Trevor Pinnock

The Vocabulary of Vocabulary

In our quest to learn something about everything, the overly complicated focus of the past week was part of our “Vocabulary of Vocabulary” unit:

“Vernacular” vs. “Lexicon” – which became a little more understandable when we differentiated between the vernacular and lexicon in our current home state of Texas:

Group – Texans
VERNACULAR examples – y’all, bless your heart (meaning “OMG, how stupid is that?”)
examples from the LEXICON – impordant (the Texan way with “important”), fixin’ (meaning getting ready to do something)

My son learned that vernacular and lexicon are almost-but-not-quite interchangeable; vernacular referring to the unique language/jargon of a particular group and lexicon (almost like a mini-dictionary) referring to the specific words of the language.  (Wow, picky.)

Anyway, using the book, “Pirates Magnified” by David Long and Harry Bloom, we had a blast looking into the vernacular and lexicon specific to sailors and pirates of the 17th and 18th centuries:

Group – Pirates
VERNACULAR examples – aargh, avast ye, barnacle-covered, Davy Jones’ locker
examples from the LEXICON – privateer, cutlass, crow’s nest, swabbies

“Pirates Magnified” also provided conversation provokers –
–  the pirate’s code (the classic case of honor among thieves)
–  lady pirates (these women were SCARY)
–  voted most important discussion instigator:  a significant percentage of sailors on pirate ships were escaped slaves
Good book!

blue plateblue plateblue plate

Story problem from Le Fictitious Local Diner – the diner is rife (vocab) with vernacular (slinging hash, mayo, Adam and Eve on a raft, greasy spoon)…How about their “blue plate special”?  For the month of February, the diner’s blue plate special will include a grilled bratwurst smothered in home-made chili, a side of their jalapeño honey corn bread, and a heaping spoonful of the house chunky cinnamon-spiked applesauce.  Each blue plate special is priced at $8 and costs the diner $3.  If the diner sells 100 specials per week, what will be the profit at the end of February?
A. $500      B. $1,000      C. $1,500      D. $2,000 (answer at bottom of post)

pirate whyeth     bach

The rowdy and the refined – my son and I got so embroiled with pirates of the 17th and 18th centuries that it jarred our brains to think something else might have been going on in the world.  So, when pirates and privateers were wreaking havoc on the high seas (and we learned “the high seas” means “open ocean, not within any country’s jurisdiction”) what was going on in the drawing rooms of European palaces?  How about Vivaldi, JS Bach, and Handel?  What a juxtaposition! (vocab)

– Vivaldi (1678-1741) – we listened to Vivaldi’s “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” (1715). We love this quick paced piece and we’re ready to listen to all performances by conductor and harpsichord virtuoso, Trevor Pinnock:

– Bach (1685-1750) – we listened to Bach’s “Invention No. 13 in A minor” (1720).  Triple score here: 1) super short piece, 2) quick paced, 3) Simone Dinnerstein at the piano (heart, heart, heart):

– Handel (1685-1759) – we listened to Handel’s “Alla Hornpipe” from his Water Music (1717), performed by the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (A+++).  What an upright, solidly British sound:

midnight clock

My, my, what a short post – I have no idea why there was so little material to work with for this blog post. Oh, yes I do:  my son has been in this most trying phase where he is not ready for stories and studies until WAY late (think midnight), so I have regretfully trimmed down our nightly study agenda.  Hope this is a short duration type of phase. (If wishes were horses…)

But still, welcome to the best part of my day!
– Jane BH
Story problem answer: D. $2,000

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We are too cool for school!

Our support system is 2 COOL 4 SCHOOL!

(They are trying to come across as cool, but are having difficulty holding back the grins.)

It is time to acknowledge our extreme support system (a great dad, a great sister, a great brother, a great grandmother AKA “The Peach”, and a great treasured family friend), AND to celebrate my 100th post on this blog site!  To mark the occasion, I am going to pretend that one of my skeptical relatives (certainly NOT one of the above) is grilling me about “Jane’s Cool School”:

1) Do you really do this study thing EVERY night? Yes!
     –  If my son didn’t like what we are doing, he would firmly escort me out of the room, and that would be the end of that.
     –  My son’s daytime regimented agenda keeps him content and occupied, but offers no intellectual growth.  I am not sure I could be okay with this.  I want him to have an opportunity for intellectual growth EVERY DAY.

2) Have you and your son read every book, listened to every piece of music, and worked through every story problem that has been posted in the blog?  YES!

3) The story problems are a riot. Where do you get them?  You are too kind.  I create them myself – usually based upon something I am currently dealing with at home.

4) You seem to flit from topic to topic. How can your son master anything this way?  Good question!  I am not going for mastery, I am going for awareness.

5) You don’t spend much time writing about your son’s autism, treatment, or behaviors.  Good observation!  It is a good thing that there are many websites and blogs dedicated to autism behaviors, treatment, and research.  I write about what we are doing to make a happy experience out of trying circumstances.

6) What has been the biggest surprise revealed in your nightly study time?   It has been surprising – nay, alarming – to see that ever so much of what I learned in school is incorrect, incomplete, or WAY out-of-date (for starters, think solar system).  

7) Do you think that parents of special needs children should run a program like yours?  Only if they love it – otherwise it would be difficult to keep this up night after night.

8) Regarding fiction selections, I notice that you avoid “coming of age” books. Why?  A lot of “coming of age” issues involve themes of “man’s inhumanity toward man”.  I think my son has enough to deal with without finding out that there is a significant percentage of people who are mean.

9) Do you like reading out loud? I LOVE IT!  It is not so much the act of reading out loud that I like, it is the joy of sharing a learning experience together. 

10) How long does it take you to write a blog post from start to finish?  Three afternoons, at a minimum.

11) Do you get feedback? Yes!  The story problems and the classical music selections get the most reaction.  ALSO, I have heard from a few authors of books that I have written about – HUGE THRILL!

12) So, why are you doing this blog?  This blog is a scrapbook for my son; something to document our study time together.  Every so often I look over the list of topics we’ve tackled, and it cheers me to acknowledge I am doing something worthy with my time.

13) What are you and your son are learning from this week?
          – “The Extreme Life of the Sea” by Stephen R. Palumbi (A+)
          – “Maphead” by Ken Jennings (A+)
          – “The Not Just Anybody Family” by Betsy Byars (A+)
          – we have been listening to recordings of harpsichord virtuoso, Trevor Pinnock (A+)

Well, here we are – my son and I – 2 Cool 4 School!

     

Welcome to the best part of my day! Happy 100th Posting from “Jane’s Cool School”!
– Jane BH