Friday, November 30, 2007
My Spanish is rudimentary, at best. For one thing, I know my pronunciation is so bad that I am very shy about using it. I have a strong Texas accent, and I can't roll an r no matter how hard I try.
The school has provided home access to Rosetta Stone for any teacher who wants to use it. I started last night. It was hard to judge, since the beginning lesson covered mostly things I knew. I also have the kind of mind that gets distracted by questions like, "What makes one airplane an avion and another an avioneta?" Obviously, it is the size, but what is the dividing point? Ditto for nino (can't remember how to get the tilde over the n) and muchaco. Is it adolescence? Preschool? Oh well, I certainly have a lot of students who will be glad to help, particularly if they can get a laugh out of it.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
After rummaging through my pattern notebook and some internet sites, I finally decided on the v-neck neckdown woman's chunky pullover from Knitting Pure and Simple. The last sweater of theirs I made (Big Blue) fit perfectly when I knit to gauge, but I want this one to be a little looser to wear a turtleneck underneath and have more of a tunic feel. I am using a needle a little larger and knitting 3.5 stitches to the inch instead of 4. IF I have calculated right, and math was my worst subject, that should give me the ease I want. This afternoon, I tried on the top with the v-neck completed and almost one ball of yarn used up. It seems to fit fine, although I may have to make the neck edging a little wider than the pattern calls for to compensate for the change in gauge. I still love the yarn.
Of course, meanwhile I have gotten on Ravelry, so I looked at all the Silver Thaw projects and almost decided to rip out and order the KP&S Wrap Cardigan. However, I will wear this sweater much more if it turns out OK. All I know to do is to just keep trying it on while I'm making it.
I love my Knitpicks Options, but I do wish the cables had one of those little connector thingies to connect cables so that you could just slide off to a longer cable for try-ons or to shorter ones for stitch holders without having to put on a tip and knit or slide stitches off via the points. My old Boye set from the '60s had those, and they were handy.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I think that database is going to be very useful when I want to look up a particular pattern or yarn, but it will never be as interesting as looking at people's blogs.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Students at our high school participated in a school wide reading project in which all the students read the legends and tales about King Arthur. Because our school is heavily multicultural, we chose this topic to examine a particularly rich part of British and American cultural heritage. King Arthur, the Holy Grail, the Round Table, chivalry, knighthood, and Camelot itself are often referred to in the news, in other works of literature, and in visual media.
All the classes read the script to the Broadway musical Camelot. Individual teachers chose to examine other parts of the story in different ways, including film clips, reference books, the "original" tales from Chretien de Troyes and Thomas Malory, Chaucer, John Steinbeck’s retelling of the stories, a little Walt Disney, and other sources. Some classes struggled with reading parts of the tales in Middle English. In addition, teachers added research projects about medieval ideas such as courtly love, the wheel of fortune, and the great chain of being. Some students designed shields and heraldry projects.
Teachers in other disciplines also participated in the activities. The physics class built a catapult. United States history classes studied the idea of the Kennedy Administration as Camelot and produced a visual project on that subject.
The King Arthur study culminated with a day of activities hosted by our local chapter of the National English Honor Society. During the early part of the day, NEHS members dressed as King Arthur, Queen Guenevere, and a herald visited classes. They knighted or "ladied" selected students in a ceremony that involved the traditional dubbing of a knight or presenting a lady with a wreath of flowers for her hair. As part of the ceremony, each recipient donned a T-shirt to wear the rest of the day with the shield of the Knight of the Round Table on the front and his individual story on the back. The ladies’ shirts had artwork representing their characters. Students also participated in a chess tournament and backgammon games. Some students even spent time in the stocks.
NEHS members decorated the cafeteria with royal blue tablecloths with red and gold accents. English classes contributed the shields they made to decorate the walls. Society members dressed as medieval servants served the meal as King Arthur and Guenevere welcomed guests to the banquet. The meal, served on genuine foam pewter plates, was eaten with only spoons and fingers. The cafeteria staff duplicated a medieval stew and added baked chicken legs, breadsticks, and apple cider and a pudding for dessert. Two students wearing jester suits juggled while the musical Camelot played on the cafeteria televisions.
At the end of the day, students went to the football stadium to watch an archery demonstration by a local physician who spoke to the students for a few minutes about medieval weaponry, showing some of the weapons, such as spears and battle axes, that would have been used in medieval hand-to-hand combat. He explained why the bow and arrow was an improvement over such weapons. Then he demonstrated the use of the bow by shooting a large artificial boar as a target. The school choir hosted a jousting tournament. Each class had four elected champions who competed on stick horses using pool noodles tipped with powdered chalk as lances.)
Monday, November 19, 2007
Thanksgiving--snow in the late afternoon/evening
Of course, all this is subject to change at a moment's notice. I have seen the 80s to snow all in one day, but that doesn't happen too often.
I have been knitting and doing school stuff. I'm waiting for a picture before I post the school info.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
1. If you could stuff a turkey with anything, what would it be? Cornbread stuffing, but I don't actually like it in the bird--I cook it as a separate dish.
2. If you designed a giant balloon for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade,what would it look like? An elephant, preferably Dumbo.
3. You can pick anyone to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for you, who would you choose? My mother and her sister Dessie, who loved doing turkey and dressing together so much that Aunt Dessie would come to spend the night just to be there to help cook the turkey.
4. What invention are you most thankful for? At my time of life, central heat and air and the ability to switch quickly from one to the other.
5. What's the best part about sitting at the kids' table? Being able to be silly without adults reprimanding you all the time.
6. If you had to eat only one kind of Thanksgiving food for an entire week,what would it be? Stuffing with cranberry sauce.
7. What's your favorite Thanksgiving memory or tradition? Sitting around the table with family eating nut pudding, our traditional holiday secret recipe.
8. What's the one thing that could make you brave day-after-Thanksgivingshopping? H__ __ __ __ freezing over.
9. This fall, instead of a pile of raked-up leaves, I'd like to jump into a pile of _grandchildren_.
10. A Thanksgiving food I wouldn't want thrown at me in a food fight is__noodles in hot broth_. I had a bowl of those explode in my hands a couple of years ago--not fun.
11. Next Thanksgiving, everyone should wear Native American costumes to the dinnertable!
12. How many times can you say the word "cornucopia" in ten seconds? 12
Monday, November 05, 2007
Thursday, November 01, 2007
From L to R, top row: The Lady of the Lake, The Lady of Shalott, Sir Percival, Sir Galahad, Sir Bors, Sir Gawain, Sir Bedivere, Sir Lancelot. Bottom: Igraine and Sir Thomas Malory, who compiled the stories, represented not by his crest but by a manuscript page of his text.