Tuesday, June 30, 2009

On the SRI Fair, Blue Angels, and Feeling Sick

Saturday and Sunday were VERY busy days for me (although the rest of the summer doesn't look much better.) Saturday morning mom and I went to the SRI fair. Unfortunately for me, the day before the fair I discovered lice on the 5 chickens I had signed up. Fortunately for me, we managed to finagle it so that I could still do poultry showmanship, which is showing off your knowledge more than your bird. I borrowed a bird from the man who oversees all the poultry at the fairs. I didn't expect to win anything, I asked my friends (the ones who show goats) to check for me to make sure that I didn't win anything (if I did I'd have to go back and pick up my ribbons and prizes). So we went home, after our friends assured us that they would call if I won. I got home, and dad promptly asked me if I wanted to go the the Quonset air show to see the Blue Angels. The Blue Angels are always last, since they're the main attraction. We didn't know when the Airshow was was over but suspected we might be too late. We got in the car and drove down, and were disappointed to see that people were leaving. Dad said, what the heck, we may as well see the plane exhibits. So we parked and started walking down; dad called mom to tell her that we were too late to see the Blue Angels but we would go walk around anyways. He hung up... and the Blue Angels took off. We arrived in PERFECT time to see the Blue Angels. They were spectacular. They did all sorts of cool tricks... here's a video.

video


There were a couple of manuvers I didn't get on video that I wish I did. Once a plane came up really low from the left, so that most in the crowd couldn't see it, then, when you were in mid-jump from the first one, a second came up right behind and scared the heebie-jeebies out of everyone. These things are LOUD. Then another time one plane came down sideways (announcer "so and so doing a solo flight!)... and then the planes split and there were two of them. That one made me squeal, I so didn't expect it. Finally we went home, with minimum amount of traffic (thank heavens they added extra lanes). We got home, ate dinner, etc. And then we got a call saying I had won showmanship and had to participate in premier showmanship the next day! For those of you who don't go to fairs and don't know a pig from a cow, I'll explain premier showmanship. Basically, if you win at one of the showmanship animals (dairy cattle, beef cattle, goats, pigs, sheep, chickens, or rabbits), you go on to premier showmanship, which means you have to show all of the animals, including your own. It's supposed to be fun. You go around to the different animals and ask owners to give you a crash course in showing the animals. So we decided to skip church (just this once) since everybody (except my brother) wanted to see me show the huge beef cattle that require prodding with a stick. I stayed up late trying to learn about the different breeds of animals.

Sunday:

That night I had a poor time sleeping; for some reason I couldn't stop thinking about cows. So I was already bound to be a bit “ugh”. We got out of the house at 9:30, then halfway there found out that I’d left my memory card for the camera at home. So we turned back and got it. We finally got to the fair, and I went around to the different animals, each of which needed their feet to stand a certain way, etc, etc. We got in the show rink and the first thing they brought out was the giant beef cattle. I got an unruly one and the judge had to help me get a hold of her a couple times. It would have been pretty funny except that the judge was kinda mean and seemed to think that a 15min crash course qualified us to be excellent at showing ginormous cows, sheep, pigs, goats, etc. Then they brought in the dairy cows, which was fine except that the cow got cow drool/snot all over my arm. What fun. Sheep and goats were fine. Pigs would have been funny (basically you hit them with a stick and pray that they’ll go in the right direction) except the scary judge again. Then we got to poultry and rabbits, and of course the guy asked all about judging and the funny weird-named bantam breeds I know absolutely nothing about. F. The rabbit I probably could have done a lot better at if the lady had just let me go over the animal instead of asking me questions. So then we were over, and they made us stand in a row for 15-20 minutes while they figured out who won. That’s when my feet and back started to ache. I was ready to just run out of the rink, sit down, get a glass of water and forget about getting a ribbon. There were 7 of us, I got 6th (I don’t really mind about that part, I didn’t expect much more by the end). The only good part is my friend Emily loved it and got first place! Go Emily! (She's the type-A, outgoing, enthusiastic about everything type, in case you don't know her.) So we drove home, I ate to much, felt sick, lied down and couldn’t fall asleep while jet planes flew overhead. I had a headache and aches. Oh, and I had the sneaking suspicion that all the other people who went to premier got a prize except me.

