Skewing the Info: How Much do We Read?

How Much Information discusses both the production and the use of information. The most interesting things to me were book and internet use. But I will mention some others.

First, the average US household in 1992 spent 100 hours per year reading books. If the average household consists of four people, that means that the average American read 25 hours a year. Okay. I’m obviously not average. Even when I’m not reading much I read 25 hours a month easy. When I am reading, I read well over 25 hours a week. So do I skew so far they throw me out? Or do I skew in such a way that most people only read an hour or two a year? I don’t know. I’m thinking they’d throw me out. In 2000 the average household only spent 24 hours a year reading. You know, my kids read more than 24 hours a month. So I guess we all mess it up.

Second, TV watching. The average household spent 1510 hours a year watching TV in 1992 and 1571 hours watching it in 2000. That’s a little less than 400 hours per person. Which works out to be about an hour a day. Okay, maybe my family skews here too. I watch about an hour and a half a week. My boys only have 4 hours a week that they can watch. So we’re definitely below the average in TV watching.

Third, internet use. In 1992 the average household used the internet 2 hours a year. Okay. In 1992 even my one year old son used the internet more than that. My husband used the internet probably 2 hours a day in 1992. So he’d definitely skew the whole set there. In 2000 Americans used about 43 hours per year. Now, at that rate of growth, we should be looking at about 63 hours per year for the American household today. Well, we use 63 hours a week on the internet at our house. We have an airport and four laptops. Plus two table top computers. There are four of us, but still. I’d say we easily push the average of the year by a minimum of 50x. I mean, my family considers me a computer-phobe and totally geek-less, but I use the internet at least 10 hours a week. Often more. And my boys use it more than I do by a huge magnitude. I’d say maybe 50 hours a week each. So really, we’d use double the yearly amount for the average household each week.

I guess all I can say about this info and usage is that my family doesn’t match it.

Mosul Attack

I haven’t wanted to write anything specifically, but one of the units I have been sending things to is in Mosul. I pray for them, specifically today, as many died and were injured. Is it awful to say that I hope they weren’t “my” soldiers?

The war dead list has not yet been updated, so I can’t check.

Pray for them.


The BBC had an article in which “evil” was in quotations. I went back to reread it and now it says “evil killers” in the title.

Conservative grad student has an October 2, 2004 post on a conversation where he said “That is evil” and a fellow grad student disagreed with him. No, the other said. It’s different. It’s different and you don’t like it. But it’s not evil. It was though. Read the article to find out the topic.

I am now considering a short internet research paper, three sources, one page, as an extra credit assignment. What is the meaning of evil in the media?

I googled “evil” and the first site is a quiz that tells you how evil you are. It doesn’t ask any questions about dictionary definition evil. Instead it asks you what cliques you belong to, whose name you recognize, what music you listen to, and what you’d rather be when you grow up. Clearly needs a clue. BTW it said I was neutral. I didn’t answer over half the questions.

Next of interest on the google is Peter’s Evil Overlord List which for a long time was one of my teenage son’s favorite websites. It’s 100 things you ought to keep in mind, but goes on beyond 100. He found that exceptionally funny. The site is amusing. But it doesn’t really answer the question of evil. Or even begin to address it.

George W. Bush Scorecard of Evil came up 11th. It’s an interesting and somewhat rational perspective of Bush’s evil. Of course, many of the things the author says are bad, like abortion bans, aren’t. And I think some of the things he doesn’t like are good, fine, or ridiculous. Perhaps because I am a right wing ostrich. There are several issues I would have deducted points for on a Bush score card, but those are not on his list. So… Not evil.

Okay, I am not sure why this came up, but I agree with it. I changed the google to “What is evil?” and got Cheat House, a clearing house for getting other people’s work which you can then claim as your own. No one would order these papers for research purposes. The internet is too easy to use and the library is free. As a teacher, I don’t like this “Cheathouse” idea. It is evil. It promotes unethical and illegal things, especially theft of intellectual property and lying. Interesting hit, though.

PBS has its own frontline of evil page about the Rwanda genocides. But it doesn’t diss them. It disses the west for not doing anything about it. This is PBS. They don’t like the American military. Exactly what were they, as part of the west, doing? Talking. That’s abandoning Rwanda, too. But Rwanda did this to itself. Yes, we didn’t go to war. Lots of wars, not a lot of support or troops. But we didn’t cause the Rwanda genocide. Rwanda did. Where’s PBS’s anger at them? Not there. The genocide was evil. But the West not stepping in to attack? If we had, no one would have liked it, including PBS. “All it takes for evil to win is for good men to look the other way.” Does that make them evil? That’s not a question that is asked on the site, though.

