Saturday, December 19, 2015

Time to get out the silver polish

 I still haven't finished polishing my vintage silver-plated flatware set I scooped up last year from an estate sale. Yes, last year. But I've been too busy to blog about it. Too busy to blog; too busy to polish silver. There has to be something amiss with my time management skills. But I really want to use it this Christmas, so I'll make one more attempt.



The whole glorious set (a 12-place setting). I can't tell you what I paid for it, because I'm embarrassed. Honestly I should have offered the guy more (he named the price, which is what keeps my conscience clear). And he has the internet too. It's not my fault if he doesn't care to google stuff.  (In fact, I did not know the set's value before I bought it, but only after I got home. So that helps keep me from feeling guilty too.)

The box geeks me out… so Midmod! 

Awesome Italian-made silver salad tongs (bottom) were not part of the Rogers Bros set, but they were included in my haul. Bonus! 

So were these adorable 1960s chrome Made in England jam/relish ladles.

Dyslexia, much?

Was Christmas shopping for a certain man (who doesn't read this blog, so it's ok), and when I saw this, I thought, "DENIAL? Really??" (I didn't buy it, BTW). Memo to self: wear your reading glasses when you shop.  

Friday, December 18, 2015

Architects who totally get it.

Or got it, as the case may be. Past tense, unfortunately.

 Mr. P hopes to retire within the decade, so he's studying up on the economics of it all: attending seminars, reading articles in newspapers, magazines and online. And I'm building my dream retirement home in the clouds…and googling antique home plans.  (Say what you will about First World Problems, you DO realize that it's a kind of Purgatory for someone who's been mildly obsessed with architecture since the age of 8 to end up living in home designed in the 1970s. With glittery doorknobs.)

Very interesting: most of these homes are small by today's McMansion standards, yet they have 4-6 bedrooms. This was because in the olden days, couples had "children" instead of stuff.  I get a kick out of the homes that have front stairs, back stairs and a servant's room.

How great is the inclusion of a sewing room? 

I could probably forego one of those six bedrooms in order to get a Master bath and walk-in closet

One of the funniest things about these vintage plans is the commentary: 

"To know the value of right environment is one of the first steps in the mastery of self. It is impossible for anyone to think his best thoughts or do his best work when his home life is not in keeping with his ideals. Those who firmly fix their hearts on The Carolina for a home may be assured of the refining influence which its possession will bring."

Which explains at last why I've been unable for the last 50 years to think my best thoughts: my home life has never been in keeping with my ideals.

Then this:

"The feeling of aloneness is almost entirely unknown in small, comfortable homes like The Dover. Mental depression comes, as a rule, from tired nerves and unsightly surroundings. In the small home which has been provided with an abundance of light, life is more cheerful and housekeeping is a pleasure, provided the husband daily expresses his appreciation."

Finally, confirmation of what I always suspected: men are responsible for women's depression because: a) He hasn't given her a cute character home to live in; b) he doesn't daily express his appreciation for her housekeeping.

Oh rats. It's not all up to the men after all…

"Men change only as their environment and associates change. A good home and a good wife will enable any man to become stronger and more efficient. Any man is worthy of the highest trust who saves from his earnings sufficent to build The Englewood, and whose life companion is in sympathy with him and his work."


"The woman who knows that the surest way to a man's heart is through his sense of taste, and that sympathy and appreciation will lead him over mountains while criticism causes him to balk stubbornly on a level, can make any home an influence for permanent good whether it is of The Fulton style of architecture or a more humble cottage."

And it doesn't stop there. Health benefits… of sun (and by extension, home plans that have well… windows):
"Sunshine is to the physical body what joy is to the heart. Those frail of body should seek the sun porches of homes of The Kendall plan, and those frail of heart can find inimitable balm in the building and making complete a new home and a new environment. Health and home joy come to those who prepare expectantly for them."

You said a mouthful, brother!!

