Woman’s Work is Never Done

As JennyAnyDots explained, every night this week we attended a gospel meeting in another town. It was a great meeting with terrific lessons, lovely fellowship, delightful singing, hard pews, and roughly 90 extra driving minutes added to each day, with me doing most of the driving. My back had about all it could take by last night, so The Cherub and I stayed home while the rest of the family attended the final night.

The Cherub is quiet and easy going, and while I had things that needed doing, I didn’t have any tasks that somebody required me to do right then and there- so I didn’t do them. The dirty dishes and laundry we will always have with us, after all, and those repetitive tasks that need doing again just about the time you finish doing them are, for lack of a better word, repetitive.

Instead, I sat at the computer and tidied up our links in the sidebar of this blog. I added new sites, organized them by some basic categories, fixed a broken link, and practiced some very basic html code so I could separate categories with a nice little line. I didn’t alphabetize them because I was doing it by hand instead of via blogroll or another automated service, but I like the results.

I’ve been bookmarking sites to add for several weeks, and it felt most satisfactory to finally sort out those bookmarks and cross that item off my to-do list. I don’t know about you, but my favorite sort of to-do list is the sort that only contains items that can be completed from a seated position, preferably with a bowl of ice cream or a cup of java in one hand.

So this afternoon when our delightful-and-not-at-all-odd-except-in-their-choice-of-friends company left (you people could say hello in the comments once a while, by the way), I got on-line to look over my nice new list of links and catch up on a few blogs. I gathered a nice new collection of sites to add. Sigh. A Woman’s Work is Never Done.

Allow me to share some of the specimens in my new collection:

Buried Treasure Books sent me on a treasure hunt over to SemiColon– another homeschooling blog.

Semicolon linked to the current Christian Carnival at Another Think. For those new to blogging, various blogs or groups of bloggers host different Carnivals, or collections of posts from other blogs around certain themes (more on that later).

Semicolon linked to some of her favorite Christian Carnival blogposts, including one discussing

“Dostoyevsky, Hugo, and Dickens and their use of profanity. You don’t remember the profanity in these authors’ books? Exactly. Would Dostoyevsky need to cuss?”

I concur with her judgment, and hope to feast again at Another Man’s Meat.

Via Rightwingsparkle I found The Agitator, where I happened on this delightful little email faux pas.

That’s a nice sampling for now.

I promised more information on blog carnivals, too and for the Cliff Notes on Carnivals you want to visit this post by the Fairest Blogmother of Them All, the very kind and helpful LaShawn Barber.

And if you are a newish blogger or a blogger with Things To Learn ABout Blogging, you will want to look at her post here. Thanks to Lashawn I have figured out to give trackbacks, although I’m still in the remedial class on many other blogging skills.

That’s because a woman’s work is never done, especially when she just doesn’t do it because she’s doing other things.

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Scattered Nothings

Yesterday an eight yo boy gave me some freshly picked dandelions.

Today a nine yo boy gave me freshly picked violets.

I feel loved.

I also feel very tired. It has been a full week, in more ways than one. 12 hours babysitting, a gospel meeting 45 minutes away every night, regular school, a birthday and company all happened within the span of five days.

Today I was listening to Mozart’s Magic Flute opera when I picked up the Equuschick at work. Not generally a fan of opera, she felt compelled to tell me that the people on the radio seemed to be speaking in tongues. What a philistine.

The Deputy Headmistress must share this little funny to illustrate how tired, and perhaps how blonde, the Head Girl was today. She and Equuschick had an errand to run on their way home from Equuschick’s place of employment. At the location of their errand, Head Girl turned off the car, glanced at the gas gauge, and panicked. “Oh, No,” she said, “We are almost out of gas! We’ll have to get some before we go home.”
Equuschick looked at her, somewhat nonplused.
The one errand they were running? Filling up the tank with gas. They were already at the gas station.

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Ooh, what a long week we’ve had!

This is JennyAnyDots.

All this week, every night, we have been going to a gospel meeting. It was very uplifting and extremely enjoyable! Last night was the end of the gospel meeting. We went to a friend’s house afterwards for a bonfire and fellowship with other Christians; we had lots of food, fun, and freezing friends.

Today we had some friends over. The kids played together, the grownups talked, and the in-betweens listened. The dad and his oldest son built a concrete sidewalk for us; we were able to put our hand prints on it.

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Collected Quotes

Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true.
*Blaise Pascal

There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.
*Blaise Pascal
(I’d forgotten ’twas he who said it first.)

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Fake and Content Free

Gibberesh approved for scientific conference:

Jeremy Stribling said Thursday that he and two fellow MIT graduate students questioned the standards of some academic conferences, so they wrote a computer program to generate research papers complete with “context-free grammar,” charts and diagrams.

