1921 Fabric Ad

vintage making schooldress

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Improving your mind via lectures

Did you know you can get Northrup Frye’s 25 lectures on the Bible and English Literature online for free?

Only the author of The Educated Imagination.

You can also watch videos of Michael Pollan’s Edible Education 101 course and Edible Education 103

More here. I watched a couple yesterday while crocheting (another benefit of crochet, something to do instead of eat while watching a screen).

What would you choose?

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Read This Now

“Because thinking and speaking well form the basis of existence in a community, rhetoric prepares you for every occasion that requires words. That’s why Tudor students devoted countless hours to examining vivid models, figuring out ways to turn a phrase, exercising elaborate verbal patterning.”

From the very excellent How to Think Like Shakespeare.  You really want to read the whole thing.

You could even print it up and leave it in your bathroom.  Those who have read Charlotte Mason will note many points of similarity.

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Laughter Doeth Good Like Medicine

If you have ever studied another language, you’ll probably smile at some of these.  If you have tried to study more than one language or actually learned two or more, you’ll laugh so hard you wish you’d gone to the bathroom before reading these.  Language alert- in one of the early examples there’s an assault of f-bombs (this is my new collective noun for F-bombs).  But otherwise, it’s just good, funny stuff:

what studying language is like

You must subscribe to xplodingunicorn on Twitter (there are a couple, you want this guy):

xploding unicorn

Ted Talks don’t usually make me laugh out loud, and honestly, at first this one just kind of irritated me, but then it started to remind me of a paper I just read, and a talk or two I have heard.  It is amusing, but you may also find it helpful in recognizing the next time somebody gives a talk stuffed with nothing:

Less than ten minutes.

Speaking of nothing, or zero,
One big sister to her little sister: “Zero, Baby! Zero!”
Mama: *long important grown-up lecture about what zero means*
Big Sister: “That’s what I meant, Mom. Zero means ‘No more of that.'”

If you have more time and a few dollars, you could watch It Happened One Night at Amazon.

Have any good laughs to share?

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Remedies and tips, 1895

Boys and Girls who are now attending school, should bear in mind that if they expect to graduate with honor and distinction, they must refrain from the use of tea, coffee, tobacco, and all alcoholic stimulants. During the last sixty years no student of Yale or Harvard or other Eastern college has ever graduated at the head of their class who has indulged in these things.  Juvenile Instructor 1894  (Published out of Utah, and for other reasons, I know it was a Mormon publication, which explains the claim that nobody who indulged in coffee or tea had ever graduated from Yale or Harvard at the head of their class. I have my doubts about the others, as well)


A Wilful Child:, If we take our wilful ones aside, and, speaking to them in an earnest, loving, and yet calm and temperate spirit, persuade them we only wish their highest good, depend upon it, the day is ours. Gems of Thought Canadian Family Herald Dec 1894   (can you just imagine the despair in the majority of young mothers of wilful children who attempted this advice and had it spectacularly fail?)

Age to Marry:- Dr Granville, of France, claims to prove from French history and statistics, that the best results from marriage would follow, did our girls not marry until after twenty, and our men till after twenty two or even twenty four . Gaskell’s Compendium of Forms

Teeth to Clean:- Make charcoal of bread, pulverize it to a fine powder. Apply daily morning and evening with a soft brush and pure cold water. This will keep the teeth white and cure diseases of the gums.  Dr O Phelps Brown, Herbalist

Teeth, White:  To have teeth very white, clean them with finely powdered charcoal mixed with honey/ EF


From Home Economy, Etc
1895 – Formulas, recipes, etc –

It’s amusing to read advice like this and give a smile, or sometimes, a gasp of horror. But they were so sure of themselve, so convinced that these tips were perfectly correct and beneficial.

We are equally sure of ourselves, and we are no wiser. I wonder what we take for granted as common wisdom, which will cause our adult grandchildren to gasp and shake their heads over our foolishness?

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