Predictions from 100 Years Ago

can be found here.

I thought this was especially interesting, since I was ranting about the guy talking about American’s reading.

Some of them include:

Man will See Around the World…..

Automobiles will be cheaper than horses are today. Farmers will own automobile hay-wagons, automobile truck-wagons, plows, harrows and hay-rakes. A one-pound motor in one of these vehicles will do the work of a pair of horses or more. Children will ride in automobile sleighs in winter. Automobiles will have been substituted for every horse vehicle now known. There will be, as already exist today, automobile hearses, automobile police patrols, automobile ambulances, automobile street sweepers. The horse in harness will be as scarce, if, indeed, not even scarcer, then as the yoked ox is today.

Trains will run two miles a minute, normally; express trains one hundred and fifty miles an hour. To go from New York to San Francisco will take a day and a night by fast express.

The American will be taller by from one to two inches. His increase of stature will result from better health, due to vast reforms in medicine, sanitation, food and athletics. He will live fifty years instead of thirty-five as at present – for he will reside in the suburbs.

Gymnastics will begin in the nursery, where toys and games will be designed to strengthen the muscles. Exercise will be compulsory in the schools. Every school, college and community will have a complete gymnasium. All cities will have public gymnasiums. A man or woman unable to walk ten miles at a stretch will be regarded as a weakling.

Obviously they got some right and some way wrong.

But what would our predictions look like in 100 years. Let’s say even 93. What will the US be like in 2100?

teaching: Ages and questions

I didn't mean to be ethnocentric when I asked for help. Sorry about that. Eighth graders in the US tend to be in the 13 or 14 year old category. Ninth graders are about 14-16. Twelfth graders, though I don't think I asked for ideas there, are 17, 18 years old normally.

I was asking folks which books they enjoyed in that time in school because I am going to be teaching 8th/9th and 12th grade classes in literature next year. I've seen last year's schedule, now, and some of the books I wanted to read are in the list, but I am still working on it.

I have two lists, one for this year, one for next, for the 8/9 year.

Washington Irving short stories

Edgar Allen Poe short stories

Alice in Wonderland

Through the Looking Glass

Red Badge of Courage

The Time Machine

Around the World in 80 Days

something by Robert Louis Stevenson (But what?)

Twain short stories

Silas Marner

Stephen Vincent Benet short stories

Call of the Wild

Fitzgerald short stories or The Great Gatsby

The Old Man and the Sea

Of Mice and Men

O'Henry short stories

My Antonia! (Don't remember this. Would have to read first for age-appropriateness.)

Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (Never read this. Would have to check for age-appropriateness)

The Horse and His Boy

Passing by Nella Larsen (Haven't read this but have always wanted to. Going to look at the library for this. Need to check it out.)

For the 12th grade class I wanted to do:

Beowulf, in a prose version

Robinson Crusoe

Gulliver's Travels

Wilde's plays


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

For this class I was thinking classic old stuff. 1700s or earlier. This is supposed to be the AP version. But Gulliver's Travels and Robinson Crusoe were both on the last year list for this class. So if there are students repeating, I can't do that. Drats. (It's a 2 year class.)

What do you want that money can't buy?

Found an interesting article on what people want that money won't buy. The article ended with 'What do you want that money can't buy? Go for it!'

I want family and friends, which I have. Good health, which I am working towards. Peace, in my heart, that's there. I can only pray it in for the rest of the world.

Safety. Well, that's a bit of a challenge, but I do the best I can. I locked the back door today and then left it open. Got to check those doors better.

The Joy of Teaching

Today I graded my seventh and eighth graders illustrative essays. They had to take a proverb or a saying and illustrate its accuracy. I received two papers whose development was phenomenal. I'd have given the development of those two papers A's in my college freshman class. The grammar on one was a little faulty (about a C grade). But I was AMAZED to get that good a paper from these guys. I told both of them in my notes on their paper how good I thought they were.

One was on “the pen is mightier than the sword.” His examples were Thomas Paines' Common Sense, Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, and the Bible.

The other was on some saying I'd never heard of that “he who wins is not the guy with the biggest army but the guy who shoots the best.” He gave examples from the US Revolutionary War, the US Civil War, and a British war in Africa.

My husband says the papers would have made an A as one of my college papers because I've gotten easier. Maybe. But these papers were wonderful. Truthfully, I don't get a lot of wonderful college papers. It's a required course and most people just want to “get through it.”

Some days you just want to dance.

What did you read in High School?