In other words; I hated showmanship.

On Monday, however, I woke up feeling nauseous and quite sick. I took my temperature and found that I had a fever of 99.2 or something. Later on it was 100.2. So maybe I didn't hate showmanship as much as I thought I did, since I was coming down with a flu. My mom came into my room. (Where I was lying on my bed feeling awful and trying to sleep) The guy who oversees the poultry had brought my prizes! I guess I left too soon after picking up my ribbons. To be honest, the prizes weren't all that great, a tote bag and a chick feeder, but there's this cool plaque that has the names of all the past winners on it that we have to bring to be ingraved with my name. I don't get to keep it, but it'll be at the fairground for people to see.

Today's Tuesday and, while feeling a bit hot, the fever has broken and I don't feel sick to my stomach anymore, thank heaven. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to go to camp next week cause I was sick.

Oh, and it's finally, FINALLY, stopped raining. (The sky drowned June.)



Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Truth

I wrote this... I often write bits and pieces of stories without finishing them... By the way, the fortuneteller talks really fast and matter-a-factly. I couldn't fit in her voice, but I can hear her voice the whole time. She also uses lots of hand motions.

“I just want to know the truth,” I said.
“The truth? The truth? Pah,” the fortuneteller spat,
“The truth is overrated. Let me tell you what you want to hear, eh? Then we can all go home happy. You can go home thinking you will have a peaceful life, beautiful wife, lots of land, and I can go home unsued and with pocket change. Not being sued is underrated, you know dear…. and so is pocket change.”
“Tell me the truth, please,” I insisted.
She shook her head. “You sure? To many people overestimate their desire to know the truth. Or rather, they think they want to know the truth, but really would do anything to keep from hearing it. Silly people. “Truth” is overwanted and overappreciated until you actually hear it, then you hate that you bothered to ask. Everybody wants to hear the truth, but nobody wants to know it. Everyone comes, they say “Tell me the truth!!” I say, “fine, so be it, on your own head I say,” I throw up my hands. What am I to do? They are fickle. You are fickle, I am fickle. We all secretly know that the truth is inconvenient. We say we want to know the truth, but do we really? No, we want to live in our comfortable lie, darling, and you’d best remember that. I really hate it when people sue me. You’ve been warned, so know no matter how hard you fuss about how that wasn’t what you wanted to hear, you can’t sue me. Be careful what you ask for, darling, for you might just get it. But let me tell you this; it is the very wise man, who listens to the truth and accepts it for what it is, the truth. To be true, the truth is overrated on the outside and underrated on the inside, in the heart. Very rare the man who, once he has heard the truth, acts like he has.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Fair


I love the fair. Usually I like peace and quiet, but I really enjoy the chaos of a fair. Here in RI we have several fairs, all at the same fairgrounds. The one I like best is the Washington County Fair, because it brings back such fun memories. I have several friends who prefer the SRI fair, a smaller, quieter fair with just animal showmanship. They were really surprised, having started out at the SRI fair, when they saw the WA County fair. It's perhaps 3x as big, and a lot louder.
They didn't like it as much, and the goats they were showing didn't like it as much either.
Funnily enough, I don't like the Big-E... it's TOO big for me, and to impersonal, it seems. And I don't like the SRI fair because it's too small.

At the WA County fair they have little buildings, almost stands, with kitchens. All the granges pitch in and sell food.... hotdogs, hamburgers, clam chowder, onion rings, pizza. We have friends who sometimes help out at the FFA (Future Farmers of America) stand and sell.... PIES. They're nice and hot and bubbling. There's also a candy stand (right next to the ice cream stand), where you can buy candy. And other places they have sugary, sticky cotton-candy, and hot doughboys.

