Friday, August 30, 2002

I spoke with a friend of mine last night who told me that the friend I talked about who was in a legal battle with her ex-husband has lost homeschooling rights with her son. He's the one I taught Latin to all last year. I haven't been able to find out if there were any more serious decisions made or not.

I also found out that California has declared homeschooling illegal. I think the government is going to have more trouble than they think if they really try to mandate this - there are far more homeschoolers than most government officials know about. Since homeschooling is gaining popularity among many other folks other than just Christians, it is becoming more "mainstream".

Thursday, August 29, 2002

Matt's wife, Sora, has ventured into blogdom. I think she compared blogging to lemmings leaping off of cliffs.

I'm going to enjoy reading her blog.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Michelle Kwan skated an exhibition program at the Salt Lake Olympics to a remake of Fields of Gold originally recorded by Sting on the album of the same name. I have always liked the song, but the woman who sang the remake sang it with a unique and emotional artistry. I have to admit I actually had tears in my eyes by the end of the program, and figure skating doesn't usually make me cry.

I didn't know who the singer was until this evening when I looked it up on Google. The singer's name is Eva Cassidy, a young woman from the DC area who died of bone caner in 1996 at the age of 33. There is a short article about her from the Washington Post as well as numerous posthumous fan sites out on the Internet. She was apparently a gifted up-and-coming singer who recorded jazz, blues, pop, and just about everything else. She used to love to sing at the Maryland Inn, a beautiful historic hotel in downtown Annapolis near where I grew up.

I think I'll buy the album just for the Fields of Gold track.
We are miners, hard rock miners,
To the shaft house we must go;
Oil bottles on our shoulders,
We are marching to the stope.

On the line boys, on the line boys,
Drill your holes and stand in line.
Till the shift boss comes to tell you,
you must drill her out on top.

Can't you feel the rock dust in your lungs?
It'll cut down a miner when he is still young.
Two years and the silicosis takes hold,
and I feel like I'm dying from mining for gold.
Yes, I feel like I'm dying from mining for gold.

Reference my post below on enthusiasm:

Instead of saying I used to be enthusiastic, I guess I could have labeled myself as one of those "how to be a Chrstian without being religious" types.

Could someone explain exactly what that means?
We didn't get to a church on Sunday. I really missed our family at Auburn Avenue.

Something in me just doesn't feel right when I miss the Covenant Renewal service. The few weeks that our pastor was gone and we didn't have communion felt awkward. I miss singing the three-fold Amen.

At the family reunion, Duane's dad got out his guitar and we sat around a campfire. They started singing songs I'd never heard of (you know, the ones in the back of the blue Trinity hymnal marked "Hymns for Informal Occasions".). I had a burning desire to sing How Sweet and Awful or at least the Doxology. When I was a "more enthusiastic" Christian (back in my praise chorus, smack-the-drum-set days) I would have thought myself the way I am now a total freak. Now I can't imagine being any other way.

We saw a very large number of Methodist churches in Ohio. Duane said that the Second Great Awakening came right through Ohio and enthusiasm hit it pretty hard. I've just started Iain Murray's Revival and Revivalism. I bought a copy with my birthday money.
Here's an interesting fact about me you probably really don't want to know.

I read everything. Magazines, newspapers, advertisements, small print on posters, billboards, pamphlets, you name it. I read packaging on food at the supermarket too. Not out of any type of nutritional principles, but more out of boredom.

When I was a kid, I used to read the back of shampoo bottles in the shower. There are two ingredients I always see (I think I learned phonics by reading the ingredients out loud) - methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone. I wonder what they do. More than that, I wonder what they look like. What is the molecular weight of methylchloroisothiazolinone?
When we got to Kentucky I took $2. and bought a "Cleopatra's Treasures" lottery ticket just for the fun of it. I won $3. and asked Duane what I should do. He said just to make it interesting, let's ride it out. Go 'till you win $10. or more, or until your original $2. are gone.

At each pit stop I'd get out and trade in the winnings for as many tickets as I could get. At the very last Kentucky stop I traded in a $6. ticket and bought three Monopoly tickets. We won $36. It was a nice way to have fun through a state, and we set a limit that we wouldn't lose more than our initial investment.

