Windsor Ruins

Evocative. Haunting. Unstable. Unlucky. Quiet. Windsor survived the Civil War only to burn to the ground, victim of a casual cigarette smoker. We were the only people there mid-morning. It was peaceful, lovely, and a bit sad. It’s a must visit.

Vicksburg Battlefield

I have never considered myself a Civil War geek, although my house was built in the 1860s, but I have always been interested in US History. When I was in four I created a pageant for my class of Lincoln’s last fateful trip to the Theater, and when I student-taught I had an American Studies…

Traveling down the river

  A good friend of mine who teaches at a private school in NYC invited me to join her on her summer ramblings. She teaches Huck Finn, and she wanted to get closer to the River and to Twain’s Life on the Mississippi. She was starting in Cairo, IL and driving down to New Orleans….

CMK15: Day Three – inspiration and wisdom and changing course a bit

Day three at Constructing Modern Knowledge began with some project work. In the morning we were treated to a panel discussion between Edith Ackerman, another MIT Media Lab connection, Deborah Meier, and James Loader from Australia. I have always admired Meier, and it was a real pleasure to hear Ackerman talk so passionately about the…

CMK Day Two: Contradictions

Yesterday has me thinking about equity and access. I had two very different experiences while listening to the featured speakers. Dr. Leah Buechley was the keynote speaker yesterday. A former MIT professor and the inventor of the LilyPad Arduino tool kit, she speaks as an insider about those who are excluded from the maker movement. She…

Day one – CMK15: Learning

This year’s Constructing Modern Knowledge is big. There is so much energy and enthusiasm, and there are some growing pains as well. The use of space is transformative. I was not here last year, and as I understand it this was a move they made last year. Being able to use this huge area to…

Spring, Passover, Easter, and girl bunnies

This has been a hard winter. The coldest February on record for Chicago, late snow, and the usual stresses of growing up and growing older.  My twins will be off to college next fall. They have wonderful choices but not maybe the choices that they anticipated.  It will all be good. And today I planted…

The Vingananee and the Tree Toad

This fabulous story came into our home via my mother.  It was ex libris – a discard from the Brookings Public Library, and it had already been rebound and was an ugly book. But what a beautiful story. This Liberian folk tale, retold by Verna Aardema and illustrated by Ellen Weiss tells the tale of…

The Wheel of the Year turns

Welcome, February 1! Today is the day that we reach the point halfway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.  Imbolc, or St. Brigid’s Day is the beginning of the Celtic spring and the time when we can sense that the days are getting longer.  So although we have at least three feet of…

Sixteen Candles

I wrote this last year. I’m not sure why I didn’t post it. The ladies have passed drivers education, now, and are juniors in high school. Seventeen years ago today I was told that the baby I was going to have was two babies.   I am going to try to tell this story. Parts…

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

I have written about waiting to leave for school in the morning as a kid.  Captain Kangaroo was integral to the experience for many reasons, but specifically the clock at the bottom of the screen let us know when it was time to leave.  I thank Captain Kangaroo for introducing me to Mike Mulligan and His…

Mr. Dog: the Dog Who Belonged To Himself

This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remember’d; We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; From Shakespeare’s Henry V, 1598: There are lots of dog books — The Poky…