Of course, there are lots of animals as well. They always bring in a sow with a million piglets. They show cows, and you can go and see them and their calves. There are ornery pigs that have to be goaded into going the right direction. There are all types of goats, ones with long, floppy ears, and ones with strange fur. My personal favorite is the poultry barn, where they have all sorts of chickens, ducks, pigeons, and geese. There are the tiny chickens, tiny ducks, white ducks, big ducks, affero chickens, barred rock chickens, Americana chickens, and lots of cock-a-doodle-dooing roosters. Oh, and bunnies. Can't forget the bunnies. Last year I showed several of my chickens. Some of them I put in a cage and they were just judged, but I also did showmanship. That's more showing off how much YOU know rather than how nice the chicken looks. You have to know all of these parts...
Cutiepie (my ancient Barred-Rock hen), won a first place (in the class chickens are not judged against each other but a mythical "perfect chicken" in that breed. So many chickens can get first) in just the regular judging. And I won First Place Showmanship for my age division! (Not against the "perfect shower" apparently). I was really surprised, because this was the first time EVER that I had done showmanship. I got a big fancy ole' ribbon. Yay!


They have tons of little stall-thingies all around the fairgrounds, and they sell all sorts of cool junk and knick-knacks, dresses and clothes, caricatures, giant carved wood bears, etc. They have a part that is just dedicated to rides. They have a Ferris wheel, merry-go-rounds, swinging chairs, and other rides. These rides add an additional thrill; besides being spun upside down and sideways at great hights, there is also the anxiety that this year the rusty thing might finally fall apart. I'm thinking of maybe skipping the one that jolts and shudders and swings by a bolt this time...

I entered a bunch of stuff in the fair last year, clay figurenes, jewelry, chickens and photos. The first prize for a craft is just $5, but all in all I probably made around $100, with winning showmanship and all. My dad and I went back Sunday night to pick up the birds, crafts, and prizes. The line to pick up the stuff was really long, so we watched some of the competitions in a large ring they have.

There was dung-throwing, which was pretty amusing, and egg tosses and the like. That night they had tug-a-war, over a REAL MUD-FILLED PIT. It was pretty funny. Usually nobody fell in, but once in a while they did. A bunch of teenage girls played, and the first girl in the row fell in... and then the rest jumped in after her and threw mud and stuff. It was fun to watch. It was done by weight class, so it would be fair. Usually the teams would just saunter out into the ring, but a bunch of buff guys came out once running. They ran around the circle waving like they were about to fight a bull or had won the Olympics or something. Their team was called "The Bellerophons", or something like that. Bellerophon was a great hero of Greek mythology who killed the Chimera, a fire-breathing monster, for those of you who don't know. These guys we sooo funny, flexing their muscles and generally being big hams. My dad whispered, "Maybe they should have been called "The Narcissus's" instead." Narcissus was another Greek. He was astonishingly beautiful, and shunned every girl who liked him. Then he saw a face in a pool of water and fell in love with it-- he fell in love with his own reflection! He couldn't leave the pool and stop staring at himself and eventually died of starvation and dehydration. Anyways, it seems that "The Bellerophons" weren't "The Narcissus's", because they pulled the other team into the mud. *Snicker*.

Anyways, if you happen to visit RI around August... http://www.washingtoncountyfair-ri.com/index.php

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pulchritude

Did you know that the word "pulchritude" means "beautiful"? So if some geek ever
calls you "pulchritudinous", remember, he's not saying you are as ugly as the word
sounds. ;)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I Love Words

I like words... they are sooo much fun. Here is some word lingo.

Palindrome:
A palindrome is a word or sentence that says the same thing forward and backwards.
Examples:
"Racecar"
"Madam, in Eden I'm Adam" (or just "Madam, I'm Adam.")
"Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?"
And perhaps most famous, "A man, a plan, a canal; Panama."

Semordnilap:
The word "Palindrome" spelled backwards, this is when a word is different spelled backwards, but still means something.
Examples:
"Evil : Live"
"Stressed : Dessert" (Are you stressed? Have dessert.)

Malapropism (Dogsberryism):
A word that sounds like the right word but isn't. Dogsberry was a character in
Much Ado About Nothing who frequently used malapropisms. Mrs. Malaprop was a character in a play who did the same type of thing.
Examples:
"Brudder, you got a preposition and that thing will give you a conclusion of the brain."
"We heard the ocean is
infatuated with sharks" (infested)
"The
ironing is delicious." (irony)
"Allow me to decapitate myself."

