And this one is actually fun: Pimp My Nutcracker.
Ah yes, twisty-turny holiday things are fun. And I saw a menorah made out of, erm, pharmacy products, but I am afraid it is too distasteful to share with the parental folk here.
Listening to irate commuters on t.v. and reading Homeschooling in New York City's post makes me wonder, what is really fair?
The MTA supposedly has millions of dollars in surplus, yet MTA workers have been without a contract for over two years. Is it fair to allow those workers to go without a decent contract?
MTA workers make more money than many New Yorkers with bona fide Bachelor's degrees from bona fide universities, though. Is it fair that they make so much money without having attained higher education?
Yet MTA workers sometimes get killed in the subways in which they work. Could I ever work in a subway tunnel? Erm, no.
Some people say a fully-automated subway system looms in the near-future. Would that be fair to the real passengers who need real workers to look out for them when they get caught in subway doors?
The strike is breaking down our City's economy. Is that fair to the businesses and mom-and-pop shops that make New York City so great?
I don't have the answers to these questions.
But I do suggest that we should all go French. Yes, French. Or French-Canadian. Yes, if you must strike, just strike for a few hours. Say, from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., no strike. Mkay? That will sufficiently ruin a commuter's day, and we will get your message loud and clear.
We will not be able to go dining or clubbing at night, but we'll be able to get to work during the day, and businesses won't shut down.
We might even do some holiday shopping during our lunch breaks.
But there will be enough bottlenecks on the road, you union folk will really have caused some chaos. Good, no?
Mr. Toussaint, you more than anyone should know about how to strike, French-style. LaMai begs you to go French.
It's just a thought.
Even in the middle of a transit strike, New Yorkers worry about what things like free coffee mean for local businesses.
"As promised, walkers and cyclists are invited to the Borough Hall “way station” which will serve as a gateway to the thousands of Brooklynites who are expected to walk or cycle to work over the Brooklyn Bridge. Borough Hall will be open to those who need a break, a bathroom, or a hot cup of tea or coffee.
The Red Cross is at the end of the Williamsburg bridge offering cookies and coffee in some sort of disaster relief “we’ll be there” cups. The Dunkin Donuts people down the street — not happy."
And are homeschoolers bothered by the strike at all? Erm, actually, yes. We had to cancel two classes today. If we choose to walk, it will take us more than two hours to get the classes, and back. It is 23°F outside. No, thank you.
I thought including some items on the "Wishlist" section of this blog might, I don't know, get someone's attention. If you're considering the Nespresso machine, I'd be happy to send you my financials. And the Nespresso machine would keep this blog in business.
Going to nap now. I love showing out-of-towners this City, but I am E-X-H-A-U-S-T-E-D. Going to bed at 8:52 p.m. is unprecedented in my world.
Exhibit A: "Mom, PAV walked me across the entire strip of the beach for four hours straight and I am sunburned and I can't see and my skin is peeling off and I am crying and I think I might need to go to an emergency room now but PAV thinks I am joking." A loves the beach, and is doctor-phobic.
Exhibit B: A sleepover at 9 p.m., I get a call. "Mom, PAV didn't offer me dinner." Oh yeah? "And I'm hungry. She gave us breakfast cereal." This happened not once, but twice. PAV confirmed to me that she fed Lucky Charms to the kids for dinner.
So here they are, in New York City, and PAV has asked to include my son in their sight-seeing activities today. I gave him cash to buy a meal (I've learned from past experience, right?). And he's sufficiently bundled-up against our mild winter weather.
I called PAV an hour ago.
Hi. Do you have a plan for your outing this evening? Any idea when you'll get back?
"Um, I dunno."
I see. Well, I'd really like A to be home by 9 p.m. [Because I am afraid that he will get frostbite/hungry/stolen by a stranger/or some other ill might befall him due to your negligence if he's not here by then] Will that work for you?
"Um, I guess. I dunno. Is it okay if I call you?
Then A called me. "Mom, we haven't found a place to eat," he reported back. I beg your pardon? "Do you know where we should eat? PAV has no idea where we should eat." In NEW YORK CITY???
It's been 10 hours since they left my apartment. Ten hours. They have since not eaten. A. Thing. This is after having gone to Chinatown, and all the way to Lower Manhattan, climbing on a Circle Line boat, going to Lady Liberty, and walking around the museum on Ellis Island, and now hanging out in Times Square ("It's so pretty here!" reported PAV to me).
I would like to add, there are young children in PAV's care.
Darling? Can you please do me a favor? Get to the closest subway station. And come home. Thank you. See you soon.
OK. Here are 15 book thingys off the top of my head...
1. I like to smell very old books. The kind with tatty spines and yellowish-brown pages. Especially in libraries with collections that pre-date 1910.
2. I hate when the pages in old books disintegrate in my hands, though. I feel like a book murderer.
3. Alexander's first book was...? Ducky something? His experience with books has been rather odd. He first read books in French because he attended a private, total immersion French school. The stories in the books were mostly about the Gauls conquering everything. Then, when it was time for 4th Grade, we switched to that public elementary school with the French national curriculum. He had a teacher who told him he was not allowed to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, because Harry Potter was "too advanced." He read Harry Potter anyway.
4. When Alexander arrived here in New York, his 5th Grade teacher thought he had reading comprehension difficulties. Because he was new to New York, Alexander was rather quiet. Very zipper-lipped in class. "Does he speak English?" she asked me once. Oh, yes, I replied. The teacher didn't believe me. She put him in the "dummy" reading group; the books were 3rd grade level. "Can you believe she's making me read kiddish books?" he protested. That same year, when we decided to homeschool, Alexander read the remaining Harry Potter books that had been written to date by J.K. Rowling, and then began reading J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. He finished all the books within six months, with smatterings of other reads in-between.
