Blogging on the bog

Further down the Headmistress briefly refers to the bog in our yard. The bog where she abruptly and involuntarily parked the van Tuesday night (you can see a picture here).

From the air The Common Room driveway looks like a large needle, or at least, it did before the Deputy Headmistress and Zookeeper did some impromptu landscaping with the van.

There is a long, straight entrance from the road. Then, if you like, you can make a circle, so that you can park facing the road rather than backing out. At least it appears that you may do this. Appearances are snares and delusions. The ‘eye’ of the needle is the verdant green center of that circle at the end of the needle- green, green, green. Always green. Except for when it’s greener. This is because there is plenty of moisture there.

On Tuesday night the Deputy Headmistress and Zookeeper intended to drive the van around the eye of the needle, but the Common Room van does not turn on a dime. It does not turn on a quarter or a silver dollar, nay, nor does it turn on the largest turkey platter ever used in a Marine Corps dining facility. It turns on a city block when it’s feeling fine and sassy (the van, not the city block).

Being the brilliant educator that she is, the Deputy Headmistress and Zookeeper quickly realized she was stuck and decided not to make matters worse, so she turned the van off and went inside to await the Headmaster. He was too tired to bother with it so suggested they all sleep on it. By Wednesday morning the back end of the van was exhaust-pipe deep in mud. (Probably having nine of us sleeping on it hadn’t helped matters any- ha).

Fifty pounds of kitty litter poured into the hole simply made a slurping sound and disappeared. We think we heard the bog say, “Yum. Give me more.”

The Common Room denizens have always been extraordinarily blessed in friends, and one of the Princes Among the Friends came over tonight and helped the Headmaster pull the van out. We expect to make a pond in the eye of the needle come spring. Or rather, we expect to have to wall in the growing pond come spring.

We shall stock it with little fishes most delicious and we’ll have them for supper and we’ll have them for tea.

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Magellan’s Voyage, from JennyAnyDots

We are having technical difficulties getting JennyAnyDots added to the Common Room. We don’t wish to get bogged down in technical details, but suffice it to say that the Deputy Headmistress is sometimes an idgit.

Meanwhile, here is an entry from JennyAnyDots’ narration journal for Magellan’s Voyage, a Dover Publication of the account by Antonio Pigafetta:

Magellan was on an island that had Indians on it who were not Christians, so he preached to them his belief, which I think is Catholic, and all the Indians, after some days, were baptized.

The Indians had been worshiping these things carved out of wood that looked like a boar. Magellan told them to burn these and to worship a tall wooden cross.

He made them stop worshiping one idol and start worshiping another. He sometimes used force to make them become Catholics. He gave one of the girls a carved image of Mary and the baby Jesus, and said, “Here, you can worship that.”

I think he should have thought about that more.

The DeputyHeadmistress adds:
For a little more information about Magellan or Pigafetta, read the website below. There we read that out of five ships that set out, only one returned, but that one returned with a cargo of cloves that was valuable enough to pay for the entire expedtion, and another small item worth more than that- read the link to find out what it was:

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Copywork about manners

Come when you’re called,
Do as you’re bid,
Shut the door after you,
Never be chid


Hearts, like doors, will open with ease
To very, very, little keys,
And don’t forget that two of these
Are ‘I thank you’ and
‘If you please’.


Please remember – don’t forget –
Never leave the bathroom wet –
Nor leave the soap still in the water
That’s a thing we never oughter.
Nor leave the towels about the floor,
Nor keep the bath an hour or more
When other folks are wanting one –
Please don’t forget – It isn’t done!

Mabel Lucie Atwell


Quite often when I am reading aloud something with a useful thought or idea, Whose-Its will say, “Oh-oh, this is giving Mommy ideas.

What are some ideas you get from your reading?

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In Defense of Keats

Poor fellow, Certain Parties have been attacking him lately with undue cause.

To begin with, I think it’s appropriate to utilize a passage from Lewis’ “The Four Loves:”
[The human mind]…wants to make every distinction a distinction of value; hence those fatal critics who can never point out the differing quality of two poets without putting them in an order of preference as fi they were candidates for a prize. We must do nothing of the sort about the pleasures.”

I do not deny that Dickinson is an excellent poet, but I prefer to follow Lewis’ maxim of properly appreciating the differences between the poets.

Consider this passage:
“I stood tip-toe upon a little hill,
The air was cooling, and so very still…”

Can’t you feel the exhiliration and quiet sense of adventure in that?

“Linger awhile upon some bending planks
That lean against a streamlet’s rushy banks,
And watch intently Nature’s gentle doings:
They will be found softer than ring-dove’s cooings. “

Isn’t this a true CM concept, watching intently Nature’s doings?

“The poetry of earth is never dead:
When all the birds are faint with the hot sun,
And hide in cooling trees, a voice will run
From hedge to hedge about the new-mown mead; “

Again, don’t you sense the scene he is describing? Don’t all the hot suns, cooling trees and running bird voices that you have experienced come instantly to mind when reading this passage? He has taken a moment of quiet human ecstasy and crystallized it into words.

As for the accusation that Emily Dickinson really reflected whereas Keats just “sat down and thought about writing a great poem” (paraphrased): Has the author of this accusation considered the fact that Dickinson lived a full thirty years longer than Keat did? He died of consumption before he reached the age of 26; Dickinson passed away when she was 56. Certainly, 56 is not an “old” or “ancient” age, but it’s a lot more living than is afforded to someone who died at age 26. Don’t you think that Keats perhaps felt the pressure to see and write as much as possible before the merciless consumption took him? He actually gives us evidence of this in one of his poems (published posthumously):
WHEN I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean’d my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact’ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen’d grain;
When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love! – then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink”

Yes, he had a teeming brain. A teeming brain that was not allowed the luxury of much time for reflection, but only time to write, write and write.

~ The HeadGirl, who didn’t realize how much she really loved Keats until she wrote this 🙂

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Hum… so I notice that the Headmistress has been posting about our school. What I am going to post about is related to our school, although it’s from our poetry book, not biography, The book is called “The Roar on the Other Side,” by Suzzane U. Clark. We were reading about density in poetry. The quote I love is:
“Think of density as a loaf of whole-grain bread taken straight from the oven. It is thick and hearty, tasting faintly of molasses. Lines of poems should be like this, full of rich details and meaningfull ingredients. How unlike store-bought white bread that can be wadded up like a peice of paper.
Too, true, too true. The same in my opinion applies to books, also. Take some frivolous books(like ones by Grace Livingston Hill, perhaps? *ducks*), and compare them to such works of art by people like Tolkien, Spenser, & Dumas (that reminds me… I need to read “The Count of Monte Christo again). The twaddle just doesn’t hold up.
Well, there’s my serious thought for the day, Mother. 🙂

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