Six fireplaces, yes! (That's a lot of wood chopping, and ash-scooping, Mr. P) But oh, the benefits to the little woman!

The hearth that glows with good fellowship warms chilly hearts and drives out the dampness of discord and disappointments. Such hearths are guarded constantly by women who worship sacred home ideals, and who turn a deaf ear to the voice of gossip. The Haverhill will make an ideal home for those who yearn for better conditions in which to demonstrate the power of right thought."

Ha ha! It's not just a home brochure: it's social engineering!

When a normal woman comes to herself at the age of twenty, twenty-two, or twenty-four, according to her physical and mental growth, she realizes that her highest ambition is for a home of her own, affection and children, but her happiness is never complete until the love and home she wins is hers by all equitable and legal rights."


A child seldom becomes a burden on society whose home life has been one of happiness and contentment. The home is the localized center from which initial impulses for good or evil go out. Those who select The Rochester as a home in which to purify the environment for their children may well pay the debt to humanity which all of us owe.

If only we still had 1920s prices, when you could build one of these homes for under $5,000.

Friday, December 11, 2015

And it's not even camping season

When it comes to clever kitchen gadgets, I think I have now "seen it all." Found these while browsing the Bed, Bath and Beyond website while making my Christmas wish list. Collapsible silicone kettles. Says they are compatible with gas stovetop, so supposedly I could use these in my trailer. Too cute!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

At least the colour is improved, and other things are too.

Smoothies, continued. This time, rosy red-crabapple butter and berries masked the swiss chard. 

And the taste was good too. But not as good as this: 

Yes, daughters! I must sheepishly admit that I consumed my Christmas 2014 mulled wine gift only this past month. But really, who drinks mulled wine in Lent, Easter, or summertime? I pretty much had to wait for another winter. And it was worth the wait. 

Diet-wise, the first week of December did not feel exactly great. There were too many treats and lapses, and the schedule was too crazy. And yet last week, I managed my first treadmill run in ages: did a modest 2.5 km (yes, Imperial friends, I know that's a mere 1.55342798 miles, but who's keeping track?). Most surprising of all, the bathroom scale was my friend this week. It was only 1.8 lb down (from Dec 1), and yeah, it was probably all water, but down is down. It's encouraging.

But another week of Advent is nearly gone, and I'm starting to feel a bit frazzled: a sure indication that I need to force myself to slow down and spend more time in prayer.

Blingy Knobs and other Glittery "Delights"

Mrs. Beazly just sent me some rather shocking news: my glam 1970s doorknobs are actually designer doorknobs. We always knew they were "special" (in a horrifying kind of way), but I'm amazed that this person is willing to go on record as having created them. (Blurns, I hope you realize how privileged you are for having been gifted with one of these, even if it was a small one.) Yikes, are people really willing to pay to put these in their homes? Call me; I'm willing to negotiate.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Killer headlines don't come along every day

So when they do, you have to post them. Not only are they funny, but they are also an efficient way to get the news, since they make actually reading the story entirely superfluous. Utah Paperboy Headbutted, Tackled and Trapped in Tree by Goat Named Voldemort.
Thanks to Miss P #5 who sent this to me.

Cooking Your Goose

Literally and figuratively. I am making my Christmas wish list for the kids (sorry I'm so late with this, gals!), and came across this baby. These pots are simply beautiful, but OUCH! At $650, that would blow my Christmas budget (like, for the whole family), perhaps for several years. And that's ON SALE: on, they're listed 'regularly' at $750 (red) and $860 (blue). On this site, $930. Oh dear.
Here is a link to a video of a chef cooking a goose in this product: photos of the pots alone really don't indicate much (unless you provide reference, as this person has done):

Some lucky cook's assortment of Le Creuset pots.
From left to right: 8 qt, 15.5 qt (goose), 5.5 qt.

