• 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, home schooling, and building our own house. I'm nowhere near as regular a blogger as I used to be.

    The kids are 18/Grade 12, 16/Grade 11, and 14/Grade 10.

    Contact me at becky(dot)farmschool(at)gmail(dot)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"

    "‘Never look at an ugly thing twice. It is fatally easy to get accustomed to corrupting influences."
    English architect CFA Voysey (1857-1941)

    "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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  • Copyright © 2005-2016 Please do not use any of my words or my personal photographs without my express permission.

Time to read the Powell’s Books newsletter

Should Finally had time this morning to read through the latest Powell’s Books newsletter that arrived earlier in the week by newsletter. A few good links:

*The Katrina Project/ Levee for Life: help rebuild the New Orleans Public Library. According to information on the website, “Hurricane Katrina damaged all the New Orleans Public Library’s 13 buildings, and ruined eight — where collections, computers, and furniture are beyond repair. Total damage has been estimated at $26-$30 million. Five libraries are now open. Funds are coming in to renovate the damaged branches and to provide temporary service via mobile libraries.” For more information, go to the Katrina Project/One Nation or the website for Rebuilding New Orleans Public Library; check the latter’s FAQ section for donating directly, cash or books (published since 2005 only, please) to the NOPL. You can also help buy buying NOPL t-shirts and bookplates. Not a bad idea for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day…

*The Ink Q&A interview with June Casagrande, author of Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies: A Guide to Language for Fun and Spite. Her reasons for writing the book?

First, I wanted to help people who don’t know where to turn with their language questions: Why do you say, “This is she,” instead of, “This is her,” on the phone? Why is it that you’d say, “He is at the park,” but “is” changes to “be” when you say, “It is imperative that he be at the park”? When does punctuation go inside quotation marks? Do you lay or lie on the beach and which of these two activities will get you arrested? Why does the New York Times write “1980’s” but the Los Angeles Times write “1980s”? I try to answer the questions people really need answers to (including the myth about ending sentences with prepositions).

Second, I wanted to serve this information in the context of a book people would actually read. There are plenty of language books on the market that start with a basic explanation of subject and predicate, etc. They have great information, but no one ever reads them past page 5. My solution was to compile a bunch of essays, anecdotes and rants to be read for their own sakes. The grammar lessons are slipped in on the side.

Third, and most of all, I wanted to jackslap every grammar meanie who ever made someone feel small. Especially those who pretend to know more than they do. These people have done a disservice to language learning and that’s why I go rough on them (too rough to justify, really, but it’s all for a good cause.)

“Spite”? “Jackslap”?? “Too rough to justify, really, but…”??? Knowing that Casagrande has had “four years of improvisational comedy training” explains a fair amount. I’m sticking with Strunk & White, and when I need entertainment with my grammar I’ll try the new illustrated edition, the supposedly intimidating (what was Publishers Weekly thinking?) Lynne Truss, or always delightful Patricia T. O’Conner.

*And I’m happy to see that Erin McKean, author of The Concise Oxford American Dictionary, Weird and Wonderful Words, and Verbatim: From the Bawdy to the Sublime, the Best Writing on Language for Word Lovers, Grammar Mavens, and Armchair Linguists, will be guest blogging at Powell’s starting tomorrow through Friday.

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