• 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."

    "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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Still twisting in the wind

Here’s a bit of friendly advice to the Canadian Liberal Party: It’s not about more money. You can’t buy vision with more money. More money will not guarantee that the leader listens to advisers, or has the savvy to make hay out of unforeseen circumstances. Money also won’t buy a party united behind the leader; I could hear Michael Ignatieff grinding his teeth all the way across the Canadian Shield.

Announcing this afternoon that he is stepping down, Stéphane Dion said, “I still think that if we would have been equipped to explain why I’m fighting for my country, what kind of leader I would have been, what kind of prime minister I would have been and what kind of policy we’re proposing, we would have won this election and we would have today a much better government than the one we have,” and “It has been a mistake to go ahead with the Green Shift because we are not equipped to explain what it was”.

By “equipped” M. Dion means more campaign funds. But he had the attention of the Canadian media, and a number of bloggers for five weeks. In our household, we heard news reports just about hourly on CBC radio about each of the parties, including the Liberals. The nightly news, CBC and CTV, covered each of the parties, including the Liberals. All of the news outlets had strong online presences with up-to-the minute updates. Did M. Dion make the most of the free coverage? Honestly, no. Indeed, it was a mistake to go ahead with the Green Shift because the Liberals weren’t able or equipped in any sense to explain what it was.

However, if by “equipped” the Liberals mean instead a vision and a clear message, and the ability to stay on message, as well as flexibility and being able to think on their feet when presented with the virtual gift of an economic crisis and an incumbent Prime Minister who’s not nearly as warm and fuzzy as he thinks he is, then they just might be on to something.

And that advice, my friends, is free.

One Response

  1. Couldn’t have said it better myself. And I’m getting confused. I could have sworn that I saw a clip in the trailer for the 11 o’clock news with Dion saying he was going to stay on. If I got out of bed before the 8 o’clock news in the morning, I would be better informed. Good thing you are blogging about it.

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