Watching the video was totally not a waste of time for me, because (THANK YOU, MICHAEL RUHLMAN!!) I have now been liberated from the angst of presenting lovely cuts of poultry meat to my guests: he just chops up EVERYTHING except the breast. I also learned how to keep the poultry meat hot AND moist while hubby is carving (am I the only cook who stresses about the turkey meat not being hot enough when you serve it? And the only cook who's dumb enough not to have figured out Mr. Ruhlman's brilliant yet painfully simple method by this point in my life?) He keeps the cut up meat in a shallow covered pan of hot stock. So much more sensible than putting it on a cold platter. I am now actually looking forward to cooking the turkey this year! Though I do realize I will never, ever own cookware made by Le Creuset. (And no, daughters, that is not a self-pitying passive aggressive hint. The stuff is just. Too. Expensive.)

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A vastly underappreciated hymn

I have loved this Christmas song ever since I first heard it on The Bishop's Wife, but in vain did I struggle to know more about it. In those days, there was no internet, and I could not find out who wrote it, or what it was called, or anything. I even thought it might be an original piece that had been written for the film.

Thanks to Google and YouTube (and eventually iTunes), not only did I find out about it, but I purchased a version of it (but not, alas, the one below). The hymn/anthem is a 19th century piece: the English title is "O Sing to God" and the words were written by Rev. Benjamin Webb. The music (original Title: "Noël: Montez à Dieu") was composed by Charles François Gounod (yes, the Ave Maria guy). I found this information, and much more, at this site, The Hymns and Carols of Christmas.

The thing that makes me really really sad is that there are SO FEW recordings of this hymn! (You know you are truly desperate when you resort to listening to a scratchy 1916 recording on YouTube.) I cannot  fathom why some of those great choirs kicking around (King's College, Cambridge, I'm looking at you) have not recorded this piece on any of their Christmas albums. If I'm wrong, please let me know! I've searched high and low online but I can't find any professionally recorded choral renditions. The version I purchased was by French Canadian tenor Richard Verreau, which is simply lovely (indeed, the entire album, Un Grand Noel Classique is sublime).

I would love to find a CD or mp3 file of a good children's/boys (or any!) choir singing this piece--the few versions on YouTube are mostly amateur, and leave much to be desired for audio quality. As does the clip from the Cary Grant movie below, delightful though it certainly is.

This arrangement is original to the film, as they do a bit of juggling and omitting with the original lyrics, but it's still extremely beautiful, and gives me shivers every single time I hear it. Enjoy.

The Robert Mitchell Boys Choir appeared in other films as well.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Well there goes my Advent resolution… (diet update and such)

Not the author. (How I wish!)
One of my Advent resolutions (besides overcoming procrastination--which is why I'm making resolutions in Advent and not waiting till the New Year) was an intention to post on this blog every day. Contrary to what our overwhelming number of Followers might lead one to believe, I know for a fact that at least 3 or 4 people actually read this blog on a regular basis. (I'm trying to tell you how Very Special you are, because I'm willing to make the effort just for you!)

Yeah, I'm trying to post daily during the busiest Mom-season of the year (are there any seasons that aren't busy? I think not). Anyway, the last week was crazy and I'm sure it will only get more so as December ticks on. But for the first time in many years, I've already completed a good chunk of my Christmas shopping, which is kind of miraculous in itself. Maybe this year, I'll even get the gifts wrapped before 5:00 pm on Christmas Eve.

On the minus side, being away from home (and staying in the big city) for the better part of two days meant two things: special treats and restaurant meals, both of which have done no favours for my new diet. But I am not discouraged! That's the important part. (Catholics become practiced at that perseverance thing, because… sin…confession…firm purpose of amendment… sin…confession…lather, rinse and repeat). Despite falling off the healthy-eating wagon a few times in the last three days, I have been exercising every day since I started this (and YES, slogging through malls for hours on end counts! Especially if you're carrying heavy shopping bags).