I am going to be teaching homeschool, college, high school, and jr high next year. (Amazing what one person can do if she tries hard!) I am working on reading lists for my 8th/9th grade class. So far the short version looks like this:

Alice in Wonderland- Lewis Carroll

Through the Looking Glass- Lewis Carroll

The Red Badge of Courage- Stephen Crane

The Time Machine- HG Wells

Silas Marner- George Eliot

Narrative of Frederick Douglass

Call of the Wild- Jack London

Around the World in 80 Days- Jules Verne

Ethan Frome- Edith Wharton

Frankenstein- Mary Shelley

The Old Man and the Sea- Ernest Hemingway

Then I realized that, with drama and poetry, that would probably be way too much to read. So then I thought, what if I did this year's class 1800s novels and next year 1900s novels? That would still leave out some of the works I wanted to read (particularly on the longer list). And I thought I would present an “optional” list from which they only have to pick one novel. I was thinking of doing genre specific books in there. (Romance, sci fi, fantasy, etc.)

My question is: What did you read in High School?

All I can remember reading were The Hobbit, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations.

20 questions: favorites

Twenty Questions – Favorites

1.? What is your favourite film? The Princess Bride

2.? What is your favourite book? right this minute, Goddess by Mistake

3.? Where is your favourite holiday destination? the mountains

4.? What is your favourite soft drink? Dr. Pepper

5.? What is your favourite alcoholic drink? strawberry daquiri, though I prefer it without alcohol

6.? What is your favourite meal? right now, peanut butter sandwich and cold skim milk

7.? What is your favourite perfume/aftershave? Belara by Mary Kay

8.? Who is your favourite actor/actress? Pierce Brosnan

9.? Which is your favourite magazine? Reader's Digest, maybe

10.? Who is your favourite singer/band? like individual songs, not whole singers or bands

11.? What is your favourite flavour of crisps/chips? Doritos, original

12.? What is your favourite smell? my husband, new cut grass, after the rain dirt

13.? What is your favourite chocolate bar? Cailler's chocolate with hazelnut cream, only available in Switzerland

14.? What is your favourite flower? rose or iris

15.? What is your favourite colour? royal blue

16.? What is your favourite television programme? Design on a Dime or Sensible Chic

17.? What is your favourite hobby? reading

18.? What is your favourite website? my husband's

19.? Which is your favourite search engine? google

20.? What is your favourite memory? my husband putting his hand on my lower back as we walked out a door

Numbers and nonsense

Twenty Questions – Wednesday 9th April 2003: Numbers & Feelings

1.? How old are you? 40+

2.? How many brothers & sisters do you have? 3

3.? How many first cousins do you have? 17

4.? How long have you been in your current relationship? 14 years

5.? How old were you when you had your first girlfriend/boyfriend? aside from 1st grade, 23

6.? Approximately how many pairs of shoes do you own? 6

7.? How many rooms are there in your house? 12 or so, does the entryway count? What about the room over the garage?

8.? How long have you lived in your current house? 2 years

9.? How long have you been 'online' (years)? 10 years

10. How long have you worked for your current employer? God- a long time, my children-12 years, college- 1 year, homeschool coop-1 year

11.? What makes you happy? my hubbie, my boys, sunsets, wind, trees, flowers, riding a bike, reading a book, learning new things

12.? What makes you sad? reading a depressing book, burning dinner, the boys fighting, my husband depressed

13.? What makes you angry? the boys fighting, people saying things that aren't so, people being ugly to each other

14.? What makes you laugh? my husband, my dad, my boys

15.? What makes you cry? sad movies, happy movies, sad books, happy books, sad stories, happy stories, loneliness, emotional pain

16.? What makes you feel helpless? knowing something bad is going on and being unable to do anything about it

17.? What are you passionate about? education, family, God

18.? What do you worry about? education, finances, God

19.? What scares you? I feel like the answer should be God, just to continue the theme, but… scary movies. What if scenarios? People I don't know coming up and touching me.

20.? What makes you feel sick? not taking my vitamins, not getting enough protein, not getting exercise, not eating on time, not getting enough sleep

Reading in US

According to a study the US is fourth or twelfth in ranking for reading ability of its 4th graders.

Whether it is 4th or 12th depends on whether everyone with the same score (9 countries) is scored as having 4th place or 12th place. If you go to the story connected, it looks like the US in 9th. But in fact there is no statistical significance between the nine countries scoring 4 through 12. Which says scoring it the way they did met some political agenda. Because otherwise they'd have only had 4th or 12th place on those.