I can see how someone could get hooked on the Lottery. There was a certain bizarre type of anticipation, standing in the restroom with the door closed, feverishly rubbing all the cards off to see if I'd won anything.
Bailey was an absolute doll the entire trip on the road. It was 16+ hours each way, and she only cried once on the way home because I had forgotten to feed her. She usually fusses if I don't change a dirty diaper quickly, but this time she fell asleep with a dirty diaper and slept for more than two hours.

We took the Natchez Trace for about 60 miles to cut over from Tupelo to 55. We got off near a small town called Tomnolen. Duane said he's going to start a town and call it Duanegarner. That highway (the Trace) is absolutely maddening. Who came up with the 50 mph speed limit? There was ONE rest stop in 60 miles, and neither of us thought to stop and go. That was a mistake.

Note to self: take every opportunity to "rest" when there is a rest stop. (You'd think on a major four-lane highway there would be a place to stop. We didn't really hit civilization until Jackson.) It is odd to drive for hours and not see a major city (between Memphis and Jackson there really isn't much to see). I come from Annapolis, and you pretty much can't go very far along I-95 without running into some over-populated metropolis.
Duane, Bailey, and I had to spend a few nights in hotel rooms - once on Thursday night in Jackson, MS; once on Sunday night in Columbus, OH, and in Nashville, TN on Monday night. Duane is getting very good at NOT paying retail for hotel rooms. I always stay in the car because I'm embarassed to dicker for a price, but he's talked everyone down more than 25% on every room in the past year or so. We didn't ask for a discount at the La Quinta in Columbus, though, because we were asking for early check-in and late check-out. The room at La Quinta was pricey ($70 + tax) but it was clean, very nice with lots of amenities, and a big room.

The only drawback was that the TV only had about 8 cable channels. We don't have cable here at home so when we travel, cable in the hotel room is really a treat.
We had a good time at the family reunion. It was in Loudonville, OH, about 1 1/2 hours from Columbus on back roads.

On Saturday, Duane went canoeing with his dad, some cousins, and an uncle. I opted out and took a drive into the "next town over" (Mt. Vernon) to find a craft pen for my mother-in-law. The "next town over" was 26 miles away, but it was a beautiful drive. I didn't mind; I knew I couldn't get lost since I never turned off the highway that went past the campgrounds.

While I was in Wal-Mart (funny how you can drive 900 miles to a town you've never seen before and manage to make it to Wal-Mart) I saw some Amish folk. We were actually debating all weekend whether or not they were Amish or Mennonite because the girls had brightly colored dresses on but the men didn't have zippers or snaps (they only had buttons). It was funny to see them coming out of Wal-Mart with a cart full of double-roll family pack toilet paper, hard candy, and gardening supplies, then heave them into the back of their horse and buggy. The buggy was parked right next to my car. The horse looked bored.

I just don't even want to get started with Amish. They are really weird.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Last night I got this comment on my post about graham crackers from a few months ago:
i was looking for something to eat with graham crackers so i searched for "good with graham crackers" at the google search engine. you were the 9th result that came up. Weird huh? well i started to read what you had to say about graham crackers and there was absolutly nothing there, but i read like a whole web page of your thoughts and i have to say, you are a very interesting man!!

don't change i mean it,

sincerly cory

I'm flattered he/she took the time to comment, but, hey, even more than that, I'm an interesting man!

p.s he/she must have missed the entire entry on graham crackers that was about halfway down the page. Maybe I'll re-post it sometime.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

I finally settled on Jenney's First Year Latin for the textbook I'll use with my older Latin students this year. I sat down with a friend of mine from church and we looked at numerous different texts. I had never heard of Jenney's, but it is laid out exceptionally well. The difficulty and intensity level is almost right in the middle of Ecce Romani and Wheelock's. Students begin reading Cicero in the second year and the fourth year is a study of Vergil's Aeneid. The grammar is well-ordered, there are Latin-English and English-Latin prose exercises every chapter, as well as an adapted reading. The vocabulary lists are standard and appear comparable to Henle's.

The only problem with Jenney's is that the brand-new textbook is $80. (CHOKE!) I made a bee-line for some used, out-of-print, and rare bookseller sites - namely alibris.com and abebooks.com - to try to find cheaper used copies.

I ordered four copies; three of a single edition for my students and one of an earlier edition for myself. The one I bought for myself is the 1959 edition - hardback - and I paid $15.00. It is in pristine condition; the pages are beautiful and clean, the binding is tight. I am so happy I can't stand it.