Here is a fast fitness tip that I'll bet a lot of people, especially middle aged moms, don't know. If you sit on an exercise ball every day to put on your socks and shoes, in a year's time (probably less, like 6 months), you will have core muscles that you did not even know existed. I've been doing this for a long time (years), and I literally have 6-pack abs. Unfortunately, due to bad habits, genetics, and bad habits, they are currently hidden under an 8-pack of raw bun dough. (No, not gonna post pictures. There are enough of those online).

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Please clarify what you mean by "quite easy"

Image from
Perhaps I need one of these rolling pins. 

I made homemade lasagna noodles the other night. Why, you many ask? Because like a dunce, I prepped EVERYTHING for all the layers of lasagna (and, as Mr. Collins would say, 'There are several') before I realized that I had no noodles in the house. Driving 90 miles (round trip) to the nearest open grocery store (and postponing dinner till 10:00 pm) wasn't an option. Having made homemade pasta before, I thought, "How hard can this be?" and googled a recipe. The result was so un-pretty, I did not dare post pictures.

I followed this recipe (can I be blamed for being attracted to a site called "Italian Food Forever"?), which was advertised as "quite easy." However, my unhappy mixture was so dry that I had to add some of the egg white, just to get it to resemble dough. I was skeptical that it would roll out, but after letting it rest for half an hour, it did roll--but only with great difficulty (and a slight wrist injury). If I were on Twitter, which I am not, I would probably start a hashtag #HelloPastaMachinesWereInventedForAReason.
Anyhow, the noodles turned out nicely, and cooked up well in the lasagna. (I did not boil them beforehand: what a waste of time!) And they tasted very good. I am now brave enough to try making more homemade noodles and pastas. Next time, I'm going to try this recipe (billed as "Super Easy") because she uses whole eggs--and a stand mixer. (Don't bother watching the video; there are too many time-lapses, where stuff gets done behind the scenes. Thus, although she says she's going to "show" us how to make the noodles, she actually doesn't. But she is very pretty and has way more followers than I do, so who am I to criticize?) If those lasagna noodles turn out, I will post pictures.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

If you can get beyond that whole 'Drinking Baby Poop' thing...

Use the same approach as tighrope walking: don't look down. 

Make a change for better health and drink more green smoothies! Granted, I did put in too much spinach this time, but it was in danger of spoiling and I didn't want to waste it. I also put in some homemade Mongolian Cherry juice for colour (and antioxidants) but it just couldn't overtake the spinach. It did taste much better than it looked.

After falling off the Healthy Lifestyle wagon repeatedly over the last few weeks months decade, I'm Starting Over (again). So today it's "Day 1" (for the 20th time) of my John the Baptist Diet. Yeah, it's kind of insanely optimistic to start a new health-program in Advent, but if I don't, I literally won't have anything to wear to church at Christmas, except my bathrobe. 

I'm also trying to get more exercise (that shouldn't be too difficult, since when you're doing "zero" there's nowhere to go but up), and if I post about it here, it should keep me somewhat accountable. Today I did about 20 minutes of cardio on my rebounder. 

Stay posted for further elaboration. 


Mine is cheap and doesn't fold. I think I'd like to get a better one someday.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Publicly naming my enemies

Samson mansplaining "retribution" to the revelers in the Temple of Dagon

A portion of Psalm 18:

You gave me your saving shield;
you upheld me, trained me with care.
You gave me freedom for my steps;
my feet have never slipped.

I pursued and overtook my foes,
never turning back till they were slain.
I smote them so they could not rise;
they fell beneath my feet.

You girded me with strength for battle;
you made my enemies fall beneath me,
you made my foes take flight;
those who hated me I destroyed.

They cried, but there was no one to save them;
they cried to the Lord, but in vain.
I crushed them fine as dust before the wind;
trod them down like dirt in the streets.

You saved me from the feuds of the people
and put me at the head of the nations.
People unknown to me served me:
when they heard of me they obeyed me.

Foreign nations came to me cringing:
foreign nations faded away.
They came trembling out of their strongholds

I love the Psalms, but let's be honest: some of them are a little dark and scary. And I don't mean the ones about the Valley of the Shadow of Death and stuff. I mean the ones such as the example above, where the psalmist is praying for the defeat of his enemies, or rejoicing that he and God have just ground said enemies into the dust. Vengeful, no? A little too dark for ordinary dumb old Catholic housewives? No.

Have you seen Mockingjay 2?

I did, and contrary to some reviewers who gave it a pass, I loved it. Yes, some moments were rather silly, and others were utterly predictable (I find most movies are; it annoys my kids to death when I predict things as we're watching films, but then I am old, and they don't realize how cliched mainstream filmmaking has become). Anyhoo, if you message me on Facebook or email we, we can discuss why I liked this movie, but I won't discuss it publicly because… spoilers. But I'll give you a hint: read this Idlepost by David Warren, and see if you can find the connection. Let's just say this: I feel vindicated.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Want to understand the Middle East?

Graph representing historical alliances, wars and grudges in  Middle East.

Good luck. A friend recently told me that it is nearly impossible for most westerners to comprehend what's going on "over there." And after reading these two pieces (by Ben Shapiro and David Warren), I believe him. God help us. Going to pray for Our Lady's intercession with my olive-wood rosary from Bethlehem, and then make some chocolate chip cookies. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

"We're going to have to cut that grass again!"

…a sentence probably never before uttered by my husband on November 15. Yay! We've made it to the halfway point in November with NO SNOW! I'm loving it. Have I ever mentioned how much I hate driving on icy roads? The only downside of this is that it's giving me a false sense of security as to how far away Christmas is. Suddenly there will be three weeks to go, and I'll have nothing prepared.

Compare to October 23, 2012:

Ice and Snow, Bless the Lord!
Global Warming, Bless the Lord!

Friday, November 6, 2015

It's funny because it's true.

But the part that isn't funny is what the meme doesn't say: it doesn't say that if you don't exercise and don't eat right, you will gain weight, retain water, lack energy, not sleep well, gain weight, be chronically constipated, gain weight, get bloated and gassy, look awful, and Feel. Like. Crap. 99% of the time. Welcome to my world, from December 2014 until November 2015.

This is a long-running saga (as any of my girlfriends from high school can tell you). Like all too many girls and women who've lived through the modern and post-modern eras, I've spent a lifetime obsessing over those false standards of beauty and body image. Well who am I kidding? This sort of thing probably began with the invention of the corset (which probably happened 14 hours after Adam and Eve got booted from the Garden after the Fall, and only because it probably took Eve 13 hours to gather and weave together the twigs).

I am quite happy to say that since Nov. 2, I've turned over a new leaf with my eating and exercise habits, and am already feeling 90% better. (The other 10% has to do with annoying and ongoing medical issues, but c'est la vie--Doctrine of the Cross, and all that). It certainly is worth it to take decent care of your health--not that that's a revelation or anything. But Happy Friday anyway.

A dusting of snow

Is winter here? I hope not. The forecast for Saturday is +10 degrees C (50 degrees F). And yet you can see the snow yonder in the veggie garden. It's in the lawn too, but for some reason it doesn't show up on camera. (This is the view from my kitchen window). 

At any rate, I am extremely thankful for every single additional hour that we don't have to start cars in -30 C weather, or drive on icy roads.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fretting over the demise of western civilization?

Or perhaps I should say, "Fainting in the sultry glebe"? Yeah, me too. As if you couldn't tell (we have an entire category devoted to that). Well, shame on you. And me. Though it is just a teeny bit surreal when some of us on the planet are listening to Chopin, and others are throwing their feces around ...and yet secular leftist humanists shrilly insist that all cultures are equal. They are not. But why cry or rant over it? Pray instead. And embrace beauty. And do not be afraid to proclaim that no one and nothing has brought more beauty to the world than Christ and Christendom. 

And mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa for so often failing to remember all of the above.

Now go to the Divine Office site and listen to this hymn (sung by the Choir of Christ's College), and then pray the Office for the hour where you are.

The Lord My Pasture Shall Prepare

The Lord my pasture shall prepare
And feed me with a shepherd’s care;
His presence shall my wants supply
And guard me with a watchful eye;
My noonday walks He shall attend
And all my midnight hours defend.

When in the sultry glebe I faint
Or on the thirsty mountain pant,
To fertile vales and dewy meads
My weary, wandering steps He leads,
Where peaceful rivers, soft and slow,
Amid the verdant landscape flow.

Though in a bare and rugged way,
Through devious lonely wilds, I stray,
Thy bounty shall my pains beguile;
The barren wilderness shall smile,
With sudden greens and herbage crowned,
And streams shall murmur all around.

Though in the paths of death I tread,
With gloomy horrors overspread,
My steadfast heart shall fear no ill,
For Thou, O Lord, art with me still;
Thy friendly crook shall give me aid
And guide me through the dreadful shade.

“The Lord my pasture shall prepare” by Choir of Christ’s College; 

Words: Joseph Addison, 1712.


I don't think that word means what you think it means. More fun at Walmart. I mean, the whole point of origami is the sheer cleverness of the design and the folding (see below). I guess I have a weird sense of humour but this struck me as funny. Just like the brown straw basket that is Not a Toy. I suppose they should put a warning label on these too: "These are not really made of folded paper." 

But these are.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I am so loving this

What's so great about that, you may ask? I'll tell you. This is a picture of my backyard. It  was taken yesterday, November 2, and there is NO SNOW. In fact it was raining gently all day. NO SNOW. Could global warming finally be upon us, after they've been promising it for 30 years? If so, Hallelujah!  Let the rain and green grass continue till March as far as I'm concerned! NO SNOW.

Friday, October 23, 2015

This is not a toy

Thank you, Captain Obvious! Where would we be, what would we do, without directions and warning labels? Because nothing says "fun" like a straw basket. A dark brown straw basket. 

Again, to recap:



Not a toy. 

Why Johnny can’t read.

And why he can’t write a complete sentence.

And why he doesn’t know who Jane Austen is. Or Chaucer. Or Tolstoy.

Remember high school English, anyone over 50? You did two things, basically: they were known as “Lit and Comp” As in studying “Literature” (good books, plays, poems and stuff) and then writing things. That was Composition. (That included grammar, style, sentence structure, literary devices, rhetoric, all that jazz.)

No more. Now they study Equity, Ethics, Diversity, Inclusivity and a host of other diseases.

Yes, I homeschool, but when my kids reach the high school years, they usually opt to do (credited) online courses. This is so that they can get transcripts to get into post-secondary and so forth. Yes, I know there are other ways to do high school at home; that's a discussion for another day. 

The online classes vary widely: they come from a variety of different sources (individual school boards all over the province provide courses; there is no longer any such thing as the one-size-fits-all “Government Correspondence School”). There have been some good courses and many excellent teachers. Other times, not so much. 

Oh, the funny stories I could tell. Like the teacher who revealed (via a Power Point lecture) that he couldn’t read/pronounce “tuberculosis,” (but his version, “Turb-you-locus” kept us in stitches for months).

I can relate the anecdote below now that the child in question has finished high school and left home. In fact, I can’t even remember which school board in the province developed this English course. I just recall that it made my head explode on a fairly regular basis.

The first section “Equity and Ethics” of my daughter’s grade 10 English course dealt with "learning styles" (fair enough, since it helps students identify theirs) but then followed the questions below (keep in mind: this is the VERY FIRST ASSIGNMENT of the year, in a course meant for 15-year-olds.)

(I have taken the liberty of providing my own answers, in red. They are not the answers my daughter gave to the questions when she did the assignments.)

