Academic Fare-thee-well

Seal of Delaware.Signed. Sealed. Delivered.

This morning, Jane and I wrestled her Academic Fair Project into the school: a large tri-fold presentation board festooned with all things Delaware, including a timeline, an economic collage, a biography of Annie Jump Cannon, a map, and a letter from the governor with autographed photo, etc.; a huge foam-board-backed image of the Rock Monster from the Dover international Speedway to top the tri-fold; and a box containing a labeled map of the Speedway, a foam board beach house, a diorama of the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge, a couple of matchbox cars, and a stack of hinged explanations for each and every piece.  Plus a roll of clear packing tape suitable for attaching huge foam-board-backed Rock Monster images to things.

All complete and turned in on time.

Dear Lord, it took a village.

Her aunt helped with the images.  Her mother helped with the writing. Her father supplied foam board 3D effects.  My MIL provided cookies and cardboard boxes.

And we all encouraged, reined-in, applauded, and nagged, either in tag teams or in tandem.

The actual Lower School Academic Fair is Thursday  evening (Happy Valentine’s Day, school board!) and Jane still has to practice her presentation in front of the class this week and decide if she’ll be passing out complementary and culturally-significant cups of sarsaparilla soda, but those are not the village’s problems.

It’s over.  It’s done.  It’s Miller Time.

Until next year, when Sunny is a first grader and we’ll have two simultaneous projects to complete.

We’re gonna need a bigger village . . .


Random Thursday: Nontraditional Oddities

Been an interesting week.  But this stuff helped a lot:


This is Max Starks.

He’s the offensive tackle for the Steelers, which I had to look up because football is not one of my interests.

Max Starks

He’s also a major Classical Music fan.

In fact, he was on the Board of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for six years.

He likes opera.

He has “O Fortuna” on his warm-up soundtrack, which  is absolutely brilliant.

“I’ve never done what’s traditional in my entire life,” Starks said. “It’s made me a better person, it defines your character.”

I’ve decided that this appreciation should go both ways.

The next time my family watches a football game, I’ll watch, too—while I listen to Carmina Burana through my headphones.

(Thanks, Watson!)


Spring Fair:

I’ve never played Portal. I’ve never played Portal 2. I’ve never even seen it being played.

As far as I know, the kids haven’t, either.

But this is still one of the best things we’ve ever seen.

I challenge you to play this once, and only once.

Too late, right?


What’s the State Paramecium?

Jane* wrote to the Governor of Delaware as part of her Academic Fair Project—fourth graders get states.

Along with a nice letter and an autographed photo of Jack A. Markell,** she received a lot of information.

Did you know that along with a State Drink (milk), a State Herb (Sweet Goldenrod***) a State Dessert (Peach Pie^), and a long list of other State Things, Delaware has a state macroinvertebrate?

Me neither. It honestly never occurred to me.

It’s the Stone Fly, and its appointment is supposed to represent Delaware’s clean water systems. Which is all well and good, I suppose. Ecology.  Circle of Life. Makes sense.

Adult stonefly

But frankly, if I found the above in my water system, cleanliness isn’t the first thing that would come to mind. That would be, “Doesn’t Dow Chemical make something to get rid of these suckers?”^^

Delaware’s information department is ever so slightly defensive about this,as if they know they’ve gone just a bit too far.

Most of the blurbs under the pictures say things like, “Milk is Delaware’s State Drink because we have a lot of cows and milk is one of our greatest agricultural products, etc. and so forth.”

Under the Stone Fly, it says, “Appointing the Stone Fly as Delaware’s State Macroinvertebrate is perfectly acceptable, because . . . ”

But Jane and I aren’t judging Delaware at all.

We’re too busy trying to work stone flies into the Battle of Cooch’s Bridge . . .


Turret Anthem:

I usually save stuff this cool for Saturdays, but I had to share.

Zachariah Scott is a genius.


*Who is holding up very well, and thanks you very much for all for your concern—your supportive comments made her grin and give me a bonus hug (so I thank you, too).  She’s already stopped one potential incident in its tracks by asking a Mean Girl to stop commenting on her hat and then telling the teacher when her request was ignored.  The teacher promptly told the Mean Girl to keep her thoughts to herself.  Jane was amazed.

**The governor.  Don’t sweat it—I keep forgetting, too.

***Because there’s no State Allergen.  I checked.

^Does Georgia know about this? Do any of the Lisas know?

^^In my defense, the second would probably be “Ooooh.  Pretty wings!”