Wednesday
Sep262007

Dear Reader...

As Mrs. G. was sifting through her past due statements bills after dinner, she tried to remember the last time she had received a handwritten letter. When she was younger, Mrs. G. corresponded regularly with many dear friends and family.

When she was in 7th grade, Mrs G. got off the bus and beelined straight for the mailbox hoping for a letter from her pen pal in Paris, France. She loved the baby blue envelopes stamped Par Avion and the feel of the delicate tissue-like paper folded inside them. She always took a moment to admire the exotic postage stamp. Mrs. G's pen pal sent exciting stories of croissants filled with almond paste and french fries dipped in mayonnaise across the ocean to Memphis, Tennessee. These letters were so exhilarating to receive that immediately after reading them, Mrs. G., a notorious procrastinator, sat right down and, in her best cursive, wrote back.

When Mrs. G. was in college, she exchanged letters with her favorite aunt. Those first few weeks of school when Mrs. G. was more than a little homesick, she would open up her narrow metal dorm mailbox and practically swoon at the sight of one of her aunt's letters. They were filled with news of the family back home, and there was often a crisp fiver hidden inside.

When Mrs. G. was a young mother, she would trudge to her mailbox in sweatpants and spit-up and sigh with pleasure when she saw a letter from her sister-in-law. They were lifelines filled with tender and practical advice on colic, diaper rash and the restorative power of a long walk and a hot bath.

And, regrettably, not all of Mrs. G's letters were pleasant. She will never forget the postcard she received from her first crush in ninth grade dumping her ass for a senior with larger breasts and her own wheels.

Mrs. G., despite her blogging prowess, is not a big fan of the email. She believes it has single handedly decimated the art of letter writing. Email... Fast? Yes. Efficient? Yes. Heartfelt and nuanced? Rarely. When Mrs. G. used to write long letters by hand, she took great care to choose the right words and render the most vivid description of even the most mundane activities of her life. Dear Aunt Elizabeth, I hope this letter finds you enjoying the last days of summer has become, via email, dr ant liz, how r u? Emails lack panache; you can't wrap a stack of them in pink satin ribbon and tuck it into a special drawer. But you can hide a treasured letter under your pillow and spend the rest of the day anticipating the moment you can sit down and savor it, alone, word by word.

So, Reader, go get your finest paper and your favorite pen and write a letter, in your best cursive, to someone you love and be sure to seal it with a kiss.

Warmest Regards,

Mrs. G.
 

Saturday
Sep222007

Homeschooling Tip of the Day

Mrs. G's son and daughter both enjoyed receiving a copy of this in the mail-it's just the right amount of current events for third through sixth graders without being overwhelming.

Friday
Sep212007

Homeschooling Tip of the Day

Mrs. G. loves this homeschooling mama blogger.

Wednesday
Sep192007

Man Musk Anyone?

"A new study reveals that the ability to detect a certain male hormone in sweat is genetic. What that tells us about the science of smell—and why some women like sweaty men."

Mrs. G. wants to know just exactly how you get this kind of job.

Monday
Sep172007

Homeschooling Tip of the Day


Mrs. G. is a big fan of Jon's Homeschool Resources.

Friday
Sep142007

Homeschooling Tip of the Day

The Teaching Company is an amazing high school resource-a great way to explore a subject more deeply and on a college level. Many libraries carry some of their more popular lectures.

Thursday
Sep132007

Four Things Mrs. G. Loves About the First Day of School

1) Watching all the kids enthusiastically size each other up and form impenetrable cliques enter her classroom.


2) The style and comfort of the stylish and comfortable pair of new shoes she pays full price for treats herself to each September. This year she was feeling audacious and risky, so she bypassed the Danskos and purchased these saucy El Naturalistas.

 

 

3) The formidable challenge of hearing a new student say I hate reading or I can't write.

 

4) The smell of fresh pencil shavings.





Thursday
Sep132007

First Week of School(s)

All kind of education is happening here at Derfwad Manor. Mrs. G's son has kicked his homeschooling into gear and is studiously chipping away at 7th grade math. He is also plugging away at US history and biology. Despite Mrs. G's best effort to instill an appreciation for the process of learning, the bs dialectic, rather than the grade or finished project, her son approaches his schoolwork much like a strategic bomber on a short-range strike mission: he gets in, completes his orders and gets out. Bam! That's it.

Mrs. G's daughter is set begin her senior year of high school at a local community college. This semester, she is taking German, Astronomy and Logic. Just shy of seventeen, Mrs. G's daughter has begun looking at universities, preparing for the SAT and setting her sights on getting the hell out of Derfwad her future.

Mrs. G. started classes this week. She is teaching writing, literature and history to middle and high school students. Mrs. G. is a part-time contract teacher in her school district, so she gets no benefits or job security the freedom to choose her own curriculum and be creative. In keeping with tradition, Mrs. G's tried and true first writing assignment of the year is to write about what you did NOT do this summer. Last year, her favorite paper was from the young man whose subject was: This summer, I did NOT shave my dog Joanne and knit a sweater out of her hair. This is the kind of intellect and humor that inspires Mrs. G. to become a Starbuck's barista keep teaching.