Evil is apparently a Boston based bicycle company. There you go. Dilution of the word to meaning bicycles. Well, of course the Beslan terrorist attacks weren’t bicycles.

This article attempts to define evil. First, it rejects the dictionary definition, without much explanation-no, without any. Then it goes into a historical discussion that is inaccurate. Yes, Augustine discussed evil. No, the Christian concept of evil did not develop in the third and fourth centuries AD. In the beginning, God gave one command. Adam and Eve broke it. That was evil. Cain was jealous of Abel and killed him. That was evil. And the list goes on. The Old Testament, which was written beginning somewhere in the second millenium BC and codified before the third century BC, begins the historical biblical discussion on evil. The New Testament, which was concluded before 150 AD, gives the new Christians a more in-depth description. “You have heard it said that you shouldn’t murder. Anyone who calls his brother an idiot is in danger… You have heard it said that you shouldn’t commit adultery; anyone who lusts commits adultery.” This is paraphrased, but it’s what Jesus said in Matthew. Long before Augustine was alive to have a discussion.

This forum has a discussion in which evil is discussed and defined by various persons. One of them claims that the car bombings in Iraq are not evil, even though they are killing hundreds of Iraqi civilians, but that the US army being there is evil. While I can see their argument for the US army, I cannot see or concede their argument that car bombs are okay.

“The Study on Evil and Depravity” says, “I think an evil act reflects intent, actions, and attitudes about what one has done.” But it doesn’t actually say what intent, actions, and attitudes are evil. Supposedly his 26 point scale of depravity will tell us what is evil. But he’s not done with it yet, so we’ll have to wait. Or we can just look around and see it ourselves.

I went to Fox News and put in evil. The first article is one about Cheney pushing to lift the UN bans on Iraq. I assume this is when he was with Halliburton. Yep. The next is the vice presidential debate. That’s a bit scary. Why would these come up? Evil isn’t in the title.

Web results from Fox News came up with “Why Evil and Suffering?” and “Rent Evil Netflix.” Funny one.

Putting evil in at ABC news got me an article on “The Study of Evil and Depravity” (see above). Then “Gore: Combat ‘Other’ Axis of Evil” and “Crime Blotter: My Evil Twin Did It.” The third is another example of blaming someone else, anyone else, even our imaginary twin, rather than taking responsibility for our own actions.

CNN got “Key Points of 2nd Debate” and “Candidates Tackle Iraq” before moving to “Myst sets pace for virtual realism.” The fourth one is about evil. A kidnapping defendant, who kidnapped a kindergartener, jumped up and slashed his lawyer- while in court. Yes, kidnapping a child is evil. Knifing people is evil. Then we get back to the VP debate and the report on Iraq’s WMDs.

After thinking for a while, I put in “the purpose of evil.” The first hit I got had that title. It seems to be a theological discussion over the fact that Christian orthodoxy does not explain evil well. His/her argument is that God made all things. Therefore, God made evil. Since God is good, evil must be for some good reason. Eventually evil will lead to good. Absolute evil cannot exist, because if it does, then absolute good cannot exist, and it does- God. Then he says this proves that hell can’t exist as we suppose, torture for eternity. Articulate. I do not agree with many of his talking points, but he has them and they are well-developed.

The next is a PDF file which is on the same topic. It says that God has a purpose for everything. Then it says that some evil has a purpose. But when I read that section, the author noted no evil, but only discussed physical pain. That’s not evil. That’s pain. Then it says that some evil is a byproduct of good. The early bird gets the worm, but the worm gets eaten. Since God set that system up, too, I would have to say it must not be evil. This article is reprinted from Baker’s Encyclopaedia of Christian Apologetics.

The third item says that the purpose of evil is to point us to God. Okay… Adam and Eve were with God. Hung out with him personally. They were friends. Then they broke his command and “sin entered the world.” Then they lost that daily communion of friendship with God. Don’t think that points us to God. Now, evil can make us wonder about God, but it doesn’t make us look for/to him.

Then there’s a thread which says that “Lucifer” is a mistranslation of an Isaiah passage about Babylon and that, therefore, there is no Satan. While I can easily believe a mistranslation/misunderstanding (It is not a mistranslation. The word is correct. However, what it was referring to may have been misunderstood.), Satan himself came and tempted Jesus. So while I may not know his given name, he’s still out there.

