• 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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Poetry Friday: Down the human road

I don’t know what made this poem jump into my head this week. It’s one of Phyllis McGinley’s most powerful, I think, and I have no idea whether she was inspired by Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous quotation, “I have seen gross intolerance shewn in support of toleration” from his 1817 essay, “Blessed are ye that sow beside all Waters!” on political justice.

The Angry Man
by Phyllis McGinley

The other day I chanced to meet
An angry man upon the street —
A man of wrath, a man of war,
A man who truculently bore
Over his shoulders, like a lance,
A banner labeled “Tolerance.”

And when I asked him why he strode
Thus scowling down the human road,
Scowling, he answered, “I am he
Who champions total liberty —
Intolerance being, ma’am, a state
No tolerant man can tolerate.

“When I meet rogues,” he cried, “who choose
To cherish oppositional views,
Lady, like this, and in this manner,
I lay about me with my banner
Till they cry mercy, ma’am.” His blows
Rained proudly on prospective foes.

Fearful, I turned and left him there
Still muttering, as he thrashed the air,
“Let the Intolerant beware!”

For more poems, Anastasia Suen at Picture Book of the Day is hosting today’s Poetry Friday round-up.  And her picture book of the day, Poetry Speaks to Children, which comes with a CD, is one of our favorites.  Thank you for hosting, Anastasia.

We got walloped with two snowstorms this week, a fairly gentle one with heavy snow on Tuesday — which didn’t keep us from the kids’ end-of-season curling party in town, though at one point on the country road I did have to stop the truck to see where the ditches were — and a windy blizzardy one yesterday that left us with much more snow, including enormous and very hard-packed drifts.  That one did keep us home, mainly because of the drift in front of the truck.  Tom and the boys had a bit of a struggle getting into our corrals yesterday morning, but brought the tractor the mile and a half back to the house, clearing snow all the way.  Very comforting to have a tractor in the driveway on a day like today.  And the temperature has dropped like the proverbial stone, from around 3 degrees Celsius earlier this week (about 37 F) to -32 C (about -22 F).

The kids decided to make the most of the weather; unlike their mother, they’re rather worried about the possibility of any melting.  The snow Tom cleared out of the driveway now makes a pretty dandy sledding hill, and the plenty of remaining drifts around the house are so hard that they’re good for igloo blocks.  The kids have had one of my kitchen knives for most of the day and are busy sawing and stacking away.  With any luck I’ll get my knife back after dark.

Just to keep things educational, you can watch this.  I can’t remember if I posted, as I meant to, that the National Film Board of Canada is celebrating its 7oth anniversary by offering some of its best works for free online.  We’ve been gorging ourselves since January.  Happy birthday, NFB!

3 Responses

  1. […]  1. Kim (The Willow Cats) 2. John Mutford (Northern nursery rhymes) 3. Julie Larios (Household Alchemy by Mary Cornish)  4. susan (What My Child Learns of the Sea) 5. Mary Lee (Roses and Thorns) 6. Janet (The Eagle) 7. tanita/tadamack [Writing] 8. Laura Salas (Rules of History: J. Patrick Lewis) 9. Laura Salas (15 Words or Less Poems) 10. Sarah N. (Sunrise on the Hills) 11. Debbie Diesen (Original – “3 a.m., Now”) 12. Carol Wilcox (A Birthday Poem) 13. Stella Villalba (One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII) 14. Fuse #8 (A Curious Collection of Cats) 15. Sara Lewis Holmes (Original – “Annus Mirabilis”) 16. Andy Murphy of the Write Sisters  17. Jama Rattigan (Lines for the Fortune Cookie) 18. Tricia (Heart to Heart) 19. Linda (Nikki Giovanni poem) 20. Karen Edmisten (Auden’s Unknown Citizen) 21. Blue Rose Girls (The Eagles & The Last Resort) 22. Wild Rose Reader (A Poem & A Painting) 23. Mary Ann (Pizza, Pigs and Poetry)  24. Libby Gruner (Ask Me) 25. Fiddler (from Raven Cries River) 26. Stenhouse Publishers 27. eisha @ 7-Imp (Rabia al Basri) 28. Nandini – Hippo’s Hope by Shel Silverstein 29. Kelly Fineman (Waddle Kitty – original poem) 30. Little Willow (Lancelot) 31. Sally (Someone I Like) 32. MotherReader (15 Word Poem) 33. Martha Calderaro (The Real Mother Goose) 34. Tiel Aisha Ansari (Vinegar Sunshine) 35. Kurious Kitty loves robins today! 36. Saints and Spinners (Wandering Aengus accompanied by Moth Boy) 37. Kelly Polark (Bed Head the poem) 38. Yat-Yee (Nye, Florian and Laros) 39. Sylvia (City I Love- LBHopkins) 40. Em (I Am In Need of Music) 41. douglas florian Valentina Tereshkova) 42. A Patchwork of Books (My Teacher Dances on the Desk) 43. Liz in Ink (with Whitman) 44. Wild Rose Reader (An Original Poem Inspired by Rush Limbaugh) 45. Miss Erin (What I Can’t Hold) 46. Justina Chen (That Man) 47. Mike Thomson (Calexico) 48. Becky (Review of What’s the Weather Inside?) 49. Angela Cerrito (Autism) 50. Becky at Farm School (The Angry Man) […]

  2. I don’t know if you followed Canada Reads this year, but something about this poem made me think of this comment someone had posted on the Canada Reads forum:

    “the subsequent discussion reminded me of the yakkety yak blather of the sportscasters and hockey news commentators that seems to be constantly playing on our TV – I SURE DON’T NEED THIS!

    I clicked off the radio – and drove home in silent disgust. Why does everything have to be a contest with all the negative commentary attached?

    (italics mine)

    Maybe it’s something to do with irony? Hypocrisy?

  3. John, I followed it just on the radio whenever I had the chance, so I haven’t read any listeners’ comments. I got to listen to most of Q with the final results thanks to the snowstorm we had (which meant the kids were outside working on their igloo!).

    Amazing how folks will watch endlessly when it comes to seeing who gets kicked off the island, or which girlfriend a batchelor picks — and with very little for substantive reasoning — but let people critique books reasonably and it’s too much.

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