• About Farm School

    "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live."
    James Adams, from his essay "To 'Be' or to 'Do': A Note on American Education", 1929

    We're a Canadian family of five, farming and home schooling. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 16/Grade 11, 14/Grade 9, and 13/Grade 8.

    Contact me at becky.farmschool@gmail.com

  • Notable Quotables

    "If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."
    William Morris, from his lecture "The Beauty of Life"

    "The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall, nations perish, civilizations grow old and die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have seen this happen again and again, and yet live on, still young, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead."
    Clarence Day

    "Anyone who has a library and a garden wants for nothing."
    Cicero

    "Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtile; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend."
    Sir Francis Bacon, "Essays"

    "The chief aim of education is to show you, after you make a livelihood, how to enjoy living; and you can live longest and best and most rewardingly by attaining and preserving the happiness of learning."
    Gilbert Highet, "The Immortal Profession: The Joys of Teaching and Learning"

    "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment."
    Walter Wriston

    "I'd like to give you a piece of my mind."
    "Oh, I couldn't take the last piece."
    Ginger Rogers to Frances Mercer in "Vivacious Lady" (1938)

    "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem."
    Booker T. Washington

    "Please accept my resignation. I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
    Attributed to Groucho Marx in "The Groucho Letters" by Arthur Sheekman

    "If you can't say something good about someone, sit right here by me."
    Alice Roosevelt Longworth

    "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, we feel all our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'."
    Jean Hagen as "Lina Lamont" in "Singin' in the Rain" (1952)
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Knickers in a twist

We fly back to Alberta on Sunday, and I’m disheartened though not surprised at new regulations that require we spend the entire flight from NYC to Toronto, and the last hour from Toronto to Edmonton, in our seats, without anything in our laps, not even a book; being allowed to the bathroom only with an escort; and with our one carry-on bag each in the overhead compartment unavailable to us for the duration of the flight. I plan to stuff my pockets with Tylenol (for adults and children — goodness knows we’ll need it) and lip balm.  I don’t want to even think of my three children, ages nine, 10, and 12, being patted down. I suppose it would be too much to ask for the airports to quit patting down children and concentrate instead on lone adults with no luggage  and one-way tickets paid for with cash.  Just an idea.

Of course, given that previous would-be terrorists have used liquids and shoes, which are now allowed on-board only in limited quantity and after a security check, respectively, I suppose I should be happy that Air Canada and the Canadian Transportation Safety Board have, at least not yet, neither required checks of underpants nor limited solid substances.

However, given the latest updates from Transport Canada –

Passengers travelling to the US are advised that no carry-on baggage will be permitted, with the exception of a small purse, diaper bag, laptop bag. Roller bags and backpacks must now be checked in. Carriage of any carry-on item will result in lengthy security delays for the customer. To minimize inconvenience, airlines strongly recommend that customers travelling to the United States travel with no carry-on items whenever possible.

If travelling with a laptop bag, diaper bag, camera bag or other such item, the bag may only contain items confined to the bag’s original function. (For example, a laptop bag can only contain computer equipment, or a diaper bag can only contain infant necessities.) As a guideline for purse size, the footprint of the bag should be similar to that of a letter size sheet of paper (216mm x 279mm or 8.5″ x 11″).

– I can only imagine that more travellers will be inclined to stuff what they can in their pockets and underpants. Patented panty pockets, perhaps?

Two words

Today’s New York Times has an article about American fans of Stieg Larsson who are willing to shell out big bucks for the third and final volume of the author’s posthumous murder mystery trilogy:

At a time of price wars and pressure from electronic books, a group of independent bookstores has found at least one way to lure customers into paying premium prices for a hardcover title: import an eagerly awaited book from Britain several months before its release in the United States and then jack up the price. …

Kizmin Reeves, co-owner of Partners & Crime, said she has sold close to 80 copies of the book. She bought them, as anyone can, on Amazon.co.uk. After adding shipping costs and a profit margin, she has been charging $45 for the 602-page hardcover.

I have two words for any independent booksellers looking to increase the profit margin, or anyone without an enterprising local bookseller who’s looking for the book: Book Depository. Or two different words, free shipping.  Book Depository in the UK is selling the hardback version of The Girl Who Kicked a Hornet’s Nest for US $24.23, with free shipping (for all of its books to nearly 90 countries worldwide).  The cheaper paperback edition, which was just published in October, is currently out of stock.

(Another very good book not available in the US but available from Book Depository: Bad Science by Ben Goldacre, a collection of Dr. Goldacre’s Guardian columns. Here’s the website, and here’s the missing chapter. An excellent stocking stuffer, and the cover is a appropriately seasonal shade of red.)

As for not irking Knopf, feh…

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