I responded to a blogger a few weeks ago who said we were all stupid in the US and didn't read. Obviously he didn't know what he was talking about then and he doesn't know now.

Health: Thanks for boredom

I am 41 years old. And, although I almost hate to write it for fear that it will go away, I am the most well that I have been in perhaps as many as seven years.

Not only can I clean a closet in a day (a feat that was monumental enough to be worth the effort it took for me to write an email about it 20 months ago), I can now clean my kitchen in five minutes or less, do three loads of laundry at least, cook, make my bed, pick up the upstairs, and help my boys with school. In fact, last week, I cleaned and reorganized the two largest closets in my house in less than half an hour. Sixteen months ago I was afraid to meet any new people, because my brain was functioning so poorly that I could not remember if I had met them before. Even if I talked with them for hours, even if they were in my home for a meal.

My illness/illnesses have not been all my life.

Until I was 13 I was in excellent health, never sick but with chicken pox and mumps. Then something happened and my health deteriorated. I was always in pain, but rarely anything anyone was able to identify. I had a severe case of TMJ which was relieved by extensive surgery when I was 19. When the surgery was over, because of complications, they were unable to administer pain medicine. The pain was less after the surgery than it had been before and I had lived with that for six years.

I still had pain. Quite a lot of it, actually. Debilitating leg pains that caused me to limp quite often, but were not arthritis. Shoulder pain. Back pain where I could not walk or sit. For years, though, those pains came and went and I was unable to identify any particular cause or symptom. But it was not so bad that I could not live my life and having had so much pain, I was used to living with it.

Then about seven years ago, I got up, took my boys to preschool, came home and laid on the couch to read a book and could not get through an entire page without going to sleep. For a woman who reads 185 pages of a light novel in 45 minutes, that was terrifying. Medical practitioners had not helped me so I went to an applied kinesiologist. He said I was allergic to potatoes and tomatoes. The two main foods of my life since the year before when my family had become vegetarian. I was angry. I was furious. Didn't he know I could not deal with any more stress in my life? I gave up those two things for four months or so. When I accidentally ate them in a dish at a restaurant, I was in bed with debilitating pain within two hours. It took two days to go away.

I did not give up the foods forever. As an old West Texas girl, my choices of food were fairly simple. You couldn't make most of them without tomatoes or potatoes. But I did eat less of them.

And I got better. Not completely well, but better. Whenever it got too bad, I would cut back on those foods again.

Then, two and one half years ago, we moved and my husband and I quit being vegetarian. The applied kinesiologist had recommended that, said I wasn't getting enough protein, but I just hadn't been able to deal with that. When we quit being vegetarian, we only ate meat out of the house, when we went to restaurants, because my sons are still vegetarian.

Then, last March, we went on Body for Life, Bill Phillips' lifestyle plan for eating and exercising. I did a modified BFL, because I counted calories, but I began to get better. MUCH better. After a few months, it was clear that eating protein several times a day was something my body had needed and was lacking. By May I was well enough to apply for a job teaching on Friday mornings starting in the fall.

I stayed on BFL until the beginning of February, when I began to go downhill and started losing muscle rather than fat. I was having to take naps again. So I was sleeping 10 or 11 hours. (Since at the worst of it, I had been sleeping 20 that was still good, but I didn't want to go bad.) I started looking for another weight loss program. I did ten weeks of Physique Transformation. I began to get better. I gained eight pounds of muscle and lost four pounds of fat. Then the last week of conditioning, I gained fat. Then I went into fat burning. First week, lost five pounds. Second week, gained three pounds. Third week, gained a pound. I couldn't stand that, so I quit. But I was also feeling worse again, starting to have to take naps again. NO!

I've been off all diets for a week and my body is much better. I am staying awake longer and, though I am taking the odd nap, I am also not sleeping as much at night, so I probably need that. I am still dreaming once a night, though, so my severe sleep apnea hasn't taken over my nighttimes again.

Tomorrow I start BFL again. But this time I am starting at a higher calorie rate. I am going for a higher protein percentage. I am going back to working out. (Not something I could do on PT.) I do think that I won't do cardio ten times a week, which I was doing by the end. And I will keep taking multivitamins. My nails have never been so nice in all my life.

I hope that I can find a meal plan/lifestyle that will work for weight loss and later weight maintenance, without hurting my health. I will find it.

Right now, today, I am well. I am so well, both physically and mentally, that I am bored. I have done 20 or 30 times as much today as I could do two years ago and I still have so much energy, that I am bored. God, thank you for boredom!!!

