Friday, February 29, 2008

? ? ? ? ? ?

You Are a Question Mark

You seek knowledge and insight in every form possible. You love learning.

And while you know a lot, you don't act like a know it all. You're open to learning you're wrong.
You ask a lot of questions, collect a lot of data, and always dig deep to find out more.

You're naturally curious and inquisitive. You jump to ask a question when the opportunity arises.

Your friends see you as interesting, insightful, and thought provoking.

(But they're not always up for the intense inquisitions that you love!)

You excel in: Higher education

You get along best with: The Comma

My other blogs are going strong

More people have been visiting my Banned Books blog this week than have dropped by here. Now that's impressive! Go see what Wendy had to say about Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison and what Allison wrote about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. Take a look at Abhinav's review of The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie and Dewey's review of Fun Home. We have 26 reviews by a number of people, plus one post detailing what the project is all about. Would you like to read and review banned books? You are invited to join us ... see instructions in the sidebar of that blog.

My latest post on Greening the Blue Planet is about accessorizing. That probably sounds like a big surprise to most of my friends, but when you see what I'm suggesting, I'm sure you'll think it sounds exactly like me. Just the other day I also mentioned a book on that blog, one I want to read: The Wall by Marlen Haushofer.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette ~ by Carolly Erickson

I had forgotten about posting a single mention of a book on my first attempt at blogging ... TWO YEARS AGO. Yes, my friends, I must really be older than dirt because I had completely forgotten about starting a blog for my Book Buddies bookstore. Yep, and I managed to mention only one book before "real life" sped up and obliterated the bookstore ... and thus my budding career as a blogger. Wanna see it? Click here. Here's the single paragraph I posted about The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette on January 22, 2006:
I picked up this book when I was at the library, even though it was a 7-day book because it's so new in the system. Working six days a week and having to read a number of books to lead the discussion groups in my bookstore and in branch libraries leaves me little time to read just for myself. (Hmmm, maybe I could use this book as the next one I review for our community paper. But I digress ...) I was looking for any occasions of baptism where Marie Antoinette was present because one of my great-great-great (for several generations) grandmothers was "christened on the throne of Marie Antoinette." At least that's the story that came down through the family. So I was curious. And there were a couple of baptisms. Ha! I figure if any of my ancestors were close to the throne, they are among the ones who had to flee Paris as things got bad for the royal family. I noticed one of the babies was, I believe, the maid's child (or some servant). So my folks were not necessarily mixing with royalty as equals!
That wasn't remotely intended to be a book review, so I'll flesh out my thoughts in this post. But first let me say my review of the book WAS published in the local give-away paper. Sorry I don't have a copy of that review handy (it's in storage with all the books from the bookstore). Now, what I remember about the book:

Title, author, copyright date, and genre?
The Hidden Diary of Marie Antoinette ~ by Carolly Erickson, 2006, historical fiction

Summarize the book without giving away the ending.
The book's premise is that Marie Antoinette left behind a diary in her prison cell when she went off to die by guillotine. The diary was supposedly begun on June 17, 1769 as punishment when she was "thirteen years and seven months old." The diary becomes a record of her life as the reader follows what she records from her privileged childhood to her life as mistress of Versailles as the wife of the French king Louis XVI (married when she was 14) to her imprisonment and death during the French Revolution (October 16, 1793).

From whose point of view is the story told?
It's a diary so, of course, this is the life of Marie Antoinette as seen by herself.

Were the characters and their problems believable?
Oh, yeah! Though I read this book more than two years ago, I vividly remember some of what she had to deal with. King Louis XVI, her husband, comes across as a very weak man who didn't want to rule a country; he would have been happier if he had been free to do nothing but putter around the garden without the worries of a kingdom on his mind. It was pretty clear that Marie Antoinette should have been the one making decisions, like when the family should flee Versaille to save their lives. Louis dawdled, and they were captured trying to escape. She had had a love affair with handsome Swedish diplomat Count Axel Fersen, who risked his life to save her.

Share a favorite scene from the book.
Details escape me, two years after reading the book, but I remember her palpable fear on the night the Parisian mob broke into her palace bedroom intent on murdering her and her family. As a mother, I related most to her agony when her young son was torn from her arms, never to be seen again.