I would highly recommend Connie Popek, who is the bookseller I purchased my copy through. They provided fast shipping, excellent service, and a great price.

I'm so happy I just had to let everyone know. I even wrote her an email telling her how happy I am.

Monday, August 19, 2002

Name the band (or musician) that...

You love to sing along with: Steve Green

Sums up your teenage years: Violent Femmes, The Cure, and Andrew Lloyd Webber

Makes you cry: The Carpenters

Perks you up: Diana Krall

Makes you laugh: Scott Joplin

Wrote lyrics you wish you wrote:

You never want to hear again: Anything that gets air time on a for-profit radio station

Reminds you of your current love: Van Morrison

You used to hate but now like: Bach (I used to consider his Inventions and Fugues torture devices and his choral works boring)

You like to wake up to: Anything that doesn't get air time on a for-profit radio station

You like out of your parents record collection: Frank Sinatra

You love that you wouldn't know about if it wasn't for a friend: Earl Klugh

Has a video you love more than the tune: Hmmm. I would say all of them because songs that have videos that go with them are notoriously terrible. The videos would have to be an improvement, wouldn't they?

You are embarrassed to admit you like: Barry Manilow

Sunday, August 18, 2002

I was looking forward to going to the first French Club meeting tomorrow afternoon, but I don't think I'm going to go. I'm feeling pretty lousy.

We have two women in our church who came to the US from Belgium as teachers of French as a second language. There is a program here in Monroe where French people can come teach English in the public schools. They can stay for up to four years. The French Club is made up of a lot of the teachers, plus some Americans who teach French, and a few people who never had any French in school but are interested in learning.

I had about 10 years of middle school, high school, and college French, and although a textbook is not the best method for learning a modern foreign language, I'm surprised at how much stuck. Must have been all those times listening to La Revolution Francaise in high school. Speaking of which - if you really like 70's discotheque rock opera, try it out. It's worth the $10 or so to buy the CD.
Bailey woke up coughing a lot at about 4:30 this morning so I got her up and gave her some medicine and some juice. She sat still on my lap for close to ten minutes and held her Piglet and her juice cup. Those of you who know Bailey know how unusual that is. She hasn't sat still that long since she was about three months old. It was a very sweet (albeit too short) couple of minutes. Now, however, I'm completely awake but very tired.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

We had a blast tonight visiting with some new friends from church. One of the girls is majoring in violin performance and she played several pieces for us (and played them very well!). I jumped in on the viola here and there for some psalm and hymn singing, but it was unrehearsed and not really planned.

We tried a nice arrangement of Ashokan Farewell, which actually has two sets of lyrics. I didn't know the name of the piece before tonight, but knew it from Ken Burns' Civil War mythology, er, I mean, documentary. Anyway, had I had time to rehearse, it would have been lovely. I'm glad I had the opportunity to play it. Maybe we can practice and play it together again sometime.
I have to qualify another story that I didn't relay with enough detail this evening.

When Bailey was a tiny baby, she did what all babies do and wet a lot of diapers. For the first few months she'd howl every time we changed her diaper. Duane would say to her, "Bailey, contrary to what you may think, I did not pee-pee in your britches!"

Well, Pee-Pee Britches sort of stuck as a nickname. It got shortened to Peep, which we use often. However, she has heard us call her "Pee-Pee Britches" enough that she's learned a new phrase...pee-pee. She said it tonight several times as I was changing her diaper. I guess that's a good sign, though, that she might get the hang of potty training eventually.
A friend asked me tonight why I haven't posted in a while. It's hard to come up with something interesting to say when you're me.

Friday, August 16, 2002

MLB just announced they are setting a strike date of August 30th. Players will lose approximately 17% of their base salary, which for Alex Rodriguez is more than $3,000,000.

Which is precisely why I almost wish professional baseball would just go away. Let's get it back to the way it used to be.

Monday, August 12, 2002

I debated yesterday morning whether or not to go to church. I had been very, very tired all week and through the weekend, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it through the morning service. Rumor had it that Pastor Steve tends to go a little longer after he comes back from vacation, and that would put the service at almost two hours.