When I change my google to “the nature of evil” I get a story first. Then a website entitled Searching for Evil. In this, there is a definition of evil. It is the overidentification with a cause to serve selfish purposes. Then it goes on to explain that the prosecuting attorneys are evil, the government actors are evil. While the laws might not be evil, they do evil. I think that he doesn’t understand what evil is. Too bad. I thought we might have something here.

The Dark Force in Nature explains how Satanism is really good. It is only perceived as bad because people like to think in dualities such as good/evil and right/wrong and Satanism involves all the issues without focusing on the two extremes. Now there is an article on evil that will straighten you out and bend you into a twisted pretzel.

Here’s kudos for the English majors. This site examines Macbeth and the nature of evil. It actually says that evil is the opposite of humanity. It is a deviation from what is natural. (I can see problems with that definition.) But then the author goes on to say that evil originates in the human heart. It’s a start. Finally.

Wired on Education

Apparently it is not sufficient for Wired News that evolution is taught in the school system as a fact when it is, according to even the most vehement evolutionary scientist, simply a theory. Now they are upset that another theory will be taught. This is the theory of Intelligent Design.

This article argues that Darwin “spoke to” the question of Intelligent Design. And since Darwin spoke, of course, it means that he was right and there is no other option in theory.

In fact, Darwin’s theory has been bashed even by evolutionary scientists. If they don’t believe the grampa themselves, why should the grampa have the last word when bashing someone else’s theory?

Science and Religion

We read Dr. Feynman’s article, “The Relationship of Science and Religion,” in class on Tuesday. Quotes from it can be found here.

Today I find that a small journal has published an article on intelligent design. I am looking forward to reading it as soon as I finish grading papers and doing the evening’s dishes.

Update: As one would expect of a scholarly journal, it is not a quick read. I am slogging through it even with skimming. But I think it brings together many cogent points in a way that would appeal to a scientist.


I talked to Henry about having a coffee table built. However, the dimensions he suggested (except height) seemed more to me like a sofa table than a coffee table (34 by 18). When I told him the dimensions I was thinking, he was freaked. He told me to go home and measure. I was about right (48 by 36).

I went looking for “map table” on the internet. The only one I found, that was actually a map table, was at Star Furniture from Martha Stewart. Now, I have never cared much for her style, much too fussy for me, but I do like that map table. I would like it instead of the brass and glass (very nice, but clearly modern) coffee table I have now. Of course, I never go to Star Furniture. And all the highways are labeled with names rather than numbers. I would much prefer N59 Houston rather than EastTex freeway or S59 Houston rather than SW Freeway. Some of these freeways I don’t know by name. And they aren’t labeled that way on a map.

(On an aside, shouldn’t people think about visitors when they decide to label streets? I was trying to get directions from 63 to visit a friend, which, it turns out, everyone in town calls “the Brownfield highway.” Drives me crazy. Austin does the same thing, so it’s not just Houston or Lubbock. 183 is Research Blvd.)

Since I only found one map table, although I found several DIY tables with maps decoupaged on them, I wondered if they had another name. But I couldn’t find anything on map tables’ history or a definition of them. Couldn’t find much on coffee table def. either. Coffee table history simply nets you coffee table books of a historical nature.

Where do map tables come from? Why have coffee tables gotten so big? And why do we have low coffee tables anyway?

Anyone know?

Your Info wanted

Where I live now no one is on time to church or parties. If you are invited over to someone's house, you show up 15 minutes late. If it's a party, you show up even later.

I don't remember this growing up. We were always on time everywhere.

Is this lateness normal or fashionable where you live? I would really like to know. Does anyone know if it is a new phenomenon?


I teach an 8/9 grade class and a 10/11/12 grade class. As the year started out, they were getting about half an hour of homework twice a week. (We only meet twice a week.) Of course, the slower students are probably spending an hour doing the work each time. But my class is a tutoring session. They're supposed to be doing some work at home. I have stepped up the homework assignments and am now told my homework may be too much. (Three hours a week total.)

According to this Plastic article, with some very interesting comments, my students should be getting between 80 minutes and 2 hours a week of homework. Originally when I was hired, the head said the students should do one hour out of class for each hour in class. But when I spoke to her on Tuesday she said it was too much.

