So yesterday, desperate to distract the Goober with something - anything - and buy the husbeast and I a moment's peace, I gave her a world history book. I'd gotten it on sale about a year ago and figured I would give it to her when she was in grade school and NEEDED a world history book (something more entertaining than the text books); it's written at about a fifth grade level, and like all Dorling-Kindersley books, is full of pictures. I was hoping the pictures would save me. They did.
The crazy thing was, when I laid the book in front of her, she put her finger on a photo of the gold mask of Tutankhamen's, and said clearly, "Ooooh, Egyp!" and flipped the book open. She seemed disappointed the whole book wasn't about Egyp, so I'll probably be getting her a kid's book about that, next.
Thing is, I've got no idea how she knew that. It's probably from me. When I read any kind of book, if it's got pictures (it usually does; I'm a big fan of pictures and maps and diagrams), the Goob will lean over my shoulder and point and ask questions about 'who dat lady made of stone?' I know she's gone through several history and art history books with me and it's likely Tut's in one of those. But for the life of me, I don't remember explaining that to her.
This weekend I got a fun e-mail. My Sock Roulette victim had finished her half of the pair.
Awesome! I'd left the end of the toe of the sock I sent her undarned, figuring she could pick it apart and add length if she had to. And she did. But I think we did a great job.
Sock Roulette will be happening again next year. I think I've got all the wrinkles ironed out now; there will be two swaps, one for women's size medium and one for women's size large. It will start in February just like this year. I've given up on posting a huge montage of finished socks, at least this year, because it's gotten away from me and some of us are moving pretty slowly on finishing our pair (I haven't knit my own sock yet). I've got some ideas on how to fix that, too. But, anyway, something to look forward to next February.
A few comments on Schoolhouse Rock, since everyone enjoyed the zero one I included on my last post.
First, for those of you who are overseas or young, Schoolhouse Rock was, originally, a series of three-minute cartoons that aired in the seventies. They would run jumbled in between commercials, on Saturday morning children's television. Back in the dark ages of the seventies, there were no cartoon channels. We got half a day of programming on Saturday mornings, and occasional cartoons on Sunday mornings and weekday afternoons. That was it. I remember getting into fist fights with my brother over whether we were watching monster movies or Tom and Jerry on weekday afternoons.
Anyway, as with many catchy jingles, we absorbed them to a degree we never realized.
Years later, in high school, my senior year, our English teacher said she was going to make us memorize the Preamble (the beginning of our constitution) as an assignment. Right there in class, someone started singing "We the people..." and the whole class joined in.
(The actual text of the preamble starts about one minute in.) The teacher listened to us sing the whole thing, smiling, and right then and there gave us all As for the assignment. In the other classes she asked them if they knew the "We the People" song, and when they sang it, she gave them As too. This was the beginning of my great love of children's educational television. Tell me we don't use that stuff later.
Fast forward twenty years - ish - to 2005 when I was in college again and forced against my will to take English 100*. There was another woman in the class who was a few years younger than I was, and clearly remembered Schoolhouse Rock, too. When the class did parts of speech, we were completely unable to keep a lid on it, and would be in the back of the classroom, singing the jingles for the parts of speech. One day we did pronouns, and I ripped right through the song, with all the complicated names and runon sentences.
(The pronoun one is my favorite of the Grammar Rock toons.) It impressed the hell out of everyone, and my friend asked me how on earth I'd remembered that one, and I said "Oh, I have the DVD." A kid sitting near me said "You have kids?" and I said "No." and all the other kids in the class stared at me. But the professor (who had been raised overseas) immediately asked to borrow the DVD. So I loaned it to her and she loved it and got her own copy.
These days? The Goober loves the DVD and will ask for it. She asks to watch "the singing paper". Bill from "I'm just a Bill" is on the spine of the DVD case, and that's what she sees when looking at her shelf of DVDs.
And whenever she asks, she gets to watch them. I worry about making her watch them so much that she's bored or worse, hates them, but if she's asking? Oh hell yeah, kid. Watch some Schoolhouse Rock. Her favorite seems to be the x4 multiplication tables, I think because she really likes animals:
So there you go. Schoolhouse Rock on a Monday to cheer you all up.
*I was forced to take English 100 by the dean. I did it under protest, but did not take it out on the professor because the prof was wonderful. Did an excellent job of teaching basic concepts; not her fault I already knew them. She told me much later that she knew I'd be trouble - in a fun way - the first week of class when she gave us a quiz. It was an article about Mae West, and we were supposed to put in quotation marks where they were needed. I aced the quiz and across the bottom wrote "I used to be snow white, but I drifted" - a famous quote from Mae West. The paper I had to write for the class was eventually turned into my Knitty article on the history of knitting. And after it was all over and the dust had settled, my professor went to the dean with a copy of that paper, some of my other work, and links to my Knitty articles, and bitched him out for making me take that class when I very obviously didn't need it. And then she thanked me for being so nice about it in her classroom.
If only all the classes I'm forced to take were so pleasant.