Friday, February 06, 2009

A Few Things to Share Tonight

The flu flew into our house Monday night of this week and nested inside both Hillary and me. That lucky devil got to stay home from school Tuesday; but Tuesdays and Thursdays are my teaching days, so I dragged myself to work. (FRIEND: "And how many people did you infect?" ME: "All of them. They're teachers-in-training; they've got to start building up their immunity.")

Things seemed better by Tuesday night, and Hillary returned to school Wednesday (although neither of us was necessarily craving chili or spaghetti or anything spicier than Cream of Wheat). This morning, however, the flu flew back . . . to Hillary, that is. I had awoken très early to get some work done on the computer, so I was in the office with the door closed when I heard Hillary "experiencing flu symptoms" on her way from her bedroom into the bathroom. I opened the door to find Susan across the hallway in our bedroom doorway, and we both went into action--she in tending to our child and I in cleaning up the hallway and bathroom floors and walls.

I stayed home with Hillary this morning, and Susan came home for the afternoon so that I could tend to appointments that I had today. One of those was teaching a mini-lesson on computers at the girls' elementary school. The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) sponsors various "mini-lessons" to give children a chance to learn a little more about specialized topics of interest to them. For an hour today and an hour next Friday, kids have signed up to attend mini-lessons on cooking, hunter safety, judo, babysitting, and so on.

The PAC asked me to teach one called Computer Fun, so I used the theme of Valentine's Day (our last session will be February 13) to create a WebQuest for them to do, and I'm showing them how to use Microsoft Office Publisher to make a valentine newsletter for a family member. In the newsletter they're including facts about Valentine's Day that they learned from the WebQuest; they're including digital photographs of themselves that we took today; they're inserting Microsoft clip art of their choosing (hearts, Cupid, roses, etc.); and they're writing a personal Valentine's Day message to the recipients of their newsletters. Next week they'll finish and print out their newsletters and play some online games with a Valentine's Day theme. They might also be receiving some sweet treats from me, too, in honor of the holiday.

(Suzanna and Abigail both signed up for my session and were model students today. Should you like to try the WebQuest yourself or learn more about what we did, check out the Computer Fun mini-lesson here.)

Tonight was another concert in the series to which we have season tickets. Susan took the two older girls while I stayed home with Hillary, so I don't have much to say about the concert other than that Susan, Suzanna, and Abigail reported afterward that it was terrific. (Hillary and I played with baby dolls and watched cartoons while they were at the concert.) The group was the Joe Trio, and judging by their Web site, the concert program, and the girls' synopsis of tonight's concert, they're as funny as they are talented. One of the musicians' biography in the program, for example, says, "Charles was born at a very early age." All the songs in the program are listed with random numbers: 37 -- 99 -- 14 -- Any Prime # -- 6 -- 72 -- 1 -- 4,789,324.65 -- Infinity. The cover of the program has a photo of the three musicians; the middle guy is upside-down, so under the photo his name is printed upside-down, too. Check out their site for more humor and samples of their music.

So, to review: flu, Computer Fun, Joe Trio. That about does it for tonight's post, folks. Drive safely, and good night.

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