Was location important to the story?
I'm happy to report that this would be an excellent choice for those doing my Book around the World challenge to read as their choice for France.

Was the time period important to the story?
Yes, it's historical, and Carolly Erickson has done a superb job of capturing the time leading up to the French Revolution.

How would you rate this book?
Rated: 8/10, a very good book.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'm the older generation, you know!

This came in today's email (thanks, Carole):

A very self-important college freshman attending a recent football game took it upon himself to explain to a senior citizen sitting next to him why it was impossible for the older generation to understand his generation.

"You grew up in a different world, actually an almost primitive one," the student said, loud enough for many of those nearby to hear. "The young people of today grew up with television, jet planes, space travel, man walking on the moon. Our spaceships have visited Mars. We have nuclear energy, electric and hydrogen cars, computers with dsl, light-speed computers and..."

When he paused to take another drink of beer, the senior took advantage of the break in the student's litany and said, "You're right, son. We didn't have those things when we were young, so we invented them. Now, you arrogant little twit, what are you doing for the next generation?"

The applause was resounding.

The definition of the word twit (which I substituted for the rhyming word that was in the email) is "an insignificant or bothersome person."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Does anyone here know Spanish?

Okay, here's the joke:

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine. "House" for instance, is feminine: la casa. "Pencil," however, is masculine: el lapiz. A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?"

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether "computer" should be a masculine or a feminine noun. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.

The men's group decided that "computer" should definitely be of the feminine gender (la computadora) because:

1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.
The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be masculine (el computador) because:

1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves.
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time, they ARE the problem; and
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
The women won.

But I still want to know ... what's the word for computer in Spanish, and is it masculine or feminine?

Bonus for book lovers: Ten Reasons Why the Internet is No Substitute for the Library, by Mark Y. Herring

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I'm a literature nerd!

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Social Nerd
Drama Nerd
Science/Math Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Anime Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace
Does this surprise anyone? I found the quiz when visiting DaisyBug's blog. I learned that I don't have a clue about Anime. Do I intend to remedy that? Not any time soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Middle name meme

(1) List these rules before you answer the questions.
(2) List one fact about yourself using each letter of your middle name; if you don’t have a middle name use your maiden name instead.
(3) Tag one person for each letter of your name.

L - Lots of L's means Lots of aLLiteration, which I consider Loverly.
I - I scream, you scream, we all scream for Ice cream ... make mine black cherry.
L - Like, I really, Like, don't Like when people, Like, you know, talk Like this.
L - Libraries come in second only to bookstores as my favorite places.
I - I use an Incredibly large amount of Ink each year writing on my yellow tablets: notes about books I'm reading, journal entries, ideas for blog posts, to-do lists, things I want to tell somebody ... and the list goes on.
A - Always playing with words. Didja notice?
N - Nice? Usually. Naughty? Only occasionally.

Now I’m supposed to tag seven people because I have seven letters in my name? Okay, you, you, you, you, you, you, and you. Got it? Go for it.

Please tell me if you do this meme ... I'd like to come read yours.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I know these women!

My friend Mary Grace has sent me a link to Women in Art (2007) by Philip Scott Johnson. Since I visited the Vermeer exhibit with her, I was looking especially for any women by Vermeer. Here are some of the women I recognized immediately:

Two Sisters (On the Terrace), 1881, by Pierre Auguste Renoir.

Berthe Morisot with a Bouquet of Violets, a portrait by Édouard Manet, dated 1872.

Everyone will recognize the Mona Lisa, but did you notice Lady with an Ermine by Leonardo da Vinci?

This portrait of Venus is part of a larger painting: The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli.

Okay, your turn. Who are these women? Give the artist's name and/or a URL, if possible ... and I'll add the portrait to this post.

Philip Scott Johnson's great video is showing now, here.

My name is Bonnie ...'s Blogaholics Anonymous Award!
... and I am a blogger.

I am joining a support group called Blogaholics Anonymous.
However, because of my addiction, you know I am absolutely unable to overcome my compulsion to tell you all about it. Thus, I render myself non-anonymous. (Is that a word? Is now.)

The good news: I am not alone in my addiction.

The bad news: I probably won't work very hard at overcoming my addiction.