Simile
Two words that mean the same thing.
Examples:
Large : Big
Happy : Content : Joyful
Jail : Prison
Beautiful : Gorgeous

Homophones:
Words that are spelled/pronounced the same but have different meanings. I wrote this one myself.
Example:
"I pared a pair of pears for the fare of my fair fair of foul fowl."

Pun:
A corny play on words. These breed when packing corn early in the morning, believe me. They can be quite punny when you're sleep-depraved. (oops... malapropism.)
Examples (from corn):
"I'm STALKING you" (hit with a corn stalk)
"Lend me your EAR"
"One of the girls was going to CORNell." (Actually, she was.)

Onomatopoeia
A word that sounds like what it is, usually sounds.
Examples:
"Click"
"Clang"
"Boom"
"Tick Tock"
"Hum"
"Cock-a-doodle-doooooo!"

Hyperbole
A big overstatement/exaggeration.
Examples:
"I could eat a horse!"
"I would rather die than do my math."(Hmm, maybe not a hyperbole in my case...)
"It's harder for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." (Matt 19)

Alliteration
A sentence with all the same sound/first letter. Sometimes they are also tongue-twisters.
Examples:
"The Sixth Sheik's sixth sheep's sick."
"She sells seashells by the seashore."
"Yaks yodel, yammer, and yip."
"The Brillig Blog"

Oxymoron:
An oxymoron is a word or phrase that contridicts itself. For example:
"Alone together" (If you're alone you can't be together.)
"Jumbo shrimp" (Shrimp is another word for tiny, "big small")
"Deafening silence"
"Sweet sorrows"

In fact, here's a whole poem fully of oxymorons. My grandfather taught me this poem. Just in case you wanted to know. ;)

"Ladies of the men's club,
I come before you to stand behind you
To tell you a tale you know nothing about
Admission is free so pay at the door,
Pull up a seat to sit on the floor
- One bright day in the middle of the night,
Two dead boys got up to fight,
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other,
- One was blind and the other couldn't see
So they chose a dummy for a referee.
A blind man went to see fair play,
A dumb man went to shout "hooray!"
- A paralyzed donkey passing by,
Kicked the blind man in the eye,
Knocked him through a nine inch wall,
Into a dry ditch and drowned them all,
- A deaf policeman heard the noise,
And went and killed the two dead boys,
If you don't believe my lie is true,
Ask the blind man, he saw it too.


And oh, ascii art.

(\ /)
( .. )
c(“)(“)


Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Spy Animals

I spy with my little eye... an animal in all these pictures. Click to see up closer... I think. I hate this website... the type size is never the same and it mixes up the pictures.

Easy ones first
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Now some harder ones...

6.

7.

8.

9.

10.

And a bonus... more like "What IS that thing!?!" rather than "Where is that thing."
When I first saw it (a long time after I took it) I thought it was an icecube at the beach.


Answers:
1. A squirrel... or as my little brother used to call it, a snuck. (In the tree between the branches.)
2. A Stick-bug... a wonder we sighted it. (Smack dab in the middle of the picture, if you can't see it I'd advise glasses.)
3. A Heron (To the right of the tree.)
4. Crayfish (Center left, in between 2 rocks. There may be more.)
5. Crawdads (Center left, bit down from middle.) (Crayfish and Crawdads are both names for a small, lobster-like creature that lives in fresh water.)
6. A guinea hen in the tree (Center) This one is actually harder close up than it is far away, in my opinion.
7. Sandpiper-ish bird (Almost directly in middle.)
8. Another Sandpiper (As far from the right side as the bottle is from the left, about.)
9. A Sun-fish (Upper right center, swimming out of the clouds to the left in that opening in the clouds.)
10. A crayfish or a crawdad... this one's difficult... I keep on almost throwing it away cause it's so blurry. (Almost filling the whole picture, center.)
And the bonus: A sand-covered Jellywish.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Teenpact

I went to Teenpact this April?. Teenpact is a Christian homeschool organization founded to teach teens about the government. We spent four days, all day at the statehouse, prayed for our governor, senators, representatives, etc. We had lectures and speakers... if you are homeschooled I highly, HIGHLY recommend going. It's a lot of fun. Anyways, we have a mock legislature where we can present our bills, and if they pass comittee, speak on them. Here mine. You are required to write a serious bill, and an optional funny bill.