5. I read chick lit books. I am sorry. I can't help it. It's a weakness. That, and those Godiva raspberry chocolate bars that you get from Barnes and Noble at the cash register after buying the chick lit book.
6. When my 4th grade teacher asked me to read The Hobbit, I told her I would. Then two weeks later, I told her I read it. I lied.
7. When I attended boarding school, we read and discussed literature at what I believed to be a maddeningly s-l-o-w pace. It was like an Ecole de Cuisine: we had to know what story we were getting, from where it came, and then savor every word and nuance contained therein. I, however, came from the french fries school of the American public school system. On returning to the States, I learned that I was sort of an expert on any given literature that I had studied at that slow-cooking school. I try to approach literature studies in the same fashion with Alexander.
8. I am writing a book now. I can't even hint what it's about, lest I piss off all my friends, family, acquaintances, my hairdresser, and the Dunkin Donuts cashier from Bangladesh.
9. We have books in four languages on the shelf. Of those languages, we can read in three fairly well. The fourth would be Hebrew, a language in which we suck potatoes.
10. Do not disturb the subway book reader unless you know what's good for you. The subway trains of New York are great places to scout new book titles to read. What are people reading? One season, everyone had burgundy-red Dan Brown books (The Da Vinci Code). Movie deal, I thought. On any given car on a subway train, between 20-50% of the passengers are engrossed in a book. Hardcover and softcover. I learned that hardcover books, while bulkier, are better for train reading. The pages don't as flip easily while you standing up and holding on to something else. Today I found a book left behind on a subway platform. It is about cattle herding.
11. I read how-to books as voraciously as I do chick lit books.
12. Once at a Barnes and Noble, I had to place an order for a book title and the staffer thought I was the person who penned an entire shelf of books in the store. "Are those your books? OH MY GOD!!!" She was disappointed to learn I was not the writer.
13. I am jealous of my friends who write books and do book signings regularly at big chain retail bookstores, yet who possess the writing skills of African bushpigs.
14. This book is still a classic. For the love of Zeus Almighty and Richard Scarry, publish the UNABRIDGED version, please.
15. I cannot borrow a library book to save my life. LaMai has a tendency of not returning books. They are that delicious.
I tag Calletta, Heidi, and Becky (if you haven't already been tagged).
I do indulge in the occasional rant, but this time I will fully get on the soapbox.
Last week, I learned of the dog and cat fur trade exported from China, presented by Heather Mills McCartney. I don't agree with everything Heather McCartney does, such as stomping into J Lo's offices with camera crews in tow, but I admire her courage (she lost her lower leg in a motorcycle accident, championed numerous causes, and later married Paul McCartney) and find it necessary to share this information. This is, after all, a blog about education.
I know, I know, if you feel like wearing fur, it's your business, not mine. But LaMai was truly shocked at the repulsiveness of the things Heather had to share with the American audience last week. The methods that the dog and cat fur trade use to market their goods are particularly insidious. Currently, we have a ban in the U.S. on imports of dog and cat fur, but the Chinese fur trade finds ways around our laws. Chinese exporters may label this fur as "fun fur" or "Asian Lynx" when you are actually buying domestic cat or "Asian Jackal" when you are buying German Shepherd pup fur. Note that only the skins are used; not the meat. Our vanity perpetuates this business, not our necessity.
We have options like Poltartec Fleece and other man-made materials that as good or better at keeping us warm. Vintage fur is another option one might consider if one really must wear fur. If you buy outerwear made in China, re-consider your purchase if there appears to be "fun fur" on the trim. It might be a dog or cat.
I can't even believe I am actually writing this.
If you hated this post, send me one of these for Christmas/Chanukkah. I'll get the message.
So, now that I am a member of NYCHEA, we have a LOT of homeschooling options.
Did I know that -
There is a playwriting class taught by a professional writer?
A genetics class taught by a genetics professor?
A law class taught by an attorney from a very well-known and highly-respected legal organization?
A theater group that is putting on a Shakespeare comedy in a couple of weeks?
Soccer club every week, with insurance paid by the group?
Ski club (five trips, folks, for a low, low price to include ski lift, rental, and lessons)?
Every type of homeschooler belongs to this group, including Jews in Brooklyn, WASPs in Manhattan, and hispanics from the Bronx?
No, I didn't know that. Where on earth was I?
Oh yeah. I was avoiding the nutty homeschooling zealots before I found this group.
And tonight, I have several options for my Wednesday night activity. Among them, I can knit with my knitting circle, or attend a book signing (how on earth did I become cool enough to get on that guy's e-mail list? Like, he doesn't suppress the e-mail addys at all. Some famous names there. Holy, moly).
Which is why, if I haven't said it before, I love New York.
Okay, maybe the weather could use a little help from Miami...
Does your homeschooling group have 501(c)3 status? Do your high school-aged students want to put on La Bohème, or a musical, or a play, maybe for fundraising purposes...and the major obstacle is finding the right costumes? Guess what. You can have costumes from actual Broadway shows. Check out the tdf site for costuming information. And yes, they have a sliding scale, and Mail Order service.
Woo-hoo. Let the shows begin.
LaMai has finally joined NYCHEA - The New York City Home Educators' Alliance. I was a little cautious about joining a homeschooling group; I've encountered some real weirdos who homeschool and purport themselves to be educational "experts." But NYCHEA is a diverse group, the members are friendly and knowledgeable, and despite the webmaster's obsession with use of the preposition vis-a-vis in every single e-mail that I get from him, I think that I like NYCHEA.
