• 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)
  • Categories

  • Archives

  • ChasDarwinHasAPosse
  • Farm School: A Twitter-Free Zone

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

Some (precious little) comfort

I spent a couple of hours yesterday evening at the college in town, where the kids had rehearsal for their play after dinner. I listened to the muffled sound of a janitor’s vacuum cleaner, students whispering over their homework, far-off children singing and shouting, and thought about the events of the day which, really, could have happened anywhere.

No. 419
by Emily Dickinson
c1862

We grow accustomed to the Dark —
When Light is put away —
As when the Neighbor holds the Lamp
To witness her Goodbye —

A Moment — We uncertain step
For newness of the night —
Then — fit our Vision to the Dark —
And meet the Road — erect —

And so of larger — Darknesses —
Those Evenings of the Brain —
When not a Moon disclose a sign —
Or Star — come out — within —

The Bravest — grope a little —
And sometimes hit a Tree
Directly in the Forehead —
But as they learn to see —

Either the Darkness alters —
Or something in the sight
Adjusts itself to Midnight —
And Life steps almost straight.

What not to wear

to court for Lord Black of Crossharbour’s trial, starting Wednesday.
(Though perfectly lovely for taking the March air.)

More CDs, less radio

Yesterday was the first day of the Pickton murder trial in British Columbia, and if you don’t get Canadian radio, including CBC, and you’re really interested in the gory details (and I do mean gory) you’ll just have to Google it. But if you do and you click on any links, make sure your kids aren’t in the room.

Those of us with a radio tuned to CBC plunked on the kitchen counter got quite the unexpected, graphic, earful at the close of the first day’s testimony; fortunately, the kids were in a bedroom playing while I was near enough to hit the off-switch, though not until I had heard something I didn’t need or want to hear. Interestingly, much discussion on CBC radio in the days leading up to the planned year-long trial on the traumatic effects of the testimony on jurors. But no thought at all given to listeners, and their children, who don’t want the latest details on the depths of human depravity and evil broadcast every hour on the hour.

I know I’m not the only disappointed, displeased listener, and yes, I did share my thoughts with the Powers That Be, along with the suggestion of establishing a dedicated page on the website with the gruesome nitty gritty for those who want it. Since we have only two TV channels, watching the national news only after 10 pm, and don’t get a daily newspaper, radio is our main concern. But if we did read a paper every day, I’d want it to be The Vancouver Sun, which has made thoughtful plans for its reporting:

To assist you, our readers, in assessing the day’s Pickton trial stories, we will publish every day on page A2 a short and sanitized version of the previous day’s testimony.

When the more complete story inside the paper contains disturbing information, a warning to that effect will appear on page A2. A warning will also appear on the top of any story that might require reader discretion.

You, our readers, will be able to choose to avoid stories that you think might offend you. You will be able to keep the stories out of the hands of your children should you choose to do so.

Admirable.

I also shared with CBC our family’s Plan B, developed during the Bernardo/Homolka trial, which was considerably shorter and took place, for us at least, Before Children: unless the editors and producers iron out their coverage and learn to exercise discretion by the end of the week, it’s CD-city for us for the next 12 months. Music, recorded books, you name it. But no radio broadcasts with news coverage.

Wishing…

that President Carter or former Secretary of State James Baker had accompanied the current Secretary of State on her latest trip, to talk rather than to threaten discuss the hows and whys of sanctions, reminds me of these lines from Wendell Berry‘s “The Peace of Wild Things”, written during another time, another crisis:

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

Time to go and lie down.