House Bill # 0000
A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

To teach children gun safety.

PURPOSE: To keep children from injuring themselves and others by teaching them gun safety.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND:

Section 1. For the purpose of this act, "child" shall mean any person of ten years of age or fifth grade, and any person of fourteen years of age, or ninth grade. “Gun safety” shall mean any class teaching a child proper handling and respect of guns.

Section 2. All schools shall have two classes a year no less than one month apart for fifth grade students. If the number of children in the school exceeds the limit of the classroom, the school may add additional classes.

Section 3. In addition, there shall be another class for ninth grade students with the same stipulations as the fifth grade class.

Section 4. The classes shall be taught by a licensed instructor of gun safety.

Section 5. Any person who violates this act shall be subject to a fine not to exceed Sixty-five dollars ($65.00) per violation.

Section 6. All laws or parts of laws in conflict with this act are hereby repealed.

Section 7. This act shall become effective at the start of the new school year after approval by the Governor or upon its otherwise becoming a law.



And here is the silly bill I wrote:

House Bill # 0000
A BILL
TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT

To protect the rights of animal crackers.

PURPOSE: For the humane consumption of animal crackers.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND:

Section 1. For the purpose of this act, "animal cracker" shall mean any of a number of snack crackers shaped in the form of various animals.

Section 2. In order for the humane eating of animal crackers, people must eat the animal crackers head first. After biting off the head one is allowed to bite off the legs one by one or eat the whole cracker as one desires.

Section 5. Any person who violates this act shall be subject to a fine not to exceed Fifteen cents ($.15) or one year in jail per violation.

Section 6. This act shall become effective after approval by the Governor or upon its otherwise becoming a law.


Funnily enough, the first bill didn't pass comittee (I think...). The second, funny bill made it past comittee. It's hilarious trying to defend a bill like this. "Why should this bill pass?" "Because animal crackers have rights too!" At the end, everybody voted for/against it. There was a clear "Nay" against my bill... but the fun thing about Teenpact is the Chairperson doesn't play fair. He said it passed, someone called "Division" (you want a revote). The Chairperson made some silly excuse like "Which bill? Do you know the number?" The kid who called division remembered the number of the one BEFORE mine, of course. My poor friend, whose bill had passed the first time, failed this time. Sorry Em.

There was another amusing bill that went through comittee. During comittee you can revise/edit the bill, change words, add amendments, etc. Another one of my friends wrote a bill on how "motorcyclists" have to wear protective gear while on a motorcycle. But there were two amendments. The first had the word
"motorcyclists" changed too "water buffalo", and the second was that if the bill passed she had to sing "The Water buffalo song" (from Veggietales, which are Christian videos. See the bottom for the Water Buffalo song.) Poor Allie (who didn't even KNOW the Water Buffalo song) had to defend a silly bill she didn't even really write. She did a really good job of it though. The Bill passed, but the chairperson said, "Well, since it didn't go through the House of Representitives it hasn't passed yet, so she doesn't have to sing."

The next day we got even by passing a bill requiring that the comittee that revised the bill had to get up and sing "I'm a Little Teapot" in opera voices. With the hand motions. They did an APPALLING job of it, really slaughtered it... but they did do it. Actually, I had written the same exact bill the year before (I personally wanted to do something different, but my friends wanted to do it again) and that group had done a lot better.



The Water Buffalo song:

LARRY THE CUCUMBER:
The Water Buffalo song

Everybody's got a water buffalo
Yours is fast but mine is slow
Oh, where do you get them I don't know
But everyone's got a water buffaloooooo.................

I took my buffalo to the store

Got his head stuck in the door
Spilled some lima beans on the floor
Oh everybody's got a...