I guess I should work on getting somewhere between what I was doing and what I am requiring now.

Of course, next weekend my students have two essays, take home mid-term. If I was them I'd spend eight hours on each of them. But I'm figuring at the most they'll spend two hours. (Some of my students will spend too much time on them, but not most.) Probably a good amount of time would be an hour and a half to two hours for each essay. So next weekend I am planning on them doing MORE homework, not less.

Here's a student's view of teachers and homework.

This article from Cinncinnati, Ohio gives the parent's view. I will say, for my case, that I am NOT supposed to be teaching them everything they need to know. I have tried to introduce everything and have been told I am “doing too much in class.”

The UK recommendations say 30 minutes of homework a day. Is that per class? If so, then they're basically recommending 30 minutes per week per class. Forget that. Most students can take that long to find the assignment and get out a writing utensil.

This Juneau, Alaska blog is an interesting one. Especially since I was talking with a woman whose friend is married, with a baby, and is 19. The girl's husband is 16. His mother says she is NOT going to push her younger children through school quickly. Look what happened to her older son.

Americans v. Europeans, and a rant on mileage

Mrs. du Toit is a homeschooling mom who uses a bit more profanity than I do. She also writes complete essays. (My excuse is I'm too busy grading.) But I found a great essay she wrote on the differences between Americans and Europeans.

She did have a statement I have to disagree with. (It's a theme, I think.)

“Like most Europeans, many Americans never travel farther than 100 miles from their home towns?ever. Packing a suitcase and a picnic basket for the 120 mile journey from New York to Connecticut is not that unusual. We knew quite a number of people (most in fact) who lived in New Jersey, who had only been to New York City a dozen or so times in their lives. They were really uncomfortable traveling THAT far (all of 30 miles). As a tourist, I?d been to Manhattan more than they had. They just weren?t interested in leaving the comforts of known territory.”

I did go to a comedy club and one person admitted never having left the state of Texas. But Texas is a big state. Drive for fourteen hours most places and you'll go through a couple of states. It was less than ten hours from NW Indiana to Pennsylvania, and that was when the speed limit was lower. In fourteen hours from Houston, TX I can get to my aunt's house in a miniature town not too far from Lubbock, TX. It's only four to get to Dallas. Three and a half to get to Austin. Six solid hours to get to Abilene. Nine to get to Midland. About fourteen to get to El Paso. Four to get to San Antonio.

I made the trip to San Antonio four times this summer. That's 186 miles from where I live to the first sign about it. I actually drove almost 250, because first I had to drop the kids off at my parents. According to them that is 62 miles from my house. But the straighter way is about 48.

I went to Austin twice this summer. Once to take a girlfriend out to lunch for her birthday. That was fun.

I'm older and I don't like to drive as much, but back in 86 I made a seven hour one way trip every weekend for eight months. I drove about 16 hours one way two or three weekends one school year.

I may not be typical, but I don't think I am that unusual.

The tutoring program I am in has students coming from up to 60 miles away. That's for school twice a week.

One of the heads of the homeschooling program's extracurricular classes is from New Jersey. She and her family make the trek up there at least twice a year.

When my boys were first born, my folks lived in New Jersey. The folks came every month to see us. Dad would fly into Houston for work and then he and mom would drive from Houston up to see me. Every month. For two years.

I obviously come from a traveling family. My grandmother went to California in a wagon. (She's much older than I am.) My mom was born in CA, raised in AZ, married a Texan and followed him all over the country. They retired from New Jersey to south of Houston.

My best friends… My best friend from college grew up in Andrews, moved to Midland, then on to Abilene, and now lives in Houston. I know she's been more than 120 miles from home because it is way more than that to get home to see her folks every holiday.

My best friend from grad school grew up outside of Abilene and that's where she lives now. But between then and now we were in grad school in Indiana together and she and her husband moved between Austin and Hawaii after that. Way more than 120 miles there.

My best friend from NC is from Kentucky. A bit longer than 120 miles to where she lives now. Plus they vacation in Florida twice a year, also more than 120 miles.

My two best friends from Austin… One was a military brat and she's been to Japan several times. So she's probably done more than most people. The other was an immigrant's daughter. She was the first in her family to go to college. When I met her in Austin she was nine hours drive from home. (540 miles.) Now she lives in NC. Another 20 or so hours from here.

My friend Deb who I met here is from Iowa. Iowa is way more than 120 miles from here.

