Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Week (so far) in Pictures

 Some of the pictures are Katie's. Including this first one. These are cupcakes she made on Sunday night to bring to co-op in honor of Molly, who is being "retired" from the American Girl lineup. Katie thinks this is just cruel. While I won't pretend that her retirement makes me sad (though I was happy to eat a cupcake for her), her mention does make me a little nostalgic. I have clear memories of shelving Molly books -- repeatedly, as she circulated heavily -- in my librarian days. I was a bit scornful of her, since her books were so formulaic (I classed her with Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and the Bobbsey Twins). Since then, though, while I still haven't actually read an American Girl book (or, for that matter, a Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys), I have revised my opinion of her. Katie loves American Girls, and I think she has picked up quite a bit of history from reading the books. And, in fairness, I remember loving a set of books about English royal girls by Marguerite Vance when I was around her age, and they were probably much less well researched than the AG stuff. So, we bid you a fond farewell, Molly! May you continue to be resourceful and helpful (I cite Katie here) in the American Girl afterlife!

 *A note on the sloppy writing. Katie does not have beautiful writing, but the real problem here was that she asked for help in making decorating icing on Sunday night, while I was frantically preparing to teach co-op. I told her to mix a tablespoon of milk with some butter and confectioners sugar. I did not mention the mixer, which you might have thought was obvious but it wasn't. So the icing came out watery, with butter lumps. Not ideal. Still, it conveys the general idea!

And here is a peek at this week's math.
Katie was very pleased when her lesson consisted of making paper houses! And very disappointed when this didn't continue through the week. She really thought that her grasp of three dimensional figures would have been better if a few more days were devoted to paper folding!

And Travis got to play with paper too! I will not tell you how long it took to put the pieces together into an equilateral triangle, but I tried to help at one point and was not successful.

And the cats. I keep telling the kids that we don't need more pictures of the cats sleeping, but they don't believe me. And Katie wanted me to share these. Here you are!

And here is "desuetude." That was a new word for me, and I hope to remember it long enough to use it in Bananagrams!

I suffered a bookish loss this week. I was happily reading Bernard Knox's introduction to Fagles's Iliad when the book jacket slipped and I suddenly noticed that the covers of the book were covered in mold. This is very weird, as I bought the book (used) last winter, and I know it wasn't such a mess then. Even with the deceptively shiny cover, I couldn't have missed that much mold. So I suppose it had a bit of mold, and our house has enough humidity for it to spread? I don't know. I checked the books on either side, and they don't appear to have been affected (infected?). I looked up mildew removal, but the sites kept mentioning that you might easily spread the mold to other surfaces in the house while trying to remove it from the book. Ed said that, given the possibility of spread and the certainty of serious mold allergies, it had to go.

I figured the least (and the most) we could do was give him a properly Homeric funeral pyre. Sniff!

While presenting a physics lecture this week, the peripatetically inclined Mr. Owens took us on a rabbit trail about the Fermilab Particle Accelerator. I realized that, given my grasp (or not) of physics, it is odd that I have such warm feelings towards particle accelerators, but, like some of my other odd affections, this one comes from a children's book. 
I perk up at the mention of particle accelerators because of Fritz. Fritz is a character in Rosemary Wells's Timothy's Tales from Hilltop School, and he builds a Superconducting Super Collider using toilet paper rolls. Travis and Katie loved that book, and particle accelerators seem friendly to me because I picture them as giant rings of toilet paper tubes with marbles zinging around in them.

I also harbor an affection for King John. Historically speaking, I don't know that he deserves quite such a wicked reputation, but my kind feelings for him really come straight from the poem by A.A. Milne, in Now We are Six.

Do you have any irrational affections which you can trace to a favorite children's book?

No comments: