Daily Archives: September 6, 2008

Two Weeks Down — 34 to Go

Just finished up our second four-day week of school (Labor Day). I am happy to report that it was an excellent week, with many solid hours of instruction and work put in by all of us.

Some highlights of the week:

A science experiment that worked!(photo of the kids’ feet demonstrating how our skin lets off water vapor)
Another wonderful poem written by Eli.
More good readings from “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – for Teens”
Happy, engaged students.
A positive outcome to the tragedy of running out of printer ink right at the wrong time.
Two whole weeks of homeschooling using the same methods and not thinking I need to make any major changes.

Adjustments next week include having Anna-Jessie tackle math earlier in the day since she tends to do everything else first. Also, I want to help her get more organized with her reading. And, lastly, continue to adjust how I give out assignments to students who are in two completely different grades, but doing mostly the same curriculum.

Lost – The Soap Opera

I decided to check out Lost online because I am not a TV watcher, but like the idea of catching a few shows now and again without commercials and because it’s interesting to find out what some of the hype is about sometimes.

The first episode of the first season was harrowing and set the stage for a very intense show. I watched about four episodes before it hit me hard that in order for this show to go on four seasons (five?) there was going to have to be an awful lot of he said, she said, and a lot of cliffhangery. Like when Jack got buried in the cave and Kate was desperately afraid he was dead. I’m like, Kate? Jack is the star of the show and I don’t think he’s in a salary dispute. Rest assured he will be fine. And indeed he was, only a dislocated shoulder that he manfully put back into the socket with the help of a cohort while he was still stuck in the cave.

I’m puzzled as to the appeal of this show, unless it IS the soap-opera quality of it. The characters aren’t all that likeable, and the plot just seems so contrived. The last episode I watched (fifth episode, first season) had the bad-boy character holding a flame under the painful letter he has been carrying around, but alas he was not able to actually set it on fire. So we were left hanging — will Sawyer ever be able to come to terms with his past?

Whatever. Just kind of shows me that my lack of television watching doesn’t mean I’m missing much. At least so far. But Lost lost its lustre and has run its course for me. Wonder what everyone else sees in it four seasons later?

My Take on the Creation Museum

G’day Mates. We spent the afternoon at the Creation Museum, thanks to the generosity of friends who loaned us guest passes. This saved us $154 since we took in the planetarium show as well, which was an extra cost.

Bad news, dawgs. I didn’t like the place.

We started in the planetarium. That was awesome and sufficiently stunning and marvelous and reinforced my belief at how amazingly wonderful nature is.

Unfortunately, our next stop was the “Special Effect Theater” for the “Men in White” show. This was where things started to go seriously downhill. I couldn’t figure out if the volume and sheer intensity was designed to impact a people who are used to lots of noise and sound, if they were trying to mimic being in a regular movie theater where the movies are very loud, if they were trying to evoke some particular emotions by making everything so loud and big, or if perhaps they just thought it would be cool to have a really loud, really jarring show. I didn’t stay for the whole thing. I left when the auditorium ceiling started dropping raindrops on me and the screens started raging with the flood being reenacted. Kepler was sitting on my lap, and I knew Eli also prefers not to be in such overwhelming sensory stimulation. But, honestly, I left the room for myself (taking Kepler with me), because I did not want to sit through the program. Apparently, it got better, but it was more than I wanted to experience.

We walked through the rest of the museum and looked at all the exhibits, wondering which ones were real and which were memorex. You would see an exhibit of real tree frogs next to an exhibit of fake birds and slugs next to an exhibit of real birds. That was at the beginning of the whole walk-through thing, so I think I got the big “which parts of this are real and which are staged” question rolling around right off the bat. Of course the displays where, for example, Moses was standing there with his Stone Tablets, weren’t supposed to be seen as real, but of course the intent at the museum was to convince you that the creation account in Genesis is true and that EVERYTHING else in the world and history hinges on that.

What I expected was information — basically I figured we’d be seeing pictures with evolutions’s explanation on one side and creation’s explanation on the other. I did not expect all this trauma being shown in the “catastrophe” and “corruption” sections.

We enjoyed the botanical gardens outside, and the petting zoo. We all agreed we liked the outside better than the inside, and we all loved the planetarium show.

Because of the juxtaposition of the real and fake, I was left feeling like the place was a skillfully and excellently done science fair project called “Creation vs. Evolution — why they are wrong and we are right.”

Very well laid out from a commercial standpoint, from the beginning where you are encouraged to get a photo made to give you a “lifetime souvenir” with the tour ending in the gift shop, to the snack bars and restaurants placed strategically throughout. The exhibits are also very well done — the wax figures were remarkably lifelike. The animatron dinosaurs were very cool.

Overall, a good experience because I had the opportunity to process the experience as something that happened rather than something that was good or bad, and certainly not an experience that had anything to do with whether or not I am a worthy, valuable person. Years ago, not liking this museum would have left me with the conclusion that I was first of all a very bad Christian, and second of all, a bad person for disliking it. But, I’ve come to believe that we’re all different and we have different perspectives and takes on things. This post was my take on an experience I had. Your mileage may vary.