My husband is from where we now live. And about six other places, all farther than 120 miles away. His best friend is also from here and back again. He went to college 14 hours from home and then 6 hours from home. Then he went to California, two solid days of driving. Then to Ohio for his residency. His wife is from Ohio, but they met in Texas. At least 12 hours drive from her home.

My husband and I dated while he lived in New Mexico and I lived in Texas and while he lived in Ohio and I lived in Indiana. Definitely not a close relationship there.

I do have one friend who lives here, grew up here, went to school here, etc. But I am fairly sure she has been outside the state at least.

So what do you think? Are you one of the people who stays close to home? Or do you travel? I really want to know. I'm wondering if “like attracts like” and I just know the only people in America who still travel.

What is sexy?

Read a blog comment on Reactuate about what is sexy. He's trying to define what guys think is sexy. He came up with the idea that good looking woman + high respect toward the guy= sexy.

I want to talk about what girls find sexy. Since I am a girl, I think I can address this issue. Looks are good. However, like guys who prefer different types, women also have different preferences. My husband is a tall skinny guy with light brown hair. He's not the kind of guy I automatically think is sexy. My looks preference is for darker skin, black hair, and dark eyes. But just because a guy looks gorgeous, doesn't mean I find him sexy. I think a lot of it relates to how they act, too. The most gorgeous guy on the planet who smokes is not sexy to me. I hate smoking. Or if he's rude. Or if he disses his lady.

Looks are not the only determiner of sexy for women. I like nice biceps and tight rounded butts, but I've known plenty of people without those who I found sexy. If he talks to me, maybe flirts, if he is polite, if he seems genuinely interested in me… All those things are sexy. If he works hard at being a loving husband and/or father, I find that sexy. In the old days (back when I was single), the way he touched me or invaded my space also made a determination on sexy.

I found a series of posts attempting to define sexy. It mentions looks and attitude.

A funny site about University of Florida's sexiest male teachers. There were female teachers nominated, but they declined the honor. I guess they didn't want to have info about them on the net? Or maybe they didn't want to feed into the whole stereotype thing?

I think it's a sales place, but this site talks about sexy clothes and sexy being having confidence in yourself.

I found a couple of other post links, that mostly had nothing to say. One did say “confidence without having a superior attitude appreciating everything, not just the exterior laugh lines.”

An interesting site about what Ethiopian males do to try to look attractive and one person's response to that list.

This article is about how more and more older women are getting younger guys. (I already knew that. I'm 3 years older than hubby.) But it also defines sexy in the article, which is why it popped up when I googled “define sexy.” This article says it's looking like they can still have healthy kids. Hmmm. Think I am beyond that now.

Sticks and Stones and Words

You know the rhyme “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” What a lie! Bones will repair, given time and minimal help. Words take a long time to get over and we don't really know the physics to make them go away.

I had a nightmare last night in which someone was telling me something I didn't want to hear. I think it was lewd and suggestive comments from someone. In the nightmare I was in a place where I couldn't move. Anyway, I started screaming. Woke myself up and lay there wondering what you should do when you can't get away from the person, for whatever reason.

My husband had a boss who cussed his employees out on a regular basis. He couldn't get away from that and still be gainfully employed there.

I was watching a movie last night which was too scary for me. My hubby said, “Don't be a wuss.” I can be a wuss if I want to. But I have found that scary things are MUCH more scary if I think they might conceivably happen to me. If they are just beyond my imagination, I enjoy the show. If the main character is a bad guy, I enjoy the show. But when the person getting hurt is someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I kind of freak. Too much imagination and not enough control, I guess.

What are the worst words anyone's ever said to you? Are you over them? Or do they stick in your head and roll around in there popping up at the most inopportune times?

“You'll never be pretty.” “You can't do this.” Etc.

Who was Murphy?

Someone asked “Who was Murphy of Murphy's law?” The answer is available at a Murphy's law site. Though it says Murphy didn't originally say it. (Maybe he wrote it?)

Interesting stuff.

If you don't want to leave the blog, here's what the site says.

Born in 1917, Edward A. Murphy, Jr. was one of? the engineers on the rocket-sled experiments that were done by the United States?Air Force in 1949 to test human acceleration tolerances (USAF project MX981).

One experiment involved a set of 16 accelerometers mounted to different parts? of the subject's body. There were two ways each sensor could be glued to its? mount. Of course, somebody managed to install all 16 the wrong way around.

