Wednesday, June 30, 2010

What Holly sees

Xsenia, Bea's younger daughter I don't know who, but Holly did, and I like the images (from the first couple of days of SMUG): Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Nice series: Some kind of artist-card stigmata, I'm speculating: Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What's Important

"Tests don't prove that learning is happening. Tests don't show whether a child is a nice person who is kind to others. Tests don't help a kid make honest decision for themselves. Tests don't create happy learning." —Jenny Cyphers wrote that on Always Learning

The past few days have been rough online, for me more than others, I guess. There have been a few snarky oddities here and there, plus I'm moderating a list that has several current problem people. It seems I'm spending half my day returning posts or explaining things or agitating over how to soothe a situation. I'm putting more work into returning posts than some of the authors put into writing them in the first place.

This will pass; it always does. There will be boring days and scary days and frustrating days and exciting, happy days.

I have the house to myself for over five days. That's pretty exciting, in a calm way. It's profoundly quiet, though, because Holly is at "SMUG" near Montreal (no computer/internet/phone), and Keith and Marty are beyond phone service at Battlemoor (a medieval event in southern Colorado). Holly will be back on Saturday night after nearly four months away, and Keith and Marty will come back home on Monday.

I do love the Always Learning list, and am grateful for those unschoolers who have helped other for years and years, freely and generously. I breathe and I look at what some of them write (such as Jenny, above) and I remember that the problems are small and the life-changing successes cannot be taken away from us, ever.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

"The Best Teen Bible..."

Okay, first of all I didn't know there was "a teen Bible." And this is the one I read when I was a teen, but still... I needed a piece of art for a link on a page, because the old art disappeared. This (the page I will eventually link below, after a couple of worthy tangents) is one of my VERY oldest pages—it used to be on in the ancient days. And I was using expage art which stuck around for many years, but not this many years.

So I'm using it now, as a link for people to verify my Bible quotes which seem (after the fact of my having already been making and using Thinking Sticks) to sanctify them (or at least to tell some vague story involving two sticks, okay?), and to talk about sticks baked in a cake. Perhaps some ancient Hebrew Twelfth Night cake, or king's cake.... I don't know.

But while I was poking around in the book worshipping land of the King James Bible fanatics, I found a beautiful quote. They didn't mean to provide it as beauty, but that's how it goes. One man's trash-and-proof-of-heresy is another blog writer's treasure:
"Religion won't let you love yourself. Religion is the accuser of the brethren, that's what the devil is. It's legal systems, religious dogmas that say you're not good enough, you're not God enough," he said. "People who believe in hell create it for themselves and others. People who believe in devils and demons become that in consciousness, and they act it out."

Pearson said he firmly believes, as he told his congregation one recent Sunday, "We may go through hell, but nobody goes to hell."

But his current message does not focus on hell, even the hell that humans sometimes create here on earth.

"My hope is that, that people will learn to love themselves, accept themselves and celebrate themselves. That's pretty dramatic, but I think it'll save the planet."
That's the end of an article on an evangelist with a mega church who changed his mind about hell, and the article discussed why and how that happened, and his congregation went from 5,000 to 300.
To credit the art fairly, it was on this site:

There's a countdown to go with this:
155,000 People Die Everyday. . .
Two every second. . .
According to the Lord Jesus Christ, most people die and go to hell.
Sandra Note:That should have been "every day," but the Bible never says God cares about grammar.
And know ye, People of Internet, that Thinking Sticks have nought to do with hell.

Here is what the King James Bible says that seems clearly* to be about Thinking Sticks:
...I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. [part of I Kings 17:12]
The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying...
take thee one stick, and write upon it...; then take another stick, and write upon it; And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. ... And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. [some of Ezekiel 37:15-20]
* Okay, "clearly" meaning as clearly as any sermon's explanation is ever a clear explanation. And I did leave some words out, but not important words. And you can read them by going here:

Thinking Sticks look like this, but that's not the good part. There is a long insert with history and suggestions and ideas, and then a crucial list of warnings, including "Do not bake in a cake." See above, if you skipped the Word of God part.

click to embiggen

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Preparation for Learn Nothing Day (July 24)

One lunar month, 28 days, until Learn Nothing Day.

Perhaps warming up to it would be helpful. Maybe this week people could try going five or ten minutes without learning anything. Next week, maybe half and hour, and so on until the actual event.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Back home, back to business!

One month from today is Learn Nothing Day. "The third time's a charm," they say. They also say "If at first you don't succeed,—try, try again." So wherever you are July 24, whatever you're doing, try not to learn anything. ("They" also say unschoolers won't learn anything. This is the annual attempt to prove that's possible.)

Two months from now I'll be in Sacramento, California, at the HSC Conference, where I'll be giving two talks and three workshops, or three talks and two workshops, or something. When I get there, I'll go where the schedule sends me. Kirby will be there too! August 19 - 22nd, 2010.