I have discovered, to my delight and my embarrassment, that everything I think and see and do becomes fodder for blogging. After seeing Susan's perfect tee, I am always on the lookout for bloggerly tee-shirts:

Is there any hope for me?
I doubt it.
(But that's all right!)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Awards ceremony (dress appropriately)

If I'd known the award ceremony was going to continue for days and days, I would have suggested a party. Okay, it isn't too late. Run home and get all gussied up and ... oh, you're back already? ... then roll out the red carpet and let the party begin!

Absolute Vanilla, whose mother was mugged on Friday in her own driveway (Crime comes home), wanted to lighten things up today and gave out lots of awards. (Continue the party over at HER blog ... but not yet ... not yet ... I haven't given out MY awards yet!) Anyway, this is the description of the first award:

E for Excellence is a blog award for all of you out there who have Excellent Blogs. By accepting this Excellent Blog Award, you have to award it to ten more people whose blogs you find Excellent Award worthy. You can give it to as many people as you want but please award at least ten.
I accept! Thanks, Vanilla! I want to thank everyone who helped me reach this point in my life and ... (What? Okay, okay, some anonymous person has passed a note forward to tell me to skip my long acceptance speech and get on with giving out the ten I'm supposed to pass along here today.) Without further ado, my ten. Folks whose excellent blogs I visit regularly include:

Sara Lewis Holmes of Read Write Believe
Selma of Selma in the City
Susan of Patchwork Reflections
Nancy of Bookfoolery and Babble
June of Spatter
Jenn and Allison of Looking Into
Karen of Verbatim
Chris of Book-a-rama
Dewey of the hidden side of a leaf
Wendy of Caribousmom
Oh, my, I'm getting another award! The Biggest Heart Award went to "some people who are very special to me -- and who I know to have huge hearts," Vanilla said. Thank you, Vanilla. You are also very special to me, and I worry about the danger of violence that you and your mother face.

Whoa! More awards!

The You Are Toad-ally Awesome Award ... got it from Vanilla (thanks, dear heart) ... awarding it to these TOAD-ally awsome bloggers:
June of Spatter
Jenn of Something to Say
Colleen of Loose Leaf Notes

The Best Blogging Buddies Award for Global Communities ... got it from Vanilla (more thanks) ... awarding it to these bloggers who live all over the world:
Seamus of Shameless Words (a New Zealander of Irish stock now living in France)

Myrthe of The Armenian Odar Reads (a Dutch woman who moved to Armenia)

Jenn of Something to Say (an American living in Den Haag, the Netherlands)

Selma of Selma in the City (an Aussie living in Sydney, Australia)

Teddy Rose of So Many Precious Books, So Little Time (a Canadian who lives in Vancouver, British Columbia)

Gwyneth of Misadventures in Malawi and Beyond (humanitarian aid worker settled now in sleepy Lilongwe, Malawi)

Vanilla of Absolute Vanilla ... I can, too, give it back! ... (a "citizen of the multiverse" living in South Africa)

Amy of Mediterranean Views (an American living in Spain since 1987)

Melissa of Quotidian Life (an American in the Middle East)

Barbara of Barbara's bleeuugh! (who's writing and raising a small army of six in Ireland)

Marylyn of Marylyn's Travels (an American stationed in Seoul, South Korea)

Sharon of Bibliobibuli (a Brit in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia)

Jon of Writing in a Vacuum (in northwest United Kingdom)

Kay of As it happens (a writer and tourist guide in New Zealand)

Marg of Reading Adventures (who lives in Melbourne, Australia)

Kailana of Kailana's Written Word (a Canadian who just "made my day" ... see my acceptance speech here)

Chris of Book-a-rama, a stay-at-home mom who lives in the Canadian Maritimes
The Friendly Site Award ... got it from Vanilla (thank you so very, very much) ... passing it along to:
Beth of Blue Ridge Blue Collar Girl
Stephanie of Confessions of a Book-a-holic
And I'm adding another category, this one specifically for newbies to the blogging world. What I'm saying to each of these bloggers is WELCOME to the blogging world! These are people who may be in line for blog awards in the near future:
Kate of A ceaseless mind is an expat in the Netherlands who has been blogging for 12 days now.

Donna of Book Reviews by Donna posted her first book review today! Believe it or not, this is her second blog ... she posted her first post on her first blog (Chattanooga Coexist Club) on Saturday.