Murphy then made the original form of his pronouncement, which the test?subject (Major John Paul Stapp) quoted at a news conference a few days later.

Within months, “Murphy's Law” had spread to various technical cultures connected to aerospace engineering, and finally reached the Webster's dictionary? in 1958.

Tragically (and perhaps typically), the popular cliche we call “Murphy's Law”? was never uttered by Edward Murphy.

Murphy's Law applies to Murphy's Law, too

The traditional version of? Murphy's Law (“anything that can go wrong, will”) is actually “Finagle's? Law of Dynamic Negatives.” Finagle's Law was popularized by science? fiction author Larry Niven in several stories depicting a frontier culture of? asteroid miners; this “Belter” culture professed a religion and/or running joke? involving the worship of the dread god Finagl and his mad prophet Murphy.

Since then, the relentless truth inherent in Murphy's Law has become a persistent thorn in the side of humanity.

Who eats better? You or your kids?

My husband was interested in getting responses to this question.

He and I are both on BFL, so we are keeping careful records of what we eat. And we have to eat a reasonable amount of “not junk” food.

Our boys are vegetarian. As he says, that means they ought to be eating well. But their preference would be “wheat and cheese”-atarians. I make them eat 7 veggies and fruits a day and get in 30 grams of protein. Which should really go up as they grow taller. Veggies and fruits include peanut butter, juice. Each thing you eat can only count 2x in one day. So if they have four peanut butter sandwiches, that's still only 2 fruits and veggies. Same with their juice. Or grapes and strawberries.

I think that we all eat about equally well. When we take our free day off to eat poorly, the boys eat poorly too. But when we go out to eat, they ALWAYS eat poorly unless we go to Souper Salad, which is hard on BFL because there is no protein there. I miss Souper Salad. Maybe next free day we can go there.

Curriculum thoughts: Your input wanted

In an earlier blog I wrote down the list of books I thought I would be using for eighth and ninth grade lit. I got a response from a fellow blogger who said to PLEASE not read Of Mice and Men. The book seriously creeped them out. Me, too. So I decided I won't read that one. I'll have to find a replacement though.

I would love to hear what yalls thoughts are. I am looking for books, preferably in the 100-120 page length so that I can have students read one each month, from the 19th and 20th centuries. Anyone out there have any favorites? Or any books that don't fit that limit that they think are such classics/so important they should be read? I'd like to know.

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.

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.

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.


I've been looking up stuff on fire because I am writing a novel where the second half of the book involves a fire cult.

I learned that eucalyptus, sage, and spruce are highly flammable. In CA they're trying to get rid of those plants because of the wildfires.

Came home from lunch with my dad today to find my neighbor’s house had caught fire. They have the same floor plan we do and the windows were busted out of her master bedroom. The interior was a big black hole with firefighters pitching stuff out it.

She works and her son is in school, so no one was home. I hope he goes to an afterschool program and doesn't come home to find his house burnt. At least, not by himself.

We live just down the road from a small rural community. Last Sunday we saw a fire there. They lost one volunteer fireman. He was 30.

Fire is a scary thing.


Who are you?

“Embrace your uniqueness.? Time is much too short to be living someone else's life.”?? – Kobi Yamada

Found this quote on darkblue today. It isn't what I have been thinking about, but it is related. And I just had to throw it in here.

I'm 40. (Yeah, for some of you that is old. Oh well. Not for me.) In my life I have been me, but sometimes I haven't liked me. I have hidden my mind by not speaking up. I have hidden my body by overeating and/or wearing baggy clothes. I have hidden my personality by hanging around different kinds of people.

I like who I am now. I wear sexy clothes and while I am not sure that I am comfortable with them, I do know I look good in them. I know I'm smart. I know I'm friendly and a good friend.

Basically, I've come to accept my faults (stubborn, talk too much, have zits) and my strengths ( good conversationalist, great boobs, smart).

I wonder why it took me so long to accept who I am.

I look at the angst on these entries and I just want to say, “It'll be okay. Eventually you will be someone who can handle this.” But, you know, some of that stuff no one should have to handle. Some of that stuff won't even matter to the writer in another week.

I think that time is relative. The older you are, the shorter time gets relative to you. A year, when you are 10 is one tenth of your life. When you are 40, it's the equivalent of a third of a year to a 10 year old. Plus, you know how time works and you've seen it change your life and perspective. So a year is even less time.

So, who are you? And, don't wait so long to learn to like yourself!