And, apparently, I am NYCHEA's National Geographic Bee coordinator (although I cannot receive the Bee materials or administer the Bee, as A will be a participant).
I still want to open a school, though. Heh, heh.
P.S., this (straight, if you must know) guy knits some seriously wicked stuff:
I am in awe of his skill. Photo credit to Knitty and Yarnboy.
A tacky bar mitzvah would be this. Please note that LaMai refers to the upcoming bar mitzvah I am grappling with as the "b-m".
I saw this blog and thought it was Poppins standing there in yoga gear and glasses. Do you not see a trend here? Knit and Tonic...Denim Jumper has a Martini Lounge. We certainly know how to live the life, don't we?
I spoke to a male friend about the upcoming b-m festivities and somehow we wound up talking education talk, and he mentioned to me that his son goes to Dalton. For two seconds, I felt sorry that I Alex is a homeschooler. It happens. Particularly as today, we did not meet our daily academic goals. Okay, okay, we read two acts in Hamlet and my kid knows where Micronesia and Machu Picchu are. I shouldn't complain.
Said friend also mentioned an even tackier bar mitzvah than the Beyonce one: someone booked Don Henley and Aerosmith for his kid at the Rainbow Room and the dad wore a tuxedo with diamonds encrusted on the lapel. Tackay, tackay, tackay....
No, I don't really think you need to send a card to Tony Blair, particularly if you do not live in the U.K.
And oh yes, please congratulate Calletta at Forever December. A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, she stumbled onto this blog and decided she'd stick around. She
was pretty bold for hanging out with the homeschooling crowd, particularly as she didn't even have any children. She joined NaNoWriMo with me not once, but twice.
And, in the middle of this last NaNoWriMo, she had a baby. Her first. Give her a holler, will ya?
Currently, approximately 70-100 homeschooled students apply for admission to Harvard College. The acceptance rate matches the national average (for Harvard, that is 10%). The admissions director believes that the matriculation rate is about equal to the acceptance rate.
"We treat homeschooled students the same as conventional students," said the AD.
Regarding transcripts: Some people provide transcripts from correspondence schools, some mix & match courses with the public school system, or if the student is otherwise "linked to a system," they include those transcripts. Some work their curriculum entirely on their own, and provide transcripts for those courses.
Harvard is keen to know what is the student taking? "We would like to see syllabi" wherever possible, "not super-detailed, but something that tells us what is being taught" to the student.
Recommendations: Harvard expects recommendations from the student's "guidance counselor" plus two additional recommendations. They can be from research mentors, other academic mentors, or a community college teacher.
Taking classes outside of the homeschool realm: Harvard likes to see student "interaction" with others and "maturity." This AD felt that taking classes outside the homeschool realm, i.e., community college classes, is a "natural progression" for many students. She stressed the importance of students involving themselves in discussion with their peers.
Some students choose to supplement their homeschool education with classes such as their Continuing Education department, which the AD stressed, was not part of Harvard College, but falls under the "umbrella" of Harvard University. Taking courses at the CE school at Harvard does not guarantee the student anything re: Harvard College admissions.
Grades: Harvard looks at four years' worth of secondary studies for admission. "We do not require GPAs or rankings" but rather, they need to know "what is being taught" and require an assessment of the academic rigor of a student. Yes, Matilda, you do not even need a grade or GPA to be accepted by Harvard (but you will need SAT or ACT scores).
SAT and ACT scores: There is no minimum cutoff [LaMai's thinking out loud: yeah, sure]. But the AD did offer their average SAT I score from successful Harvard applicants - it is 700-790. Three SAT IIs are required (same score range). ACT scores range between 30-34.
When to apply: Harvard College does not participate in Early Decision, but like Yale and Stanford, it participates in Early Action. Harvard must be the student's SINGLE CHOICE when applying Early Action.
I asked the AD about admissions portfolios. "Doesn't that work against a student? Don't you have a job to do instead of looking at boring videos and extraneous stuff?" I asked. On the contrary, said the AD. While it is best to include only the materials required by the admissions department, if an applicant feels that his candicacy is better served by including a portfolio, by all means, do it, she said. "If everything else [the regular admissions packet] doesn't fully capture what you are about, we will consider them."
Thanks for your message and for your interest in Bowdoin. We receive a
relatively few number of applications from homeschooled students, but
those we receive are often interesting and exciting.
Please note: Home-schooled applicants and candidates applying from
secondary schools that provide written evaluations rather than grades
are required to submit SAT I and SAT II or ACT test results. SAT II
tests should include Math IC or Math IIC and a science.
Between 50-60 homeschooled students apply for undergraduate studies to Brown University annually. About 15% are accepted.
The reasons that these student applicants choose to homeschool are various: religion, medical, etc.
Being part of an accredited homeschool program is not necessary. Some homeschooled applicants participate in the Stanford University (EPGY) online program, Clonlara, the "Princeton Homeschool Clearing House", Bob Jones, or are part of a homeschooling co-op.
Brown has two staffers who review homeschooled applicants' files.
Transcripts submitted to Brown should appear relatively consistent with public high school transcripts; four years' work should appear.
The admissions director with whom I spoke explained that, ideally, a one-page or two-page curriculum should be included for each course studied, with books read, and grades (if available, grades are not required!!) being sufficient.
If the homeschooler has studied at a community college, provide that transcript.
Providing four to five references from non-parental teachers is ideal.
The student should take the SAT 1 and as many SAT IIs as they feel comfortable taking (Brown would like to see a re-affirmation of studiousness via SAT scores).
The director with whom I spoke advises applying early. And use Early Decision if Brown is the student's first choice.
