Saturday, December 6, 2014

Randomday with Assorted Holidays

Sinterklaas day: I found this completely delightful assortment of St. Nicholas songs, in Dutch, to celebrate with.  They bring back such fond memories of  my mother, who used to sing almost all of them.  My parents lived in the Netherlands for 4 years and I was born in year 3; a lot of these tunes are familiar from my very early childhood, when the language and culture must have still been fresh in her mind.

A difficult week at school, capped off by what I will probably remember as the St. Nicholas Day massacre, when I intercepted one of Those Notes, spiteful and immature, punctuated by more "lol"s than any decent writer could stand to see in a lifetime.  It was written on a bright neon pink 3x5 card that was supposed to be used for studying Latin grammar rules, but obviously the 4 joint authors and unindicted co-conspirators don't see much value in the study of Latin or have any respect for the teacher.  Funny how they think I won't notice something so bright, passed hand to hand during what's supposed to be quiet work time.  Not since the "pretend to shoot Mrs. Chapman when her back is turned" note years ago have I been as disgusted with a class.  They should get coal in their klompen. It's been 15 years of this, the long dark middle-school of the soul, and I'm teaching kids who weren't even born when I started.  And it's not really any easier.  I don't think the teachers who don't teach the most-hated subject can understand.  "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" is a tragic movie.  Peter O'Toole is brilliant in it but I can't bear to watch it anymore.

Oh well, on to Christmas.  I somehow lost my taste for ballet and so today instead of the Nutcracker I took the girls to see Journey Theater Arts' production of White Christmas.  We know several cast members and it was a lovely production, very professionally presented.  Quarta now wants to watch the movie version sometime soon.  I could do that, I suppose.  Right now, though, we're watching the live Peter Pan recording we started yesterday.  "How old is Wendy supposed to be?" asked Quarta.  "About as old as you, just about ready to become a young woman but still enjoying being a child," was my answer.  That makes one think.  Also today, we went shopping for some Christmas lights and Steve and Peter put them up on the front fence and the gable over the front door.  Sometime very soon I will need to clean the house and figure out how to organize the Christmas shopping.  And here's how you say "bah humbug" in Latin: "Phy! Fabulae!"

I've been working through a translation of Bede's Ecclesiastical History for the Latinstudy group, and we are stuck in the interminable debate over the correct observance of Easter.  That part, as Steve observes, is tedious to read in English.

I did not get any sewing done on the Grand Illusion mystery quilt today.  I did mix up a pflaumenkuchen to take to fellowship tomorrow.  Yesterday I taught Steve how to make fudge.  I hope to have a chance to do more domestic things like cooking, cleaning, shopping, and sewing soon.  I keep hoping!


barbara woods said...

Hang in there! hopefully it will get better

Jaye said...

I am so sorry to hear about the ingratitude of students. I can't believe how lucky they are and that they don't even know it. I do think some manual labor in middle school (gardening, moving rocks, etc) would go a long way to helping the little darlings be much better people. You have inspired me to talk to my DS about his behavior in class. I never get notices from the teachers, but a little chat never hurts.

Your musings about the Netherlands spurred on my musings about Austria, where I lived and which had a profound effect on me. Perhaps I will write something on the blog.

I am tempted to do Grand Illusion, but haven't committed, though I am downloading the directions. I'd love to hear more about your process on that project.