Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Random Learning in Our World, While Yet Intentional

   Isn't she darling? She's holding my schnitzel. She had pineapple fried rice and bubble tea made with coconut cream. Food truck yummy. We hit up the food trucks after an Oregon Ballet Theater 25th anniversary event. Pink Martini performed live!
 Reading and Discussing
   I don't like the provocative title of this article, but it certainly offers some worthy thoughts for consideration. How do we bring discovery to every avenue of learning? We live in a world that desperately needs risk takers. How do we help kids: home schooled, public schooled, or hybrid schooled discover, risk, persevere, and find and share creative solutions to incredibly complex world problems? One teacher, one mentor at a time, community involvement, discovery based learning with tangible outcomes for success, and making failure acceptable, but expecting them to take ownership to challenge themselves to grow, learn, and stretch. We must model passion in what we do. Kids pick up on anything adults are passionate about. What's your passion? What's your investment? What hits your truth button? What makes the world a better place to live?

   Given pandemics, food shortages, inequalities and injustices, gun violence, global warming, and the earth quaking in response, what are we going to do about it?  Even here in the quiet Pacific Northwest, change is upon us, while Decade Volcanoes snooze. Slumbering giants, don't snooze forever, we'd better be doing something with our time.* An education book I read, aptly said, "the east coast may slice the pie, but the west coast makes it." We need more pie.   (*My plate tectonics theory :-)

   Seattle will have another city the size of Portland crammed into its metro area within the next 20 years. Who's working on their transportation system? I sat in traffic for 7 hours last week. Who will build more schools and feed these people, when we're not expanding farmland? Where will they obtain health care? Live? Because of real questions like these, First Lego League challenges kids to ask hard questions and seek solutions today, for their time and future.

   This year, our FLL 2014 team is learning about architecture. Architects: those crazy people who invent, design, and build. It might just make us go crazy, but we are going to learn a lot while we go crazy, and we might, just might, do something crazy good with our time: invent, design, and build, in a fun, crazy kind of way. We visited the University of Oregon Architectural Majors Faire this week, met some people, and asked some questions:

Why did you choose to teach architecture instead of joining an architectural firm?
Why did you choose to pursue your current field of architecture?
What do you think has been the most major contribution to the world through your field of architecture, and what do you think your field of architecture will contribute in the future?
If you were to change the current licensing process in Oregon, what would you change? 

   As a sideline participant, I learned architects in training like their coffee black. (I would not do well here.) They have no time for sugar and cream, they are too darn busy! I also learned they are social engineers. You'd better be an extrovert to be a good architect, because you're going to work with a lot of people!
They really liked Product Design, as does everyone else!
Talking to Professor Chan in Landscape Architecture
Overheard on Orthodontia
    On the scale of really nice cuddly kitty cat that wants to cuddle with you, and the other end of the scale is the annoying brother who barges into the bathroom while you are trying to use it, I would rate my expander, as losing an argument with your mom about whether you can have pie for breakfast. 

Books Are Good
   We'll pass the books on to our children, by word of mouth, and let our children wait, in turn, on the other people. A lot will be lost that way, of course. But you can't make people listen. The have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up and under them. It can't last. ~ Fahrenheit 451
Friday Fun
Mom, you get light coconut milk. 

     You might have noticed: I'm barely keeping up with the blog these days. All the learning we are doing around here is hard work. Did I mention I'm back to algebra? If someone had told me years ago, I would repeat algebra through my child, we might not have had any, but we're gonna make it. What doesn't make me go crazy will make me stronger. Right? I am tweaking a few writing projects here and there and some new ideas flowed in this week. New ideas are good. They remind me my brain is still working, and God's grace flowing.

Hanging Out in the Gorge

Time and trucks fly by, but for the boy...
...who plays with ooblek of the river.
She's scaled a lot of walls this year. She's overcoming. Thank you, Lord.
How we do anything, is how we do everything. ~ Richard Rohr
   Praying for Jack the kitty to return home. Pray with us? Trying to count our blessings in the midst of the pain. The rain has come. We hold onto hope: He finds us and fills us. He fills cisterns and deep aching places. He abides within, and in Him, we abide. He is present in hearts and heartaches.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Snippets of September

 Robinhood with Missoula Childrens Theatre

We are still singing songs about little skunks.
Buying in bulk, and loving this bread mix. It's possible to bake and eat what feels like soft white wheat bread, but it's not!
Homemade granola with coconut oil, nuts, and rice protein powder

Lessons in Cryptography 
Polyalphabetic Cipher
I don't understand her little wheel. Maybe, I can make her so proud of her work, that she tells me what it means. 

Sarah Bessey's, Guard Your Gates
Halloween approaches; we are the weird ones who don't celebrate. Sarah offers such good thoughts about what we let in and what we don't let in, and it's all okay. She's encouraging good conversation in our home. Now, more than ever, let us live intentionally in our culture.  
We are having a tough soccer season, but giving our best.
God's Not Dead, a little hokey, but a little hokey can still be thought provoking. Because intelligent people can embrace faith through mystery by route of reason, and relationship with God is not for the dumbed down masses as Marx saith. And at the New York Times, opinions on the intersections of faith and evolution.

American Media Works, Don't Lecture Me

Next up on my list, The Science of Smart 

A local college to offer up science and math classes in our community for middle schoolers.

Between Shades of Gray (no, not that one.) Powerful. Gripping. 
Breaking Stalin's Nose and discussing Stalin in our house (and Hong Kong).
All the Light We Cannot See (read this past summer and still thinking on this story, Hitler, and the ability of the human heart to live morally right and overcome evil.)

I passed the California World History Exam for 6th graders with a 93% result. Not too bad :-) Why did I take it? It helped me realize the gaps in our history plan for her year. This is why we test: to find the gaps we need to fill in, not to teach to a test. Another interesting lecture heard this week on Common Core. We learn through a multi-faceted approach and that means remaining open to being uncomfortable at times even if it's about the Common Core.

For more of the Spirit, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, faithfulness, and love. (Oh, and perseverance for FLL 2014 and our study of architecture :-)