Now let me hear loud and prolonged applause for everyone who got an award today ... and for every one of you reading this blog! Yes, go on, clap for yourself, too!

(Mutter and mumble ... I think I've forgoten to put somebody on one of these lists, somebody I thought about and never got to her/his blog before it slipped my open mind, somebody ... I may have to come back and edit this post when I remember who it was ... mumble, mutter ... but who was it?)

UPDATE: It was Chris! Yep, I meant to include her in the Best Blogging Buddies Award for Global Community's list, as well as the E for Excellence Award, which I did get her into. So Chris, apologies for being late, but (look up there above) I have added your name to the list, at last.

UPDATE: A couple of the award winners have asked about the champagne. Did you too miss the champagne? So sorry. Here it is, and if the fancy stemware seems too small, click to enlarge it ... lol.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


Nancy of Bookfoolery and Babble said:
The point of the Mwah! award is "to hand some of that love and kindness back around to those who have been so very, very, very good to me in this bloggy world. My hope is that those who receive this award will pass it on to those who have been very, very, very good to them as well. It's a big kiss, of the chaste platonic kind, from me to you with the underlying 'thanks' message implied. I really do appreciate your support and your friendship and yes, your comments. ... Mwah!"
Everyone who comments on this post automatically becomes a recipient of -- Mwah! -- this indication of my gratitude that I've met so many friends online, friends like YOU.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

On My Honor ~ by Marion Dane Bauer

On My Honor ~ by Marion Dane Bauer, 1986, YA fiction

How serious are you, really, when you promise something? Your honor is at stake when you promise, as Joel learned after he and his friend Tony swam in the treacherous Vermillion River. Joel's father had said:
"On your honor? ... You'll watch for traffic and you won't go anywhere except the park? You'll be careful the whole way?"

"On my honor," Joel repeated, and he crossed his heart, solemnly, then raised his right hand (p. 8).
On the way to the park, however, Tony dared Joel to swim in the river they had promised never to go near -- and Tony disappeared in the water. Joel tried to find Tony, even got help from a passing teenager. But Tony could not be found.

Joel was devastated, but he was also terrified at the thought of having to tell his parents and -- worse -- Tony's mother. So he didn't tell. And the longer he waited, the harder it was to admit what they had done. Joel tried to carry on that afternoon, rolling and delivering newspapers on his route, pretending he didn't know where Tony was, but he wanted to yell at Tony and struggled with his feelings:
Why did he feel so responsible, as though he had pushed Tony in? Why did he always have to feel responsible for everything that happened? If they had gone climbing on the bluffs and he, Joel, had fallen, Tony wouldn't have blamed himself. Would he? (p. 66)
Yet Joel was also feeling protective of his little brother, thinking he "would have to teach Bobby how to swim" (p. 67). Near the end of that awful day, Joel learned something he hadn't known when Tony's mother said,
"Tony can't swim. He's know better than to go near the river."

"He can't swim?" Joel asked... "Really?" (p. 71)
When he got home, Joel wondered:
Why hadn't Tony thought about his mother, about the way she worried, before he had decided to go for a swim? (p. 72)
But he still couldn't bring himself to tell the adults what had happened. This wasn't the first time I'd read this book. Both times through the book I was thinking like any parent:
"It's the not-knowing that's the worse" (p. 70).

"Nothing could change what had happened ... ever" (p. 82).
What Joel's father said, after everyone knew what had happened, are the words I'll remember:
"But we all made choices today, Joel. You, me, Tony. Tony's the only one who doesn't have to live with his choice" (p. 88).
I rate this Young Adult novel 10/10, a book I couldn't put down.

How to stop time

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Lorax ~ by Dr. Seuss

I've already checked out The Lorax by Dr. Seuss from the library twice, without getting this review written. The due date is fast approaching, again, so I'm just gonna get this thing done! Debi at nothing of importance chose this as the book she would be willing to reread once a year for the rest of her life. I could do that, too. But first, some details:

Title, author, date of book, and genre?
The Lorax ~ by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Suess Geisel), 1971, children's picture book

Summarize the book without giving away the ending.
Seuss takes us on a trip to the far end of town to see where the Lorax once stood. If we really want to know what the Lorax was and why it was there, we need to check with the old Once-ler, who still lives there ... because he knows. One thing you should know, though, is that you must be willing to pay! When the bucket is lowered on the end of a rope, toss in fifteen cents and a nail and the shell of a great-great-great-grandfather snail. That's when the adventure begins ... I mean, the story of the Lorax as told by the Once-ler.