New York City people interact with other humans like no other species of American human. Our apartment has wooden floors. It's old. Like most tenants, I refuse to carpet the floors. And our sound-sensitive downstairs neighbors have an inability to differentiate sound from noise.
One day at 7 p.m.:
[I peer through the peephole. A man who I have never seen before is standing on the other side. I open.]
Man: Are you putting furniture together or something?
Me: Yes. My son's bed. And the super is here assembling it for me.
Man: Can you do it another time? Our baby needs to sleep.
Me: Uh-huh. Um, actually no. It can't wait. My son needs to sleep on the new bed tonight. It'll take another 10 minutes.
Man: But our baby needs to sleep.
Me: I understand. Unlike the tenants who lived here previously, I am also a parent. I understand what it is like for you. Please be patient. Thanks. [I close the door, and wonder why on earth are these newbie parents putting their 2-year-old "baby" to bed at 7 p.m.????]
Later, at 12:40 a.m.:
[I peer through the peephole. I notice a naked man standing on the other side of the door. I have no idea what to do. But I have a dog now, so...]
BARK, BARK, BARK, BARK
Man Wearing Only Pajama Pants: Is your dog dancing around or something?
Me: I beg your pardon?
BARK BARK BARK BARK
MWOPP: Your dog.
Me: Sorry, didn't realize he was "dancing." [I am now totally confused]
MWOPP: Well, it's 12:40 a.m.!!!!
Me: I realize that. [Observing his lack of attire, I finally decide to close the door]
Dancing? What on earth was he talking about?
It was then that I realized that he and his wife sleep in their living room, where they heard the dog walking around directly overhead. Walking around, I cannot help.
I called my friend, the tenant previous to me who lived in the same apartment.
Me: Hi Ariela. Have you ever had a problem with your downstairs neighbors?
Ariela: OH MY GOD. Are they bothering you, too?
After finding out that they would come up once a month to complain about things like Ariela vacuuming at 7 p.m., my upstairs neighbor, D, from England, offered this story:
His father, a bobby (policeman), was once called to an old lady's house.
Old Lady: Officer, there's a naked man standing outside my window! And I am frightened!
Bobby: [Takes a look through the window to observe the suspect.] Ma'am, sorry but I don't see 'im.
Old Lady: He's there! He's there!
Bobby: [Continues looking] Ah - um - sorry.
Old Lady: You've got to stand up on this chair and lean out the window! I swear you'll see 'im then!
And such is the case with our downstairs neighbors. If they look for noise, they'll find it.
A coordinator at NYCHEA (New York City Home Educators' Alliance, more on that in a later post) just informed me about SPLASH at M.I.T. The good news is that students can enroll in any courses they choose, and as many as they choose, and it's only $20. The bad part is that it's over. Yes, it's true. It's an annual event, held in November.
There is, however, some other good news. M.I.T. has enrichment classes on Saturdays, held in the Spring and Summer. For thirty American dollars for an entire semester, your child can study stuff like Computer Platforms, Network Programming, Starting a High-Tech Company, London between the 18th and 19th Centuries, Fusion Energy, the History of Race in the Western World, and elementary Calculus by Problems and Examples (no kidding, it's for 6th graders, too).
M.I.T. has been offering the Educational Studies Program since 1957.
I hope that this email finds you well. Each year about less than 1% of
our applicant pool are students who have been homeschooled, and there are
a number of those students who do choose to matriculate at Wellesley.
There are no specific policies governing the application process for
students who have chosen homeschooling. You and your parents need to
research the best way for you to build academic skills which are
equivalent to those established through traditional, well rounded high
school curricula leading to a liberal arts education. You will need to
take the required standardized tests (currently the ACT, or the SAT I and
three SAT II’s) and need to develop both verbal and mathematical skills.
When it becomes time for you to apply for admission, you will need to
document your academic accomplishments. You will submit a record based on
your work, such as a bibliography of what you have read or examples of the
courses of study you have pursued. Since homeschoolers choose diverse
ways to develop and augment the curriculum they design, what you submit
will show your proficiency and your unique strengths. Each year the Board
of Admission does receive and assess applications from homeschooled
students. Some of these students have gone on to become very successful
If you have any futher questions, please feel free to respond to the email
or call me at XXX.XXX.XXXX.
Niceee Admissions Guy '00
Sr. Assistant Director
LaMai's note: I clearly indicate in all my communications that I am an adult, and include my real name so that anyone who chooses to, may Google it.
Why do we watch these films? Because they're entertaining. And because Jason Isaacs, AND Ralph Fiennes now appear in them. Miranda Richardson was a treat to see, too. I believe someone was toying with my brain when she appeared in this film with that "Dance With a Stranger" hairdo.
Unfortunately, we do not have current statistics on homeschool admissions. Every year there are a few homeschooled students in the admissions pool and they are read with the same care and thoughtfulness as other students. The onus is on the applicant to send us as complete information as possible about their academics. Evaluations are key, from whomever you would deem an instructor. We'll also need to see any evaluation of your work that is available. It is also important that you complete required standardized tests.
I hope this was helpful. Good luck in your college process!
Assistant Director of Admissions
I am a rightie. A is a leftie. And he, of late, has taken to learning to play acoustic-slash-classical guitar. We recently looked at photos of Jimi Hendrix. Of Paul McCartney. Of Kurt Cobain.
And A decided he would feel comfortable playing guitar as a leftie.
Mind, A previously played violin, but everyone must use his rightie on the violin bow. Because being a leftie in a symphony orchestra doesn't look so...great. So A played violin with his right hand, and strummed guitar with his right hand until he realized that there might be a way that a leftie can play guitar comfortably: as a leftie.
