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


Reading the recent Publishers Weekly “The Beat” blog (looking for things that Davy especially might like for his birthday in April), about comic culture by Heidi MacDonald, I came across a new comic book on the subject of genetics, The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA by Mark Schultz, illustrated by Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon (January 2009, Hill & Wang).

The PW blog post has a link to an animated trailer from the publisher and a glowing blurb from Dr. Jay Hosler, of The Sandwalk Adventures: An Adventure in Evolution Told in Five Chapters and Clan Apis fame (Farm School favorites).

And, from a Comic Book Resources News interview with illustrators Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon (who I believe are not related):

Be honest: when you first heard about the pitch, you had to be wondering how to make DNA entertaining.

ZC: This may sound strange, but I think that the medium of comics can make almost anything interesting. Something about the way that you can play with the page makes nonfiction (particularly nonfiction that can break the fourth wall a little) extremely compelling. The field of genetics also has a great number of things that can be visually compelling, if you draw it well. And with Mark writing, I had no doubt that it was going to flow wonderfully.


Dr. Michael Ryan, who blogs at Palaeoblog, writes that Stuff of Life author Mark Schultz planned the book as something that “can be used as a 1st year university text book”.

Mark Schultz interviewed on NPR

In addition to Jay Hosler, we’re also fans of Larry Gonick’s cartoon histories and guides, including his Cartoon Guide to Genetics (with Mark Wheelis), published in 1991 and since updated.

Another recent “graphic novel” from Hill & Wang: The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation, written by Jonathan Hennessey with art by Aaron McConnell (October 2008).  There’s a trailer as well as video interview with the artist.

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