What did you think of the main character?
When the Once-ler found the Truffula Trees, he built a small shop, chopped down a tree with one chop, and taking the soft tuft, knitted a Thneed. All well and good, you may say, but then out of the stump of that tree popped the Lorax to speak for the trees, those Truffula Trees. The Lorax kept speaking for the trees, the Once-ler kept chopping them down and using their tuft to knit Thneeds, which no one needs.

Were there any other especially interesting characters?
The Once-ler called in his whole family, and the Thneed business boomed. Chopping down Truffula Trees was mechanized by the Once-ler:
"So I quickly invented my Super-Axe-Hacker
which whacked off four Truffula Trees at one smacker."
Did you think the characters and their problems were believable?
Oh, yes! The Lorax returned to confront the Once-ler, explaining that the Brown Bar-ba-loots who played in the shade were feeling crummies in their tummies because they no longer had Truffula Fruits to eat. It was very clear, according to the Once-ler, that
business is business!
And business must grow
regardless of crummies in tummies, you know.
From whose point of view is the story told?
It's told from the Once-ler's point of view, but he frequently quotes the Lorax. I guess he heard the words, but missed the message from the Lorax:
"Once-ler!" he cried with a cruffulous croak.
"Once-ler! You're making such smogulous smoke!
My poor Swomee-Swans ... why, they can't sing a note!
No one can sing who has smog in his throat."
The Lorax continued to complain, this time about the water:
"You're glumping the pond where the Humming-Fish hummed!
No more can they hum, for their gills are all gummed.
So I'm sending them off. Oh, their future is dreary.
They'll walk on their fins and get woefully weary
in search of some water that isn't so smeary."
But the Once-ler was determined to continue biggering and BIGGERING and BIGGERING, until the inevitable day when ... "we heard the tree fall. The very last Truffula Tree of them all!"

What about the ending?
You do remember the Once-ler is telling this story to the reader? When you tossed that fifteen cents and a nail and the shell into the Once-ler's bucket, he began telling this story. The Once-ler points out one single word left by the Lorax: "UNLESS"
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It's not.
It's up to you! And the Once-ler tosses out of his window a Truffula Seed, the last one of all.
"Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.
Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back."
Oops! I think I just gave away the ending, but maybe that's okay ... maybe you are a tree-hugger like me.

Why was this book banned?
The Lorax was banned in parts of the United States for being an allegorical political commentary. Specifically, it was banned in the Laytonville, California School District on grounds that this book "criminalizes the forestry industry." Nothing has changed, though, and the government is still selling out the people and the land, all in the name of big business. Don't get me started! (This book review is cross-published on my Banned Books blog.)

How would you rate this book?
Rated 10/10, couldn't put it down ... couldn't resist picking it up again and again.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Eighth grade, final exam

(click to enlarge photo)

Students, please put away your books now and get ready to take your exam.
* * *
Eighth Grade, Final Exam

Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.
3. Define Verse, Stanza, and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of. lie, lay, and run.
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts/bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per meter?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
U. S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U. S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.
Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, sub vocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.'
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
Geography (Time, one hour)
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall & Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.
Time's up, boys and girls. Please hand in your papers now.

* * *
See the students in this photo? They lived in a different town, but they passed a similar test and ... look ... now they are ready to graduate! I present to you the Class of 1895.

This is kind of humbling, isn't it? This gives the saying "I only had an eighth grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it? Notice that exam took five hours to complete.

Now, are you ready to take the test? If you are, then please choose any ONE (or two or three) that you feel qualified to answer and either type your answer into the comments section of this post or email it to Bonnie at emerging dot paradigm at yahoo dot com. If you are feeling especially educated today, try for at least one out of each section. What, you need to look up "orthography" before you start? Oh, okay, permission granted.
* The first photo is from New Hampshire, 1895.
* The second is the class of 1895 in Lombard, Illinois.
* The test is the eighth grade final exam from Salina, Kansas, USA in 1895, taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Remembering the Bones ~ by Frances Itani

Although it is not record time for me, I read about Remembering the Bones in Dewey's Book Coveting on Sunday the 13th, put it on hold at my library, picked it up in the next day, and had finished it on January 16th, that Wednesday. Yesterday Dewey wrote her review of the book, reminding me I really should quit reading and start writing reviews for the books I have finished. Like this one.