So, after A's decision to explore more left-edness, I went to our local guitar shop.
Me: Hi. I would like to have the strings on my son's guitar changed for a leftie.
Guitar Shop Guy: No.
GSG: Tell your kid to play a while with his right hand. This business is designed for right-handed playing. It will become too expensive to buy left-handed equipment.
Me: Uh-huh. Well, I understand. I mean, I use my right hand for nearly everything. But it doesn't seem fair to turn away a kid's request because of future concerns. If he doesn't like it, we'll have the strings changed back.
GSG: Tell him to play with his right. It'll be too hard to play with his left.
Me: Do you not change guitar strings for lefties?
GSG: I do. All the time. But have him try his right.
In other news, I am learning to knit. Knitting is like crack. Yes, I like that for a t-shirt: Knitting is the New Crack.
A: Can I try that?
Me: No, get your own yarn.
Me: Get your own yarn.
A: Just show me one thing. Please.
Me: Get your own yarn.
Thank you, Karina at Booze and Yarn.
Thank you for your message. Although we do not receive many applications from home-schooled students, the numbers are rising each year. This year less than 1% of our freshmen class self-identified as home-schooled students.
We recommend that a home-schooled applicant provides as much information about their curriculum, grading, mode of instruction, and reasons for choosing home-schooling. We also prefer to see letters of recommendation from non-family members. Ideally, letters from private tutors or college professors provide a more objective perspective on the student’s abilities.
I hope this information is helpful.
Associate Dean of Admissions
assure you they graduate at the same rate as traditionally educated
students. Some of them have been among our most interesting
applicants these last few years!
As applicants, we would evaluate whatever transcript/documentation
the students can provide. If they've been home schooled via a HS
"clearing house" curriculum we often will receive a traditional
transcript. If not, a list of courses, reading lists, major papers,
grades from college or correspondence courses will do.
Recommendations from a non-family member instructor would be helpful
if available. We'll also evaluate testing the same as a traditional
Here are our admission statistics for home-schooled applicants over the last 3 years:
Class of 2008: 21 applied; 4 accepted
Class of 2007: 19 applied; 4 accepted
Class of 2006: 15 applied; 3 accepted
When evaluating applications from home-schooled students, we look for detailed information concerning their curriculum including a description of all courses of study plus any accreditation information. In addition to our general testing requirements, we encourage home-schooled students to submit the results of any additional SAT II subject tests or AP exams. Furthermore, we will accept additional recommendations from any individuals with whom the student has worked in an academic capacity. The remainder of the application review is consistent with our review of all applicants.
If you have future questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. Take care.
Mr. Admissions Fellow
Amherst, MA 01002
This (partial response) from Cornell University:
Thank you for your interest in Cornell University. Students who are schooled at home usually have no independent high school transcript and often ask about what they should include on their application to Cornell. In order to understand and appreciate the depth and variety of your experience, the selection committees require the following for all four years prior to entering college:
1) English: list of books (including textbooks and other anthologies) you have read each year; how many papers and how long (indicate which are creative and which are expository writing); any research papers (list titles and length of each).
2) Social Studies: list of textbooks and books you have read each year; how many papers (topics listed) and how long; what independent research projects (titles and length).
3) Foreign Language: list of textbooks you have read each year; list projects and/or papers; descriptions and dates of visits to other countries.
4) Science: textbooks you have used each year (description of topics covered if you did not use a textbook or used only part of the book); list of experiments and/or field trips; any projects or research done (titles and time spent).
5) Mathematics: textbooks (covering which topics) you have used each year; any independent projects (titles and time spent).
In addition, you should submit scores from any standardized examinations (state, SATs, ACTs, APs,) you have taken or transcripts from any college courses.
We hope this list will help you prepare your application and feel confident that you have presented your academic accomplishments well.
The Admissions Staff
then later, this communication was sent to me:
We do not maintain statistics for home-schooled students (beyond the number
of apps) since they represent a very tiny part of our applicant pool (For
2005, we received 39 applications from home-schooled students out of 24,444
total freshman applications).
Cornell Maiden at the Admissions Office
Due to a pronounced pattern from the western atmosphere called NaNoWriMo, this site will experience exceptionally withering levels of blogging due to novel writing-induced blogging drought throughout the month of November.
Drought conditions may vary, but expect only light precipitations of blogging throughout this month.
Thank you for your patience.
Blood came out. More blood came out. Grab the towel, it's not stopping.
I am okay now, just a little rattled and am sporting what looks like two vampire bites on my nose. Napoleon felt badly after what he did, and retreated to his crate for the entire evening. We have much work to do on the doggie. He is intelligent and pushy, and constantly tests us. After a midnight phone call to Victoria, our dog trainer, I resigned myself to the realization that it's tough love time. Nappo is going down on the totem pole. No bed privileges. And fewer privileges overall.
Prussian blue girls: Thanks to you, Bill Maher made anti-homeschooling comments on the latest episode of his show Real Time with Bill Maher. And who came to the defense of homeschoolers? Tom Snow, of Fox News. Give me a break. I am thanking Fox News for defending homeschooling?
LaMai's thoughts (out loud):
There are crappy public schools.
There are crappy private schools. [note: LaMai attended one or two such schools]
There are crappy homeschoolers.
Please don't brand us cool homeschoolers, who want our kids to know more and see more of the world and the people in it, as the uncool ones who don't. Thank you kindly.
If you would like to join the Fellowship of the NaNoWriMo, shoot me an e-mail. It's free to join. I send you an invitation to join the blog, and you just post and tell us about your progress/obstacles/fears/etc., during NaNoWriMo month. Then we all go out and drink martinis when we're done. Every day.
