. We read through the first chapter of the original, and there was so much explaining necessary at the end of every paragraph, I could see that it would take us forever to plow through the book. But we still wanted to know about the story inspired by pirate Alexander Selkirk, who lived alone on Juan Fernandez Island (off the coast of Chile) for 4 years, so we found a cartoony version “Robinson Crusoe (Graphic Revolve: Common Core Editions)”, which gave us the basics. I think we are still hungry to read the real story, but ALAS, I cannot face the work of explaining Dafoe’s work just yet.
We wanted to see where we fit in – COUSIN CITY! Cousin Caitlin is getting married soon! Did my son understand the concept of cousin (vocab)? Did he know where she fit into the family tree? Did he know where HE fit into the family tree? Out came the big drawing paper and the pastels and we worked together to create a cousin-centric family tree.
(Story Problem) Farmer Brown wants to gussy up his roadside stand – Farmer Brown has plans to paint the inside of his roadside produce stand, as soon as his roadside-stand cashiers (vocab) decide on the color. So far, 4 quarts of sample paints have been tried out to no one’s satisfaction. If each quart of sample paint costs $6, and there are plans to try out 3 more colors, but – OH NO – they end up purchasing 5 more samples after the 3, how much will have been spent on sample paint? A) $30 B) $42 C) $60 D) $72
After a color is finally agreed upon (YAY), 6 gallons (at $30 each) will be required to complete the paint job. How much will have been spent on the gallons and sample quarts? A) $180 B) $252 C) $72 D) $600 (story problem answers at bottom of post)
We want to be Tango-ologists – My son and I concluded our South America unit this past week, absolutely loving our guide book: “Not for Parents South America – Lonely Planet Kids”. This past week we read about:
– the importance of the coffee industry to the Brazil economy
– Columbian emeralds
– the navy of land-locked Bolivia
– AND WE READ ABOUT THE TANGO OF ARGENTINA. We had no idea how much we were going to love the tango music! Our toes have been tapping non-stop.
- “Por una Cabeza” – this true Argentine tango, composed in 1935 by Alfredo Le Pera and Carlos Gardel, tells the story of a man comparing his horse race gambling addiction with his attraction to women. Whoa. The music: anguished, gorgeous, yearning – the perfect selection for the tango scenes in “The Scent of a Woman” (1992) and “Easy Virtue” (2008) (shown here):
- “Hernando’s Hideaway” – if I had more friends that were more musically aware, and I asked them to hum a tango, this is the one they would probably come up with – it is from the 1954 musical, “The Pajama Game”. (The Pajama Game centers around labor troubles at a pajama manufacturing plant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa…Hernando’s Hideway is the local dive bar). Great fun, a most aggressive tango with no pretensions toward subtleties:
- “Blue Tango” – Leroy Anderson’s contribution to the tango genre, composed in 1951. My son and I have been tapping our toes to “Blue Tango” for a few years. Every time we listen to this we feel sorry for the snare drum player (mind numbing repetition). Interesting: in searching for a “Blue Tango” video footage I think I came across more terrible filmed versions of this than of any other music I have researched:
- MORE????? “Doc Martin Theme Song” – my son has heard this melody so often, as I have watched every episode of this favorite British TV series. The theme was composed by Colin Towns in 2004, and is indeed a tango. What a metaphor for the on again-off again relationship between the doctor and of the citizens of Portwenn:
Welcome to the best part of my day!
(story problem answers: part 1 -D) $72 and part 2-B) $252)