In March, I'll be the keynote speaker at the first UZOMA Black Unschoolers Conference in Atlanta. The schedule isn't set, but I think my main talk will be about how changing a life and changing a family changes the world. March 7th - 9th, 2011.

Between those, the much smaller, more informal ACE Festival, in Albuquerque, will be an opportunity for people to meet other unschoolers, and most notably the Daniel family from England—James and Julie and their son Adam. We will have a meet-up at the natural history museum (Adam loves dinosaurs), another day at Explora (hands-on science and children's museum) and a day at my house. February 7-10, 2011.

Slightly nebulous but happening for sure in 2011: I'll be in Pune, India, and in several places in the U.K. (Edinburgh definitely, and maybe France, perhaps). Vague dates, gradually coming clearer: India late January through February-somethingth. U.K. June through some-to-most of July.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Last hours in Maui

So I was too tired to blog the past few days, and having too much fun when I did have energy, so here are some images from the last couple of days, and I'll be in the plane or home by the time most people see them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Keawala'i Congregational Church

Went to church. Didn't know it would be largely in Hawaian. The building was erected in 1855, and the congregation that erected that church was founded in 1832. More images and some sound later.

The altar had a plain wooden cross with a white lei on it.

Added on Wednesday, because I was too tired to blog for a couple of days:

Some of the sound of the service. After some piano, people sing the doxology in Hawaiian. I found these words online; I can check them against the program or hymnal later if that seems important to
Ho'onani ka makua mau
ke keiki me ka 'uhane no
ke akua mau ho'omaika'i pu
ko keia ao, ko kela ao

Friday and Saturday

Working backward... Orion got a bee sting today, but was fine within an hour.

There are images of an outing today and some other things yesterday (Friday).

Wednesday night we went to the Maui Film Festival which is pretty nearby, and saw two short films, a longer one and some of a documentary I'm definitely wanting to watch when I can. No photos there; not allowed.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


This morning I got up at 3:15 because Jihong wanted to take me to see the sunrise at Haleakala Photos will never capture it; words can't do it. I'm glad I was there. The clouds show as though from an airplane. It's not as high as the Sandias, but I was feeling the lightheadedness and heavy heartbeat sea-level folk have reported at Sandia Peak. I recovered in just a bit.

The people showing here were only about 1/3 of those who were up there. There were some on the other side of the visitor center, and some had hiked up to a higher place. (The hill visible past the people here.)

When the sun breaks, the park ranger chanted in Hawaiian. I don't have the very beginning or the end (a recitation) but it was very cool:

We explored around there a bit, went to the highest-peak building where there are views in all directions, and as the clouds started to dissipate some of the ocean showed, but it's not photographable (not with my camera, anyway), when the sky, water and clouds are so nearly the same, from that distance. There was an observatory, and a view back down toward Wailea.

Seeing the town just below made it seem like going up to the Sandias from Albuquerque, but here's the deal: It take an hour and a half or more to drive there, because it involves going almost back to Kahului, and then winding up a very windy winding road (Dramamine would have been a good idea for me...) It also involved wearing extra clothes and having a blanket or big towel. Then that gets shed as the sun gets higher and sea level comes again.

We stopped at a funky little store, with picnic tables and a flushing porta-potty and a wild chicken. I don't think they "had" a wild chicken, he was just there.

Maybe he was a "feral chicken," but that sounds way too scary. Jihong says a hurricane caused lots of chickens to get loose, and they're living merrily in the wild. (I suppose there aren't coyotes or other kinds of wild dogs or whatever might eat chickens where I'm from.)

We stopped at a lavender farm, which had a funky, evolving garden on the slope below (Holly & Keith: it reminded me of Steve and Beau's back yard over the years). There will be another photo or two of that place in a later post. The top photo had a couple of paragliders, and they were up almost all the time we were there. (One was up, and the other was down and laying his para-thing out, so on average, the whole time.)

ADDED THE NEXT DAY, from Jihong's camera:

watery things

We didn't get a photo on the bumper boats that shot water, but here are some other images of some other things:

Do you see that lump of matter in front of my hand? Do you see how powerful I am? I was levitating something...

No, not levitating; what's it called? Chucking. I was throwing a "sand ball" at a big lava rock, to see if we could "build a sand castle" out of that rock before the waves washed it away. We were making good progress, pelting it an patting sand on (like hand-plastering adobe, in my experience, but more dangerous and less useful)..

These are at the Maui Ocean Center, a science center/museum/aquarium-compound:

Kahului (not the tourist brochure...)

These all have something in common: I was there and took the picture for some reason, usually to show Holly something! (Exception: Jihong took the photo of me getting "kava-ed" up.)

Photos were at the Kava Bar, Savers, or Whole Foods, all near each other in Kahului. One of them (at Savers) features a fine piece of hippy art... a candle holder up on top of a rack, near the "aloha shirts."