Just kidding. Just shoot me an e-mail to email@example.com. For info about NaNoWriMo, go here.
And on the roster from last year I have me, Caletta, L, another Lisa, Diane, Writing and Living, and Rebel. So whoever would like her name (um, we're all women here, how odd, let me scout for a guy, shall I? oh no, then I'll have last year's problem) included, or not included, let me know.
photo: ScoobyDoo Dude Style, Village Halloween Parade, credit to whoever took it and posted it on Flickr.
And LaMai has proof here. And here. And here.
A spent the evening with a school friend at the Village Halloween Parade. On the subway train to pick him up, I shared the ride with Gene Simmons, JFK Jr., and a Canadian Mountie. I stopped at Starbucks for a coffee, and found Frida Kahlo there.
Camera, LaMai, camera, next time.
"Here we go!
Posted by Chris Baty on 2005/11/1 2:01:08 (1665 reads)
And we're off! Happy noveling everybody!
You can update your word count and novel excerpt by clicking Edit Profile, then looking for the "Word Count and Excerpt" link to the left. Also! A new WrimoRadio episode is up!
And we've put a sneak-preview link to the new Author Pages on everyone's profile. The novel excerpt parts of the new pages don't work yet, but as soon as they do, we'll swap those beautiful pages right in.
Also, in anticipation of the change-over, be sure to go into Edit Profile and click on the Regional Affiliation link. Choose at least one region close to your area (or close to your heart), and then make that your "Home" region through toggle magic. From that point forward, our wise server hamsters will place your home region at the top of your stats list, so you can see how your region stacks up against other wordy areas around the world.
All of this is sounding like technical gibberish, I know. But trust me. Do it. You will like it.
And oh yeah, A is joining in the fun but I am giving him a 25,000 word count responsibility. AND: The Fellowship of the NaNoWriMo.v2 will be up today. I will archive all the old posts, but we are starting fresh there. Anyone who wants to sign up this year, let me know. Maitresse@gmail.com
Early mornings can be productive.
This morning I blogged on two out of three blogs, told an editor at a daily to not publish a story that he's been withholding for two months leaving me unable to shop it elsewhere, shopped another story with a British publication, and I checked the latest e-mails from my cohorts in Tokyo.
And my upstairs neighbor got his groove on last night. He's a nice guy. It was about time.
A is in bed wrapped around the Weim. It is 7:45 a.m. and I do not wish to wake him up.
How early/late does everyone wake up? What time do you really get the lessons going?
I ask because if I actually open a classroom, I think that I might gain a few fans if no one is allowed to enter before 9:30 a.m.
Go to www.Google.com and type the word "failure." Then click on "I'm Feeling Lucky."
Catherine - our French tutor - and I had an argument last night. Of all things, about the future viability of CBGB. Her husband is a jazz musician who has played at the club. "But eyeuw noooh, eyeuw cont av eet az eh moozeyeum!" I tried to tell her it wasn't going to become one, but she kept interjecting. She was very passionate about this one. It went on for 30 minutes. Fortunately, she had called me from Lincoln Center, and the audience started applauding, and she had to hang up.
A is reading Shakyamuni Buddha: A Narrative Biogaphy by Nikkyo Niwano.
We are studying amino acids in orgo chemistry.
Fridays are also "Financial Fridays" for us. We entered Cramer's Mad Money Challenge and today we get to pay attention to our stocks.
Napoleon is looking and leaning through a window. I hope he doesn't fall out.
I have blogpatrol and know that you all are there...out yourselves! Due to pressing projects, I can't write much at the moment (it is currently 7:41 p.m. on Thursday). So kindly entertain me. Drop me a line in the comments section, will ya?
Contribute a comment. Or complaint. Or suggestion. Or short question (like, "What shampoo do you use?" Any curricula-type questions kindly e-mail to me, as I take my time with thoughtful answers).
After writing your comment, bugger off.
On exhibit is The Imagery of Chess Revisited. There are chess sets from pre-Revolutionary France (a chess set on sticks made for play at the beach!), boards by Man Ray and Max Ernst, as well as a Hartwig Bauhaus chess set. One of my favorites was a board by André Breton and Nicolas Calas called Wine Glass Chess Set and Board. The player who captures a chess glass is supposed to drink the wine out of the chess glass captured.
At the end of the chess exhibit is a room with tables, chairs, and chessboards for museum patrons to play a game. Or two. A challenged me to a game, and he won. Gulp. Just kidding. We did not get to play the wine glass board.
A's favorite things about the museum: "the garden, the Dadaists' work on exhibit" (surprise, me), that he beat me at chess, "the portable French pin chess board on leather," a magnetic chess board that he saw at the museum store, and the museum store in general.
LaMai's favorite things about the museum: that you can view the entire museum and exhibit in two hours. If you want to. That there was an interactive element available (the chess boards for the patrons), and a media room where we could view a film biography of the artist.
LaMai's least favorite things about the museum: that I can't live there. And that while we played chess, we were observed by the (very nice) museum employees. As if I actually knew how to play. hah hah.
Yesterday, before studying World War I, we studied yellow journalism. I am fortunate to be involved in a few media happenings, so I pulled out some dailies with article content for which I was responsible, coupled with sensationalistic headers for which I wasn't. A then made up a few yellow journalism articles with headlines of his own.
For Genetics, we worked a bit off of this page.
Then I went window shopping at Carolina Biological Supply. I love that store. On our roster of things to buy are:
We still do not have a microscope, but that is on our wishlist.