I decided to go. I didn't want to miss the liturgy and the fellowship. God sustained me through the whole service, and even gave me energy for the rest of the day. The evening service was wonderful, and we were able to sit with a group of new friends and talk. Things seem to be picking up momentum. Almost every day this week is filled with one activity or another.
Obviously I've seen Duane's hack post declaring himself the greatest husband in the world.

Since I agree with everything he said, I'll just leave it up.
I just a read very good article on Chasing Hats about the AAPC/RPCUS controversy. It is a very concise explanation of what was taught at the conference. Good for someone looking for an introduction to the debacle.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

You know sometimes I think I'm the luckiest woman in the world. I've got the brightest, best looking, most intelligent, witty, handsome, funny husband in the whole universe. He is so great... with his chiseled good looks, his strong masculine jaw line and his impeccable taste... wow... other men don't even deserve to stand in his shadow!

(Hey this is really Duane, hackin' Sarah's blog. Serves her right for leaving the posting window open. I don't even know her password. Wonder what she'll do when she catches this? Wonder how long it will take her to notice?)

Friday, August 09, 2002

Does anyone out there in blogdom rent server space (for a reasonable cost)? I need a handful of megs (maybe 3-4 at the most) of space to upload my Latin and Greek notes in Word format (no graphics). I'd like to have class notes available on my blog for students to be able to download, print out, etc. I also have one student who wants to try to take the class remotely, so he'll need to be able to get to the notes.

One class will start next week and the others will start in September.

Let me know if you have space or if you know someone who does.

Thursday, August 08, 2002

I received an email and a semi-frantic phone call from a friend of mine last week concerning her son's Latin class. I taught him first-year Latin last year in Illinois. Her ex-husband is apparently dragging her and their son into court, and homeschooling seems to be an issue. I don't know the details, but I can guess some of them. Her ex-husband has been against her homeschooling their son (she has primary custody) for the time she has been doing it, and last year was a struggle for her.

She had to ask me what my credentials were, and that is what led me to believe homeschooling is involved. She said her ex-husband's lawyers might call me if she couldn't get the information she needed.

Let me first say that I am not at all against formal education; I hope someday to be able to finish my Bachelor's degree, if not to an intellectual end, at least for the feeling of actually finishing something I've started (the only things I can claim to date are Bailey's birth, a few scrapbooks, some soccer games, and reading Beowulf).

What I fear is that my qualifications to teach will be questioned because I am not degreed or certified or whatever the government schools call it. I hope that is not used as leverage to prove that homeschooling is detrimental to her son. If someone were to bother to ask me, I could prove easily that the material I used was at least equal to but most likely superior to any public-school Latin class for fifth graders...oh, wait a minute...public schools don't offer Latin to fifth-graders.

My mistake.

Let's assume that if government schools were to offer Latin to fifth-graders, my curriculum would still be superior. Notice I said the curriculum would be superior; I'm not claiming to be a superior teacher. I'm not on a soapbox here, I'm being honest. My students had a definite advantage. There were only four students in a class, they could ask as many questions as they wanted, I was accessible all week to answer their questions, I had fellowship with and accountability to their parents...I could go on and on.

Situations like these exacerbate (did I use that word correctly, Rick :) ? Next time I see you I'll pronounce it for you to make sure I'm saying it right, too.) my frustration and hostility toward government schools. Not only that, but having to mumble to my friend that I only have X hours in Latin and Greek really makes me wonder whether I am qualified to be teaching.

My friend asked me to pray for her and her family as her son will be questioned on Monday in court. That's a lot for a sixth-grader to go through.
Thank you all so much for your kind and peaceable comments to Duane and me. We are doing fine. I'm more tired than anything else, and Bailey goes 100 miles an hour.
I suppose most of you who read my blog read Duane's as well, so you all know the Lord visited us with His mercy and goodness yesterday.

I was awake for a long time last night thinking of what I ought to say. While we do not know the reason God numbered our baby's days in the womb, we can speculate. Speculation is not always the right avenue, but I think that with our new understanding of the covenant, speculation will, at every end, lead to comfort. Our baby was a covenant child, and the promises were as much for him in his 7th week in the womb as they are for me in my 29th year. Therefore, we have confidence that God took him to be with Him, and we will see him someday.

Our baby will not hear the Gloria Patri with a child's ears, or lift his hands in our church to sing the Doxology. He won't learn the Apostles' Creed, nor will he memorize the catechism with his older sister. He will not know salvation through the church of the present age, nor the protection of the church through the hedge that is Christ. But he has a greater salvation that we will not know for many years, and he has the witness of the church of the ages with him. Surely those blessings are greater than any we can imagine.

