Monday, June 23, 2014

Ace Art (by Holly, 2010)

Holly did this art for a very small unschoolers' gathering several years ago. I just came across it and put it in a better place. The name came from Adam Daniel (documented here), the concept of a zia-based ace was mine, but the artistry and execution were all Holly Dodd's!

A little more about the small series of meet-ups:

Albuquerque Chat and Explore
Albuquerque, and The Ace Festival (notes about the name, and connections made because of it)
3rd Learn Nothing Day winding down (Holly's t-shirt, like Adam's t-shirt)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Saxon mother's son

One thing led to another. "Only" was on the lyrics game and I played "…only ever has to give me / love forever and forever / she don't give boys the eye" from "She's a Woman," by The Beatles. While I was thinking of the lyrics, I thought about the tune. It's interesting. And the words are pretty much one per note, so that reminded me of my collection of verse in small words (early native-English words in modern poetry and lyrics).

"She's a Woman" has three words I figure weren't native, but came from the Norman French:
I cast my mind out to what else might fit on that page, because having added the lyrics to "She's a Woman," I needed one more song to fill my chart. The next song I thought of was "Help":
I need somebody
Not just anybody
You know I need someone
I went to look, and found a recording I had never heard or seen (as far as I remember).

I love the internet. I love the people who volunteer to share the videos that they or their parents made, or that they've scrounged from hither and yon. I love seeing (again) the youthful movements of John, Paul, George and Ringo. I'm happy to have been cognizant when they first produced records, and am happy to have seen Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr on live TV not so long ago.

But "Help" is insufficiently Anglo Saxon for my collection. It has all this mess of borrowed words:
On the other hand, there are some phrases that are beautifully antique.

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody's help in any way

If anyone reading here can think of a song (not necessarily by The Beatles) that has almost all elderly English words, please leave a note!
My collection is here: Small Words and has The Boxer, Easier Said than Done, Surfer Girl, Your Cheatin' Heart, Glad All Over, Red Rubber Ball and a few others.

(P.S. The title of the post is part of a description from a Beatle's song. Double points if you knew that before you got here. Triple if you can sing the chorus of that song just from reading that phrase that comes before it.)

(Two black-and-white posts in a row!
Both concern English history mixing with modern days.(

Little John being rewarded by the Queen

Archie Duncan played Little John in the 1950's Robin Hood series I've been watching lately. I watched it when I was little, but I was very little. There are snippets I remember. I see the roots of some of my interest in early music and costume.

But something happened, and I will be happy if someone who reads this knows a way to discover more.
"Duncan was briefly replaced in the Little John role by Rufus Cruikshank for about ten episodes after Duncan was injured when a horse bolted toward the spectators, mostly children, watching the location filming of the episode "Checkmate" on 20 April 1955. He grabbed the bridle, stopping the horse, but the cart it was pulling ran him over, causing a fractured kneecap and cuts and bruises. He received the Queen's Commendation for Bravery Award and £1,360 in damages from Sapphire films." (wikipedia page)

"Received a Queen's Award for Bravery for protecting a group of spectators (during filming of a first season episode of Robin Hood) by grabbing the bridle of a horse, which had bolted, and was drawing a cart with fixed axles that could not be steered. The cart ran over Duncan, fracturing his kneecap and putting him out of action for the next eleven episodes." (imdb trivia)

According to this, in the 1950's it was called the Queen's Commendation for Brave Conduct, and the name was later changed to "Commendation for Bravery" in 1994.

I would love to know more about the particulars of this award, as Elizabeth hadn't been queen for very long, and the brave act was done in costume as Little John, with a medieval-style cart, on a film set. It must have been mentioned somehow in the presentation, on in the certificate.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Why we unschooled

 photo KeithBoysTaos.jpg

 photo SandraBoysTieDye.jpg

I really loved school. When Kirby was three or four, I was at a La Leche League playgroup and some of the moms were talking about homeschooling. My friend Rhiannon said she would NEVER send her kids to school. I said "but what if they loved school as much as I did?"

Rhiannon said, "What if Kirby hates school as much as I did? What are the odds?"

That's the moment I started considering homeschooling. I knew two unschooling families (in that same group) and two school-at-home families (ditto). I thought about it for the next year.

Flash forward 20 years. Her kids DID go to school, and they did not like it. Kirby never went to school.

The odds of which she spoke were well known to me. I taught Jr. High for six years, after paying close attention to what school was for various people, because I knew from the time I was six that I wanted to be a teacher, and I started teaching when I was twenty-one years old.

The odds that someone will love school are smaller and smaller as the years go by, and one element of loving school seems to be an unhappy homelife. I wasn't planning on providing my kids an unhappy homelife. Attachment parenting, in combination with my working on recovery from growing up with an alcoholic mom, was changing my life.

I could tell good and fun school stories at length, but in each story, there are people who "lost" because someone else won, or kids who were watching but not involved in whatever cool thing was happening.

The kids who have fun at school aren't ecstatic about school.
The kids who are unhappy at school are sometimes so unhappy they kill themselves or others. School wounds people for life, if they live.

I found the writing above today, in a folder of things I had saved for a book. But it isn't in the book. It's likely I didn't find it when I was working on The Big Book, but I'm glad I found it today.

It was probably written on a forum that no longer exists. I cleaned up some spelling and word order.

The photos are from that time, when I only had two children and figured they would be in school someday.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Retro Learn-Nothing-Day poster

This art is by "artworkking", in the UK. I ordered it on .
Click he image to go to the Learn Nothing Day blog. Other exciting art is already scheduled to launch there, and unschoolers keep sending me more! I'm also collecting art from years past, and there is a randomizer. Have fun!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

A favorite photo

This was all natural, in Stroud—the roofline of a house down steeply off the road, and the other side of the valley beyond. Alison Pawlak drove me there on June 30, 2011.

Here's another favorite: the chariot on a carousel at Hollycombe. Half a dozen favorites (this included): My Best Photos

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Minnesota symposium done, and nicely so

Pam Laricchia, Alex Polikowsky and I spoke in Rochester (I'm writing to my future self, and my few readers) this weekend. There were families (or at least parents) from nine states and provinces:

Of the Canadians:

3 Ontario
2 Manitoba

Of the Americans:

8 Minnesota
2 Wisconsin
2 Iowa
1 Illinois
1 Kansas
1 Washington (state)
1 New Mexico

Very nice people, LOTS of kids, cleanup was easy, no damage to the site or equipment and very little to people (headbump, a couple of minor upsets, but mostly peace and play.

I'm writing from my quiet recovery last night in the Grand Kahler hotel. I slept the afternoon away sweetly and peacefully thanks to the hotels efficient black-out curtains. When Pam and I went to lunch in the hotel, we were told it had been raining since the night before. We couldn't hear it or see it, from the conference area. Rochester is like St. Paul, downtown, in that you can get from building to building through underground passageways and second-floor walkways and not need to go out in winter weather (or spring rain).

I'm happy with the way the weekend went, and I love hotel rooms, so I'm happy here right now. I'll be home Tuesday night and I have orders for a book and some Thinking Sticks to pack up and mail Wednesday, and a chat, and I'll be back to routine, and home. I will be happy there, too.