Tuesday, December 9, 2008


As with so many things, our best school days emerge as sidetracks to what was to have been The Main Event.

Funny that.

I'd intended to read the sections on Lao Tsu and Confucius in The Story of the World and A Little History of the World (a great read if you haven't yet discovered this book), as a sort of respite from what is turning out to be The Greek Unit That Won't End, but one of those internet freebies (printed out and stuck in my Ideas binder) caught my eye. It was entitled Chinese Idioms and appeared to be a brief lesson in calligraphy. Looked interesting enough.

I glanced at one of the idioms:

"Lord Ye's professed love of dragons."

Suitably obscure, I thought. We can have a certain amount of hilarity trying to figure some of these out, no doubt, since we do like oddball foreign expressions. Plus, the complex nature of a foreign idiom is something Max is beginning to find curious and challenging. And I like seeing that boy challenged.

I read. They drew, played with clay, and FDPG built a very involved 3D Cuisinaire Rod maze. Then I hauled out some brushes and black paint and yellow paper (bring on the atmosphere, you know).

I should know better than to be so surprised each time, but I guess I'm still figuring it out, because they loved this project.

The concentration was palpable, particularly for FDPG, aka The Girl Who Stops Talking Only To Breathe.

Max seemed most enthusiastic, which gladdened my heart. It's easy to thrill the twins: a little paint, a story, some cookie dough, a silly lesson in Latin, some pressed leaves, a yoga mat or two. They love it all. But Max is getting older and looking for more. So it's good to see him finding it.

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