A is out doing lessons right now. Catherine is back in the picture with A's French lessons. We were on a bit of hiatus with that.
Last night I attended a friend's birthday party. I knew it would be star-studded and laid back, but it was one of those parties that you do not soon forget. Photographers were there. Every single record industry person who I've met over the last 10 months was there. Musicians were there. Minnie Driver was there. I think a certain widow of John Lennon's made an early visit, but I would have arrived after her.
Most bizarre moment? Five of us actually discussed mice problems, while we sipped wine and rum punch. This started because I asked a photographer if he had a dog, and he answered no, that he had a cat to resolve mice problems. Then we all sort of shook our heads and said, "Yeah, wow. Hate that." Then: "Wait. You've had mice problems, too?" What the going rate for glue traps must be in New York.
Second most bizarre moment? I certain young woman telling me Joey Ramone lived with her at her dorm at F.I.T. That he wore her bathrobe (she is 5 feet tall). Then she told me his shoe size.
All it takes is a pen and paper, an envelope, and a stamp for these AI Kids Action projects -
*Amnesty International Kids Action (Diwali) - Kevin Benderman, U.S. citizen. or,
*Amnesty International Kids Action (Urgent Action) - Heba al-Khaled, Syrian citizen.
* "Adopt" a U.S. soldier.
*Earth Justice (online form) - Arctic Refuge project.
*Watch Born Into Brothels, and e-mail your sentiments to one of the children of your choice.
Free the Gnomes.
but hopefully only after you've done one of the first five...
Me: Hi Victoria. Are you going to May's birthday party at the Cutting Room tonight?
Victoria: Um, no. Sorry. I have these tickets to see the cat circus, and I got the tickets a while ago.
Me: The cat circus?
Victoria: Yeah. They're are these cats that perform. They're Russian.
Me: I see.
No, really. Tribeca Performing Arts Center is hosting the Moscow Cats Theatre. And I thought cats couldn't be trained.
Some of you may know that I have a parent who committed suicide; that bit of my history is part of who I am, and it is an issue that I grapple with every day. While that makes me statistic, it isn't for nothing that the the suicide monologue in Hamlet, since its penning, has resonated to some degree with its audiences.
If you know of anyone who needs help and don't know how to offer it, please direct him/her to a resource that can help. LaMai thanks you kindly.
I love when M-mv does this.
Last night on Jay Leno:
Jay Leno: "This country's capital is Mexico City."
Random woman on the street: "New Mexico!"
JL: "New Mexico is a country?"
JL: "Not a country. Let me ask again. This country's capital is Mexico City."
RWOTS: "The United States!!!!"
Some words about our geographic literacy.
I believe that the homeschooling "community" is, in general a kinder, gentler kind of community. We are generally not money-driven (or we wouldn't be doing this, folks) but fulfillment-driven. We learn, we teach, our children learn from us. And we are grateful for this process.
As a single parent in New York City, I constantly face people and their "issues" alone. Perhaps it is because I am a single parent, and because my mother and father's families are nowhere near the City of New York, that I feel the brunt of these things so much more than if I was in a partnered relationship. I do not know.
I can tell, very generally, who will be the more kind and more reasonable in my day-to-day interactions with them. It is generally the person who nurtures someone else.
I find that nurturing dependents teaches us selflessness. Not in the Ayn Rand sense. Those with dependents (child/children, a group of people, or a good number of pets) and who nurture those dependents, are generally kinder than those who do not. Nurturers are by no means perfect. But they care. And they do this without checking if they look "cool" doing so.
(Of course, there are exceptions and degrees to this. The evil Upper East Side socialite might have softened only a notch by having a child; UES ladies tend to let the nannies do the nurturing, and tutors and schoolteachers everything else.)
I know of a few so-called "experts" who champion humanity or youth issues, yet prefer not to interact directly people long enough to nurture anyone. They write papers, give talks, and talk the talk. When their humanity is truly needed, they bail out. It saddens me to no end.
When I knew Zana the filmmaker, she was self-absorbed. Okay, she was incredibly self-absorbed. Yet she has become this incredibly kind and generous human being; she offers what is uniquely Zana's to the world. Steely determination still there, she ultimately nurtures others and does so in a way that is very public.
I doubt that Gandhi could have become the Mahatma had he not experienced some form of nurturing and selflessness. And yes, apart from his children, he had an entire country to look after.
Anyway, it is just an observation.
The Museum of the Moving Image, next to Kaufman Astoria Studios, was a total surprise for us. I found it also amazing how much this part of Long Island City now looks like TriBeCa in Manhattan. Can you say loft space everywhere?
A learned about kinetoscopes and Augustin and Louis Lumiere. He also learned about the marvel that is the film camera and sound microphone - with specimens of each from the late 1800s to today. Demonstrations by a wide-eyed NYU Film School graduate taught us sound and soundtrack editing, sound effects editing, dubbing, digital editing vs. traditional reel editing, and why the filmmakers' clapboard is so necessary in a film shoot. There was plenty of hands-on stuff to do. A re-mastered the sound effects for a scene Jurassic Park and I tried out different music soundtracks for a scene in the movie Twister. My voice was dubbed over Audrey Hepburn's in My Fair Lady, and A's was Denzel Washington's voice in the movie Glory. We created our own stop-action animation, and starred in a flipbook animation (you can actually purchase the 40-frame flipbook of your antics in front of the camera, at the Museum shop for $3.00).
Among the many collectible pieces - including an actual Yoda created for The Empire Strikes Back, A Chewbacca headpiece worn by Peter Mayhew, an original Gumby costume worn by Eddie Murphy for SNL, and Catherine Zeta Jones' costuming for the movie Chicago - were cheezy/pop culture t.v. and film memorabilia collections from the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond.