ARCHIE (A sort of stuffy asparagus):
Stop it! Stop! Stop right this instant!
What do you think you are doing?
You can't say everybody's got a water buffalo
When everyone does not have a water buffalo!
We're going to get nasty letters saying
"Where's my water buffalo? Why don't I have a water buffalo?"
And are you prepared to deal with that? I don't think so!
Just stop being so silly!

NARRATOR:
This has been Silly Songs with Larry. Tune in next time to hear
Larry sing...

LARRY:
Everybody's got a baby kangaroo
Your's is pink but mine is blue.
Hers was small but...

ARCHIE (chasing a running Larry):
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh........

Ode

I can't think of anything to write, so for appearence's sake I will put up a poem I really like.

Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy. 1844–1881

WE are the music-makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample an empire down.

We, in the ages lying
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveh with our sighing,
And Babel itself with our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

A breath of our inspiration,
Is the life of each generation.
A wondrous thing of our dreaming,
Unearthly, impossible seeming-
The soldier, the king, and the peasant
Are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present,
And their work in the world be done.

They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising.
They had no divine foreshowing
Of the land to which they are going:
But on one man's soul it hath broke,
A light that doth not depart
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,
Wrought flame in another man's heart.

And therefore today is thrilling,
With a past day's late fulfilling.
And the multitudes are enlisted
In the faith that their fathers resisted,
And, scorning the dream of tomorrow,
Are bringing to pass, as they may,
In the world, for it's joy or it's sorrow,
The dream that was scorned yesterday.

But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we!
The glory about us clinging
Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing;
O men! It must ever be
That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing,
A little apart from ye.

For we are afar with the dawning
And the suns that are not yet high,
And out of the infinite morning
Intrepid you hear us cry-
How, spite of your human scorning,
Once more God's future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
That ye of the past must die.

Great hail! we cry to the corners
From the dazzling unknown shore;
Bring us hither your sun and your summers,
And renew our world as of yore;
You shall teach us your song's new numbers,
And things that we dreamt not before;
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,
And a singer who sings no more.

If any of you have watched the old "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", you might recognize the first two lines of the poem "WE are the music-makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams,". In the middle of the movie, Willy Wonka says, "The snozberries taste like snozberries!". Veruca Salt snidely replies, "Snozberries? Who ever heard of a snozberry?". Willy Wonka grabs her mouth and says, "We are the music makers, and We are the dreamers of dreams."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Packing Corn



























Last year I worked at a farm packing corn. Another homeschool family ran the farm, and their children and hired teens were pretty much all of the people packing the corn. It was a lot of fun, except for having to get up at 4:30 to get down to the farm at 5:00.

--For those of you who don't have corn packing experience, I'll tell you how it works, at least at the farm I worked at. They had a big old corn picking machine that harvested the corn and dumped it into a wagon hooked to the back of it. When whoever was running the machine had filled the wagon they would take another one out and the rest of us would pack the corn into bags from the wagon. They had these large hemp? sacks which needed to have exactly 60 ears of corn. We counted them out five at a time and threw away all the bad ears.
--I
n case you were wondering, no, we couldn't wait until later in the day to pack corn. Around six or seven o'clock a couple of trucks would drive up to pick up corn for their farm stands so they could sell fresh during the day. After we were all done packing, the rest of the bags would be packed onto pallets and driven out to other stores. It was so much fun, (but also hard work) we got to see beautiful sunrises over corn fields. The foggy days were pretty too, everything was so quiet and still and heavy... almost ethereal.
--We had to go out whatever the weather, rain or shine. Usually it was nice, at worst cloudy. But every once in a while it was drizzling and miserable. Once it was POURING, and I gave up trying to stay dry. Once you gave up it was kind of fun, it wasn't cold just humid, which was surprisingly for that early in the morning. We all got pretty much soaked to the skin and a bit muddy, packing the wet corn in the dark during the rain. They had a tractor with its lights on so we could see the wagon to pack the corn. Actually, I think that is one of the most memorial times I had packing corn. Go figure, the time I remember the most was the time I got soaking wet and uncomfortable. It wasn't half so pleasant at the time, but I liked it how many people came to pack so we could get it over with quickly. Sometimes there were just three or four of us at the most, but that time there had to be around ten-twelve or maybe a bit more, trying to get it over with.
--Getting up and working packing corn at too-early-o'clock in the morning gave rise to lots of interesting conversations. And puns. Very corny puns and jokes. Such as "I'm stalking you" (this usually was accompanied with hitting the others with a corn stalk). There was also many "ear" puns, most of which I can't remember... "Have an ear" (Throw a rotten ear at the person). Funnily enough, one of the girls was actually going to "Cornell" college in the fall. Really. She was.
--After we were done packing sometimes us teens would go down the road and jump right off the street into a little pond and play in the stream. You could crawl right through the pipes that carried the water under the road. Somebody brought boards and we boarded up one side of the tunnel once to get the water level to rise. Then we tried to ride boogy-boards through it. It worked surprisingly well, although I seem to recall that someone scraped something and drew blood... an arm or something.
--Once we actually went and played on the playground. I haven't had so much fun at a playground since I was a kid (and NO, we didn't deface anything!!!). Okay, okay, so I'll degrade myself by telling you that we, yes, a bunch of teens... although we were/are homeschooled :D, played tag.... we did have a rule that you couldn't go off the playground equipment, though. To make it more challenging.