The trio submitted two of the randomly assembled papers to the World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics (WMSCI), scheduled to be held July 10-13 in Orlando, Florida.

To their surprise, one of the papers — “Rooter: A Methodology for the Typical Unification of Access Points and Redundancy” — was accepted for presentation….

“…Rooter” features such mind-bending gems as: “the model for our heuristic consists of four independent components: simulated annealing, active networks, flexible modalities, and the study of reinforcement learning” and “We implemented our scatter/gather I/O server in Simula-67, augmented with opportunistically pipelined extensions…”

The entire article is worth reading. Virtual latte for anybody who can spot the grammatical error in the conference organizer’s Don’t Blame Me speech.

Consider also Richard Mitchell’s words about his compilation of the delightfully cranky newsletter Underground Grammarian to creat the equally delightful Graves of Academe.

“As I went through scores of essays on the relation of language to the work of the mind and critical commentaries on displays of ignorance and stupidity in the written work of academicians, I could see that some were more important than others. They suggested a single theme. They were all more or less about the same thing, that special and unmistakable kind of mendacious babble that characterizes not politicians or businessmen, not Pentagon spokesmen or commercial hucksters, but, always and only, those members of the academic community who are pleased to call themselves the “professionals” of education. Those pieces, taken together, seemed to me at least a skimpy outline, or, better, scattered reference points suggesting something much larger and more momentous than a mere collection of ponderous inanities. It seemed to me that I could, from certain of those small articles, make out the murky form of the hidden monster whose mere projections they were, breaking here and there the oily surface of some dark pool.

As a result, I abandoned the collection and undertook the task of describing, by extrapolation from one visible protuberance to another, and with a little probing, the great invisible hulk of the beast, the brooding monstrosity of American educationism, the immense, mindless brute that by now troubles the waters of all, all that is done in our land in the supposed cause of “education,” since when, as you see, I can rarely bring myself to write that word without quotation marks, or even fashion a sentence less than nine or ten lines long, lest I inadvertently fail to suggest the creature’s awesome dimensions and seemingly endless tentacular complexities. I will try to do better. The somber subject requires clarity.”

He explains what happened when he undertook

“what turned out to be a serious and infuriating study of the use of language, a study that had to lead to a consideration of the meaning of the use of language. That study is, of course, the business of The Underground Grammarian, which has been accurately enough described as a journal of radical, academic terrorism. It is radical because it seeks in language the root of the thoughtlessness that more and more seems to characterize our culture. It is academic both because the tenor of the study to which it subjects the work of its victims is scholastic and because it finds the most egregious examples of mindless and mendacious babble neither in the corporation nor in the Congress but in the schools. It is terrorist because it exploits the fear that many academics feel when they know that their words might appear in print before the eyes of the public, mere civilians who are not members of the education club.”

In his first issue he wrote,

“Clear language engenders clear thought, and clear thought is the most important benefit of education. We are neither peddlers nor politicians that we should prosper by that use of language which carries the least meaning. We cannot honorably accept the wages, confidence, or licensure of the citizens who employ us as we darken counsel by words without understanding.”

But, he says, he didn’t really understand what that meant himself.

“I had not, in fact, given thoughtful attention to “clear thought” and “clear language” and the ways in which they might relate to each other, but I had at least taken hold of one end of what turned out to be a long and tangled string. An examination, if only of comma faults and dangling participles, had begun. Examination has a life of its own. You simply cannot think about commas and the place of modifiers without finding that you are thinking about thinking. It is impossible to examine language at any level without examining the work of a mind.”

He says that the jargon used in education circles “…has to do with the nature of a mind and the way it does its work. That is revealing enough, but it’s only the beginning.”

This type of writing, he says,

“is only a ritual recitation which is not supposed to be subjected to thoughtful scrutiny. It is a formulized pastiche of acceptable jargon terms and stock phrases. While it has, for the inattentive, a formidable sound, it is the kind of writing that is surprisingly easy to compose for anyone who is familiar with all of its traditional devices.”

Now go read (this is a long assignment):

Richard Mitchell’s delicious Graves of Academe.

And don’t neglect this:
John Taylor Gatto’s Underground HIstory of American Education, online here.

You’ll be coming across references to the Committee
of Ten, which met in 1892. You can read more about that here.

You’ll want to know about the later Commission of Reorganization on SEcondary
Education (Richard Mitchell calls it the GAng of Twenty-Seven) and you can find that out here.

Bonnet Tip to Wizbang (which is not always G rated content).

UPdate: Via a comment at Wizbang, see here for more on the questionable conference

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