I am tired today, and sad, so I am giving Bailey a lot of leeway in her playfulness. I am letting her pull books off the shelf (her favorite thing to do), and I am letting her play in a big bowl of water, splashing it all over the floor and making a mess.

While I will think of the baby often, I pray that God will continue to bless us with more children.

"The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD."

Monday, August 05, 2002

Another movie line...

1) "Funny old world!" "Funny old world? Dog my cats!" "Dog my cats, indeed."
Crazy John Robbins continues his attack on godly men with his latest Trinity Review.
"Sandlin’s is the voice of the Dark Ages speaking through one who calls himself Reformed. Listen to this voice, and the Gospel and civilization will once again be suppressed by a lifeless, mindless, ruthless ecclesio-cracy determined to impose "Christian culture" on a recalcitrant world. Sandlin represents the wave of the past—the dark, bloody, millennial reign of Rome that was ended by the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through Luther, Calvin, Knox, and millions of other Christians who disbelieved classical Christianity and believed Biblical Christianity."
Truly, I'm speechless. Can't this guy pick a better fight?

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Rick mentioned he wanted to take a break from reading for a while and relax by watching movies. I helped him sift through our movie collection and he left with three of the most un-recommendable movies we have: Fargo, Lady Jane, and Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy.

We've gotten in trouble before by endorsing movies, so we don't do it anymore. He had to borrow them with the disclaimer that he was watching them with his own discretion. I hope he enjoys them. Lady Jane will guarantee him a good cry, and the Trilogy at least doesn't smack of Hollywood. If nothing else, it's a welcome change of pace.
I can't believe it! Matt is blogging! First Wayne, now Matt - providing further proof of our postmillenial hope.
Some movie lines for y'all...

(Rick, you CANNOT give these away!)

1) "He also said, 'I am the vine. I am the door. Was he a vine? Was he a door?'"
2) "My angel, my all, my other self. Just a few words today, and that in pencil - yours."
3) "Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability."
4) Arlene: "Love your show, Debi." Debi: "Yes, well, you're our demographic."
5) "I came across time for you, Sarah."

I'll post more if I think of them. These aren't nearly as obscure as Rick's were.
Our new assistant pastor, Rich Lusk, and his wife, Jenny, just moved into town. He preached his first official sermon this morning. It was excellent.

This evening Pastor Lusk was commenting on how it was hard to leave their friends in Austin, and I am reminded of how tough our move here has been. Even though the situation is wonderful - we're in a great church, the people here are great, we have a house and everything we need - I still feel "homesick" for the East Coast and St. Louis, too. Moving to a new place is a difficult transition, and somehow I thought pastors might be immune because they are coming into a different situation than the average church member.

We definitely need to make an effort to reach out to them - we're all feeling a bit displaced and a mite lonely. If you have people who are new to your area in your congregation, be kind and reach out to them. You don't have to become their best friends, but it is very encouraging for someone just to make contact with you and let you know they've been thinking about you.
One of the "blog-worthy" items I thought about today was when Duane and I were first talking on the phone, we somehow got to talking about Scott Joplin.

I said yes, I enjoy Scott Joplin and play a lot of his stuff on the piano, and Duane said "Scotch opera? What in the world does THAT sound like?"

I guess you had to be there. It's really funny if you've ever seen Duane in a kilt.
We had Rick over for lunch today. While we were talking, I kept making mental notes to "put that on my blog." It's interesting how much blogging changes your perspective about what is memorable and what is not. Now all the trivial things each day seem blog-worthy, and therefore worth being preserved for posterity.

Or something like that.

Thursday, August 01, 2002

Providence RPC in St. Louis has been conducting an adult Sunday School class on worship. As always, Bill Hoover and Pastor Jeff have been doing a thorough, wonderful job. Unfortunately, we had to miss the last several classes since our move to Monroe.

The class notes are available here. There are many links in the notes to other worship-related articles, papers, etc. available on the internet.

Duck and Kim Schuler's review of the new Trinity Hymnal (part 1, part 2, and part 3) proved particulary educational. Check it out!
Vexing thought of the day:

When is Matt going to start a Blog? Pull some strings with him, Rick!

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