Thinking on blog; 8/9th grade reading

Working on curriculum for next 2 years for a 3 hr/wk course for 8th & 9th graders.

Washington Irving short stories

Edgar Allen Poe short stories

Alice in Wonderland

Through the Looking Glass

Red Badge of Courage

The Time Machine

Around the World in 80 Days

something by Robert Louis Stevenson (But what?)

Twain short stories

Silas Marner

Stephen Vincent Benet short stories

Call of the Wild

Fitzgerald short stories

The Old Man and the Sea

Of Mice and Men

O'Henry short stories

My Antonia! (Don't remember this. Would have to read first for age-appropriateness.)

Main Street by Sinclair Lewis (Never read this. Would have to check for age-appropriateness)

The Horse and His Boy

Passing by Nella Larsen (Haven't read this but have always wanted to. Going to look at the library for this. Need to check it out.)

5 questions

I was reading through the blogs and went to Joe's blog. He had 5 questions for Friday that I thought were interesting.

1. What is your most prized material possession?

2. What item, that you currently own, have you had the longest?

3. Are you a packrat?

4. Do you prefer a spic-and-span clean house? Or is some clutter necessary to avoid the appearance of a museum?

5. Do the rooms in your house have a theme? Or is it a mixture of knick-knacks here and there?

I liked question 2 because it made me think. And I looked up from the computer and there was a painting of a little Dutch girl that my aunt painted for me when I was little, at the most 6. It is hanging right over the computer and I love that painting. It's probably what I have at my house that I have owned the longest.

I also liked question 5. The rooms in my house do have a theme. My youngest son's room is Medieval. The Media room is Greco-Roman. The living room is Depression glass and antique china cabinets and side boards. The dining room is a library. The kitchen is all in blues. The bedroom is decorated to match the two paintings in there by Treby.

I thought it was pretty funny that my living room decorations are for a dining room/kitchen and that my dining room is a library. I hadn't ever thought about just how weird that was.

When we moved into this house, we came from a house that was half its size. We had empty rooms all over the place because we didn't own enough furniture to fill it up. Then over the last three years as my parents have been transitioning into retirement, my folks gave us my great grandmother's dining room set and my grandmother's bedroom set and two antique desks and a couch and a chair and an antique sideboard.

At first, the breakfast room had our table and chairs in it. The dining room was wall to wall bookshelves. Both my husband and I had always wanted a library and we could have one. We love that! Then my mom gave us grama's stuff. Well, the china cabinet couldn't go in the breakfast room, because there wasn't any wall big enough for it. And it couldn't go in the dining room because those were covered with bookshelves. So, it went into the living room.

When we got the couch and chair, we mixed and matched with our older furniture (which were hand me downs from my sister) and had the living room with two couches and I put the chair and the love seat in the library. I liked that. But one day I came home from work to find that the chair and love seat were in the breakfast room and the table and chairs were in the library. That was kind of cozy. It means my husband comes home from work and parks in the breakfast room and talks to me while I finish dinner.

It just kept going from there. Now we have too MUCH furniture in our house, except for bookshelves. We need about three more bookshelves right now. I am hoping to get those for my birthday next week. If I do, two will go in our room and one will go in the media room. (The library is already full.)

Xmas wish list (early)

I never remember what I wanted for Xmas. So I am going to update on my blog. Feel free to send me any of them.

Dover has a wonderful set of thrift editions of older works for anywhere from $1 to $3. However, I ordered those already that I am sure I want. But they also have a book of 116 watercolors by William Blake illustrating Thomas Gray's poems. It is $25.

Then there's The Medieval Stage. 960 pages for the literature teacher to use as a handbook, perhaps. Haven't seen it so I don't know how usable it is.

Also, The Wandering Scholars of the Middle Ages, which is supposed to be an excellent reference book.

But, if I had to pick one from the last two or this, it would be this one Medieval Literature in Translation. You would think I'd read all the literature I'd want like that, since it was my main field in my master's. But I did Old English as my minor field in my doctorate. It's been a while since I've studied Medieval Lit. Normally I don't like a book quite this long (1094 pages) because it is hard to hold, but as a reference I think it might be quiet good.

an old poem, an old drawing

Tornado Memory

from John Calhoun's line drawing

Thick tornado clouds swamp the sky,

gray and deep dirt brown,

hanging heavy over mahogany earth.

Tall and slender,

dressed in the same browns as the earth and sky,

a face turns towards the heavens

and watches the tornadoes coming.