1. A student is blind, but wants to take visual art as a course in Grade 10. The student cannot see, yet a major portion of the Grade 10 course is all about the colour wheel and it is mandatory that every student in the class does a project involving the visual effects of colour on design trends. Ethically, how should that student be assessed on their [sic] learning for this part of the course?

1) Response:
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?
Yes, should they so opt, blind students have the right to study visual art, just as a quadriplegic likely has the right to be on the track team. If they can’t “see” colour (what is “seeing” anyway?), there are ways to “feel” and “intuit” colour. You just need a teacher who is sufficiently imaginative, artsy or new-agey to assist with that.
A blind artist could not possibly produce anything worse than some of the modern art that is already out there. To demonstrate “yellow” for instance, one could submerge a photo of Jackson Pollock in a jar of pee.

Oh, and the [sic] in the last sentence? “Their” is a plural pronoun, and the antecedent (“the student”) is singular. But then it’s not as though we’re studying Grammar and Usage or anything. This is just high school English.

2. A deaf student is registered in the Distance Learning B10 course, in which there are a number of listening and speaking activities. It is required that all students demonstrate their skills with listening and speaking, but it is decided that this student does not have to do these portions of the course. Another student who is extremely shy to speak aloud is failing the course because she did not do any of those activities. What is the ethical thing the teacher should do here?

The teacher should take a leave of absence, possibly to university, and take courses such as Ethics and Equity, Psychology, and Curriculum Implementation: Brainstorming Solutions in an Inclusive World, instead of asking her 15-year old students to solve her classroom problems for her.

3. Johnny is a student who has extreme difficulty with keeping his hands still while in English class. Often, during reading time, he is disruptive and interrupts the quiet atmosphere the teacher has created in the classroom so all can concentrate. The teacher spends a lot of time trying to keep Johnny quiet, and his parents have refused the request to send Johnny to another room with a teaching assistant during reading time. Ethically, what should be done to provide an opportunity for Johnny to learn, as well as time for the rest of the class to read?

1) It had to be “Johnny”, didn’t it?
2) Johnny should be held down forcibly and given his dose of Ritalin.
3) Johnny’s parents are evil and stupid. It’s not a solution, but we do want to reinforce this point in the child’s mind.
4) Sentence two is self-contradictory: if Johnny is being constantly disruptive, then is it accurate to claim that the teacher has created a “quiet atmosphere” in the classroom? But then, they don’t teach Logic in Teachers’ College anymore.
5) Johnny’s parents (who are probably being maligned, since no parents in such a situation would refuse the one-on-one services of a TA, knowing that their child was a disruption) should withdraw him from school and home-educate him.

Wow. Is it just me, or is it absolutely INSANE to expect 15-year-old kids to be able to solve these kinds of dilemmas? What are we paying teachers and school counsellors and psychologists for (to say nothing of the gargantuan bureaucracies that develop curricula and administer programs)?

But as Gary Larson’s cartoon caveman would say, “It get better.”

The next section in my daughter’s "English" course was called:

We Want to Know How Superstitious, Anti-Choice, Reactionary, Conservative, Anti-LabourUnion and Bigoted Your Parents Are
Factors that Influence our Learning

Students are asked to answer the following:

1. What are your views on work?
2. What do you believe about death and an afterlife?
3. Summarize what you believe about criminals and the justice system.
4. Do you think terminally ill people should be allowed to end their own lives, or not? Please explain your answer.
5. Should Canada allow illegal immigrants into the country, and assist them financially once they “in”? Support your views with at least one solid reason.

For the love of Learning, this is NOT the study of law, sociology, class warfare, or contentious social issues! Can anyone explain to me what any of this has to do with the study of English?? This is ENGLISH (Lit! Comp!) not Political Correctness 101.

Equity and Ethics indeed.
When do they get around to studying “Sentence Construction”? I’m not going to hold my breath.