Title, author, date of book, and genre?
Remembering the Bones ~ by Frances Itani, 2007, fiction

Summarize the book without giving away the ending.
Georgina Danforth Wiley shares the birthday of Queen Elizabeth: April 21, 1926. That's important and the reason Elizabeth has invited her to London to celebrate their 80th birthday in 2006. Georgie, a Canadian, has never been to England and is very excited about meeting Elizabeth, who has been like an unseen friend, living through the same days and years as Georgie. On the way to the airport, Georgie's car crashes into a wooded ravine. She is thrown from the car and is unable to move, but she inches her way toward the car, hoping to honk the horn for help. As Georgina lies helpless, she reflects on her life as daughter, mother, sister, wife, and widow, asking herself what her life has amounted to.

From whose point of view is the story told?
Every bit of it is from Georgie's point of view, as we wonder how and when she will be rescued from the ravine.

Were there any other especially interesting characters?
Georgina married Harry, and they had two children: daughter Case and son Matt. What surprised me was how much Queen Elizabeth was a part of the life of this ordinary Canadian citizen. Georgie had not yet met Lisbet when she packed her bags and left home to fly to England, but she was always comparing their lives.

What did you like most about the book?
I kept thinking about a novel I finished weeks ago (and need to review) called I Never Saw Paris by Harry I. Freund. The protagonist in that book died before he got to Paris, and I kept wondering whether or not Georgie would make it to London.

Share a quote from the book.
"I taught Case to love language; I chanted nursery rhymes; I sang, explained words, encouraged her to walk, try, run. And there were diapers strung on the line, rompers to smock, Harry’s cuffs and collars to starch, tea towels to fold, Sunday roasts to cook, cheese biscuits to bake, layer cakes to cool on racks, school concerts to attend. Someone had to do those things" (p. 281).
Okay, I know you are reading this out of context and are probably thinking, "That sounds boring!" Oh, no no no! Don't pick up this book if you are looking for a thriller with car chases, fight scenes, and non-stop action. I've already told you there's a car wreck, but it's what Georgie thinks and does after the accident that makes up the bulk of this story. One more small quote: "Something distracting hovers at the outer edge of memory. Something I can't quite place. My thoughts are slurring" (p. 277). Itani is a good writer, one who can make me know exactly what Georgie was feeling when her thoughts started slurring.

What about the ending?
Now I can't tell you that, can I? No, of course not! Does she make it to the queen's birthday party? I'll never tell.

What do you think will be your lasting impression of this book?
I have to agree with Dewey that "it’s a book that will stick with me for a long time." Most definitely! Georgie’s life may seem pedestrian to some, but the author made the details seem so interesting. I think I could make the case that Georgie was a philosopher, too. Isn’t this a philosophical line? "I amount to my own story. I am what I am."

How would you rate this book?
Rated 9/10, an excellent book.

Friday, February 1, 2008

One in three?

First the poster (clicky):
One in three reported rapes happens
when the victim has been drinking.
I couldn't copy the poster, so you'll have to click to see the dark photo of a woman, beaten and lying in the street.

Now the excellent argument:
(1) If one in three had been drinking, then TWO in three had NOT.
(2) On the other hand, THREE in three rape victims had been in the presence of a rapist ... why isn't HE mentioned?
(3) Rape is caused by rapists, not by alcohol and not by women.
Why is the victim being blamed instead of the RAPIST?

"Male violence is to be considered a ubiquitous, inevitable force; the only way the world can combat it is to put the responsibility on women to not be victims. The flipside of women being responsible for rape prevention is that women are responsible for rape; it’s the usual expressway to victim-blaming."

Find the rest of this post here.

I got a kick out of two comments to this post:
"I’m waiting for some conservative to propose chastity belts as a solution."
"Chastity belts? How are we gonna get all the men to wear chastiy belts?/snark/"