I wanted to give the link to the drawing, which used to be on the web, but it's not out there now. It was a beautiful work. I loved it. Used to get on the net and just stare at it. Of course, that was six or so years ago. Maybe more.

The war, God, ramblings

I prayed, before the war ever started, that there would be no deaths from friendly fire. I asked God for that. I begged him for that. I understand the concept of free will, that God doesn't make us do stuff, but the average person doesn't want to kill the people on their side. I figured it wouldn't/shouldn't be too hard for God to deal with that.

He didn't. We had people killed in a helicopter accident. We had guys from a patriot missile thing hit a British plane.

Is there really a god? I've always believed in God. I've always believed in him as creator and runner of the universe. I don't always understand him or like what he does. But I've always figured there was a god.

When I wasn't quite as sure as other times, I'd talk to my husband. Not my kids. The kids know I sometimes gripe at God. I don't like periods. I don't like pain. Don't know why God does this or that. But they've also heard me tell God I liked the colors he put in the sunset. All the greens in the trees around here. The weedy flowers in my yard. They've heard me tell him thank you for them and for their dad. We pray together.

But today, you know, I just thought, Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there isn't really a God. Maybe I'm just like a teenage girl with a crush on a guy I don't really know at school. Maybe I've made up in my mind how he thinks, what he feels, where he likes to be. Maybe God is just a figment of my imagination.

I don't like that idea. I told him so. God and I often have talks. He rarely talks back. Sometimes, but rarely. I told him I didn't like the idea of him being a figment of my imaginationn. I wanted him to be there. To be real. But I sure didn't get how come he couldn't answer my prayer and keep those people safe. Enough people are going to die in this war. Do they have to die from accidents and mistakes that God could stop?

Coming to class

I am the world's easiest teacher. I require papers, but the same ones that everyone else teaching this class requires. I actually went and looked up topics for the research paper, to make sure there would be articles on the topics. But the one thing I can't stand is when someone comes to class only when papers are due. I've had one student show up two and a half times now. Two and a half, because he came half way through a class. I've got two who have missed several classes in a row. “I was tired.” “I was asleep.” “I was out of town.” “The contractors came today.” This is when we only have one class a week. How can you take a once a week class and then just miss it, miss it, miss it?

Thankfully I actually included 5% of the grade for being in class. I figure if you are there less than half that's a 0 on that. But it's only 5%. That's not enough to make a considerable difference. But it is enough to make me feel a bit better.

Question on Sex

I've had several different guys tell me that they think about sex pretty much 24/7. I've had a few tell me that they are constantly thinking, “I'd like to have sex with her.” or not, whenever they see a woman in public. I've had one guy tell me, no, he doesn't think about sex all the time. But most who I've asked said they did.

I want to know if there are women (out of the teens) out there, any or a lot or all, who see a guy and just think, “Ooh, I'd love to kiss him.” (Or whatever.) And I'm not talking about someone you know, someone you have a relationship with, some friend. I'm talking random guy walking by in a restaurant.

I love sex. But I don't look at a guy and think, “What kind of package has he got?” or anything like that.

I wonder if that is my generation, my upbringing, just me, or is it common?

Recently I've read a couple of books where the women are thinking like that. And I'm wondering if a guy wrote the books.

I don't know of anyone who thinks that way, but most of my girlfriends have had past traumas (abuse or assault) and don't like sex at all. So I don't really have a large group I could ask.

My Blog Header Blog

One woman's written responses to the world around her. Comments on God, sex, teaching, college students, TV, whatever shows up.

Questions about God

I'm teaching a class on arguing for your faith. (Yes, even apologetics teachers get doubtful). I'm basically asking questions and answering them, based on what I see on blogs or have heard.

What is apologetics?

What do you believe?

How do you know there is a god?

Is God good? If he is good, then why does he allow suffering? (Good response at If he is good, why did he command things that sound terrible to us?

Why is there evil?

Is the Bible reliable? Do we have any reason to believe the book we have now is even similar to the originals?

Is the Bible contradictory? Is the Bible internally consistent?

Is there any external evidence to the truth of the Bible?

Who is Jesus?

Was Jesus racist? sexist? wimpy? lunatic? liar? Lord? Who does Jesus say he was?

Do God and science disagree? Is evolution true?

Aren't all religions the same? How can you say Christianity is the right religion?

It's a once a week class, for 45 minutes. Those are the questions we've covered this semester. I feel like we should have covered more, but I am not sure what others I would want to cover.