Anyways, thank you for letting me reminisce. Even though I didn't ask you.

P.S. Did you know raw corn tastes awesome? It's nice and sweet and juicy... I still think it's better cooked, but honestly, you should try some raw sweetcorn sometime. That was another quirk of working packing corn... you got to take home fresh leftover corn.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Please Don't

I wrote this poem a couple years ago, when I was somewhere around 10-11. I was looking through my stuff and thought I should put it up for fun.

Please Don't (by me!)

Don’t you dare criticize my book,
Please give it a second look,
Please don’t complain about how I spell,
Please don’t say “Your writings pell-mell,
Please don’t ask, “is that V or R”?
Please don’t claim my rhyming’s gone to far,
Please don’t say caPitAliZe,
Please, it would be my writing’s demise,
Please don’t say, “That’s just stupid”,
Please don’t ask, “What’s a Rupid?”
Please don’t say, “It’s all wrong”
BECAUSE IT’S NOT!
It is mine and I will write,
It the way that
i like.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Hypocrisy = Mad me

This guy posted a rant against homeschoolers, being a homeschooler myself I was naturally offended and annoyed with the guy. I did not write my own response because I tried and realized that I could not be calm and rational about it. I mean, comm'on the guy insulted my mother! That's even worse than insulting me (he did that too). http://teacherrevised.org/2009/05/30/the-case-against-homeschooling/

My dad (hi dad!) did write a response, however. It's a lot better than mine would have been. Since you probably don't want to read all 442 loooooong comments, (yeah, we homeschoolers don't like being blatantly stereotyped!) here's my dad's post:

"Let me see if I’m understanding the argument. Homeschooling is bad because:

10. When homeschooled kids get to college they’ll be mocked by the kids socialized by constant peer relations and educated in public schools to be tolerant and celebrate diversity.

9. Learning can’t take place at a kitchen table.

8. It’s selfish to give your kids a good education at home when others are doomed to a poor one at public schools.

7. You should send your kids to public schools to proselytize the heathen there.

6. You can’t teach a subject if you don’t have an advanced degree in that subject. (We’ll just ignore the fact that most public school teachers don’t hold degrees in the subjects they teach)

5. I’m personally offended by people who aren’t like me, who make different choices and have different beliefs. (Incidentally, you should send your kids to me so I can teach them to be tolerant and celebrate diversity.)

3 & 4. Only constant, day in day out non-stop social interaction with people who aren’t like you, who make different choices and have different beliefs will make you tolerant of them. (see point #5 to see how well this worked for me!)

2. It’s too risky to attempt getting a superior education. You should do the safe thing and settle.

1. Homeschoolers are different from me, I personally have a hard time relating to them. They should be more like me, you know: capable of dealing with people who are different."