The Museum puts those tours at Universal Studios to shame. In addition to the demonstration film rooms, there is a small old-style cinema (see image of Tut cinema), and a screening room that seems to draw a dedicated cinephile audience.
Another film that I watched this week was Dare mo shiranai from Japan. A watched with me (unlike Born Into Brothels, no vulgar language is utilized by the parents). This film was difficult for me - as a single parent - to watch. The mother homeschools her kids - but at the outset, we do not know why. She is young, childlike, and seems to love her kids. All of that changes, however. The film is based on true events that were actually more disheartening than the fictional film.
LaMai's recommendation for parents: Born Into Brothels.
On a happier note, this is A's birthday week. A asked for - and got- CSS Web Design for Dummies. I thought it was a silly book to ask for; what could he possibly do with it? This morning, he showed me about 10 new things on the computer that he had designed using CSS.
I also am looking at this space for his b-m next year:
Last night, A presented to me about 153 messages in Hebrew that he made up on his own. Some were English messages; others were Spanish, and some were actual Hebrew words.
A: What does this say?
Me: Nun vav, sin vav hey. No sé. [Spanish for "I don't know"]
A: What does this say?
Me: Lamed vav vav, Resh kaf sin. Love rocks.
A: What does this say?
Me: [my eyes squinting] Valk the dog. Are you telling me to walk the dog????
A is enjoying his time with this new language. We have both decided on a low key and spiritual, but not glitzy, celebration for his Coming of Age. A wants Native American drummers to be there. I would like East Indian food catered for the guests. I suspect it will turn out to be most interesting. If any of the readership - with children - is interested in attending our fête in NYC (next year), let me know.
As mentioned previously, we are learning organic chemistry. Today A drew this on the computer:
The woman in the photo is Zana Briski. But I knew her when she was Susanna Briski, a hip London Jewish chick, while I attended boarding school in Britain years ago. And something about Susanna changed my life entirely. She stole my then-boyfriend. All three of us listened to Sisters of Mercy and Lords of the New Church (music bands, people). In fact, Susanna stomped right into a Lords show in Camden once while I was there. My friends thought she was trying to invade my territory. Sympathetic, they protected me. Who did she think she was? In return, I decided to become an super-hip-Jewish chick, like Susanna. Who was going to have all this One Upmanship?
[people, we were teenagers, okay?]
I later found out - via the ex-boyfriend who now lives in Toronto, Canada - something awful and life-changing occurred when Susanna, years later, was on a trip abroad. On the surface I felt bad for her, but secretly thought, "Well, there's her karma." So funny how we think when we're incredibly self-absorbed and young and narely 25.
Last night, I watched Born into Brothels. I invited A to watch with me. Nothing in the film is too hard to watch; it's actually hard to not watch this film. We saw unfold the story of young kids growing up despite that their mamas work the work, while the kids somehow found ways to laugh, play, and to be witty and wise.
Alexander was really moved. So was I.
Behind the work was Susanna - now Zana - Briski. I was good seeing her again, if only on celluloid, and I had absolutely no idea that this was her film, or that she had won a little golden statuette for her work. And now Zana's foundation, Kids with Cameras, is spreading all over the globe.
Here's to your karma, Zana. LaMai is profoundly inspired by you.
If you choose to purchase a photograph by one of the kids, you can do so here. It is a way by which the kids can sustain themselves and their education, not rely on handouts, and it keeps them out of the brothels.
Why is LaMai gettin' all religious an' stuff? Believe me, I am not. I do believe in observance of certain cultural markers, but I stop at exclusionary and separatist practices.
After all, Joey Ramone *did* have a Bar Mitzvah...
We're also in the middle of the holiday of Ramadan.
Again, I am finding out the hot topic of discussion among New York City dog owners. Did your dog poop on Saturday? I must explain.
Saturday was a rain day. It rained all day. Without break.
A and I tried to walk Napoleon for the emergency 5-second relief. We figured he could get some real exercise with a gift of the dog run on Sunday. So Saturday morning, leashed and ready to go, he walked down to the lobby and M. Bonaparte sort of noticed the rain, but didn't know what it was. Until he stood outside. His legs froze.
"No. No. No. No. No. I am so *NOT* having this."
And back inside he went. We tried again. And again. And again.
On Sunday, he was on the curb the entire duration of our walks. It was then that I noticed a strange phenomenon. I overheard two men with dogs talking.
"Did your dog go outside on Saturday?"
"No, uh-uh. But he pooped 20,437 times today."
"That's so weird. So did mine."
My friend called me on the phone last night. She has a dog but lives in a house here in NY. The first words out of her mouth were, "My dog actually went inside the house on Saturday! I couldn't believe him!"
Canine psychology: Rain 101. Your next non-rain day will be full of poop.
The Denim Jumper is a reality! Hip Hip Hooray! Three Cheers for Sarah!
Because we get to homeschool and not apologize for the martini glass in hand, nor the days that I want to use bar soap to stiffen my hair, like the lovely lady on the left.
If you, like me, are a homeschooler and learn toward a secular lifestyle (whatever your religious brand), or feel comfortable around secular folk, you now have an e-community to call home.
I do not know if my head hurts from evaluating/determining which books are going to go in A's new 2005-06 curriculum, from the amount of writing I have been undertaking of late, from the idea that we have a Supreme Court Justice nominee who has never before worked in Constitutional law or sat on a bench as a judge - ever, anywhere, or because Madonna is *really* opening that Kabbalah hotel in London.
And NaNoWriMo is just around the corner...
More apple. More honey.
Will blog soon.