Thursday, December 14, 2017

Parents and Children, Vol. 2, by Charlotte Mason

Parents and Children, Vol. 2
Charlotte Mason
Published 1904

Charlotte Mason began Parents and Children reproving and praising Rousseau, the French philosopher. She rebuked,
Jean Jacques Rousseau had not enough sterling character to warrant him to pose as an authority on any subject, least of all on that of education.
(I read his autobiography and the man gave away his five children that he had out of wedlock because he did not think himself - or the mother of his children - worthy to raise up their own).

Nonetheless, Mason stated that Rousseau "turned the hearts of parents back to their children" and realized "God placed the training of every child in the hands of two, a father and a mother." (Just not him or his woman.)

Charlotte Mason focused on the family unit. She demonstrated that families are a commune under absolute rule, and they must be social and serve their neighbors and the nation. Within the family, the parents represent the government. Parents must be able to rule their children because:
A ruler who fails to govern is like an unjust judge, an impious priest, an ignorant teacher.
And,
It is good for the children to faithfully serve, honor and humbly obey their natural rulers.
Mason said that it is difficult to establish authority in these "democratic days," when everyone is demanding equality. (It was an issue in her times, too.) Everyone cannot be treated equally --- because they simply are not.



ON FAMILY
God forbid that we should ever lose faith in the blessedness of family life. Parents who hold their children as at the same time a public trust and a divine trust, and who recognize the authority they hold as deputed authority, not to be trifled with, laid aside, or abused -- such parents preserve for the nation the immunities of home, safeguard the privileges of their order.
Yet the autonomy of the child is just as essential as the authority of the parents. "It would be an encroachment on the rights of the child, and an transgression on the part of the parents," if parents did not encourage or teach self-government to the child.
The child who knows that he is being brought up for the service of the nation, that his parents are acting under a Divine commission, will not turn out a rebellious son.
Parents must inspire their children to spiritual life of intelligence and morality. While both parents are equally responsible to raise up their children to higher life, it is to mothers that children owe this second birth:
. . . great men have great mothers; mothers, that is, blest with an infinite capacity of taking pains with their work of bringing up children. - M. Adolf Monod
ON INDIVIDUALITY OF CHILDREN

About that one-education-fits-all formula: the author stated that parents are protective over the individuality of their children and they rightly mistrust the plan to teach every child the same, or should we not "die of weariness of one another?" Individuality and personality are important to God and humanity, too.
In a word, we are very tenacious of the dignity and individuality of our children.

ON INSPIRATION OF IDEAS  
Are there children who do not wonder, or revere, or care for fairy tales, or think wise child-thoughts? Perhaps there are not; but if there are, it is because the fertilising pollen grain has never been conveyed to the ovule waiting for it in the child's soul.
Mason believed that children learn by ideas, and that parents must provide children with these ideas.  She believed,
The mind of the little child is an open field, surely 'good ground,' to plant the truth of the Word of God.
She stated: a parents' highest function is "To bring the human race, family by family, child by child, out of the savage and inhuman desolation where He is not, into the light and warmth and comfort of the presence of God, is no doubt, the chief thing we have to do in the world."

To educate children, they need opportunities to be inspired and directed, and they will "do their own education, intellectual, aesthetic, even moral, by reason of the balanced desires, powers, and affections which go to make up the human nature."

ON GODLY CHARACTER

The formation of godly character is the ultimate object of education. 

End bad habits by promoting and encouraging good habits.  "The training of the will, the instruction of the conscience, . . . the development of the divine life in the child, are carried on simultaneously with this training in the habits of a good life."

A child who is taught about "giving and sharing, of loving and bearing, will always  spend himself freely on others, will love and serve, seeking for nothing again; but the child who recognizes that he is the object of constant attention, consideration, love and service,  becomes self-regardful, self-seeking, selfish, almost without his fault, so strongly is he influenced by the direction his thoughts receive from those about him." (Hello, SELF-ie generation.)

A child must be taught absolute humility, unconsciousness of self, fortitude, and altruism. It is not the responsibilitiy of the parents to make their child's life easy or happy.

The child's empathy and compassion must be broadened. "It is our part . . . to prepare these little ministers of grace for the larger and fuller revelation of the kingdom of heaven that is coming upon us."



ON TRUTH AND MORALITY

Mason encouraged using [English] ballad literature to teach patriotism and heroism, like Beowulf. (I love Beowulf.)
But it is not only the ideas of a hero which we have in Beowulf, it is also the idea of a king, the just governor, the wise politician, the builder of peace, the defender of his own folk at the price of his life.
Children must be taught moral truth. Moral teaching must be effortless, candid, specific, and appeal to  reason, and with religious authority.  It is the responsibility of the parent to teach the child about the power of choice because some ideas may be evil and some may be good.

ON BOOKS

Mason states that today's education does not "produce reading people," and warns that we "should not get between books and our children." She says children must have living books, the best books, and "the frequent change of books for the constant stimulation of the child's intellectual life."


ON FUNCTION OF EDUCATION
Subjectively, education is a life; objectively, education is a discipline; and relatively, education is an atmosphere.
Education is the training of good habits in which the child learns; a life, sustained and nourished by those ideas; and an atmosphere or environment, provided by his parents, where those ideas rule their own lives.

###

It may appear that Mason jumps from one topic to the other, but it is my review that jumps. There is so much to discuss that I cannot cover all of it, but rather I can only pull out a minor portion of a few topics. It is actually very fluid and connected, as each idea flows into the other.

Mason is a great encouragement to parents to love and inspire, correct and train up their children in proper godly discipline and obedience for His service, while encouraging the very good ideas that will make him or her noble and true. This is a book I wish I had read before I had children.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2017

My Favorite Books of 2017

This was my absolute 2017 favorite:

Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston

And this was a close second:

Reading Lolita in Tehran
Azar Nafisi

The next two are intense classic non-fiction:

The Cost of Discipleship
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Mere Christianity
C. S. Lewis

This is always a favorite:

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

An amazing non-fictional book about marriage and singlehood:

Married For God
Christopher Ash

This next one was eye-opening -- and I thought it would be a dud:

55 Men: The Story of the Constitution: 
Based on the Day-to-day Notes by James Madison
Fred Rodell

Naturally, Dostoyevsky is brilliant and intriguing.

The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

But of course, my go-to comfort read is the following series; 
This was my 5th reread.

Little House on the Prairie (books 1-8, b/c I did not get to #9)
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Finally, these are my resource books for education and raising children. I'm fascinated by Charlotte Mason and wish I read her books BEFORE I had kids. She is AWESOME.

Home Education, Vol. 1; Parents and Children, Vol. 2; 
and School Education, Vol. 3
Charlotte Mason


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans by Plutarch

Lives of the Noble Greeks
Plutarch, edited by Edmund Fuller
Written/Published 2nd century/1517
Well-Educated Mind (Histories)

At the start of "Alexander," Plutarch told his readers "he is not writing histories, but lives." 
I must be allowed to give my more particular attention to the marks and indications of the souls of men . . .
I said I would read five Greek lives but instead read four because "Alexander the Great" was understandably lengthy. With that, I also read "Theseus," "Solon," and "Pericles." 

THESEUS

Adriadne Giving Thread to Theseus by Palagi

"Theseus" was my favorite because I was already familiar with his story. He was the famous Greek who saved the Athenians from the Minotaur and the founder of Athens:
Now, after the death of his father Aegeus, forming in his mind a great and wonderful design, he gathered together all the inhabitants of Attica into one town, and made them one people one city . . . and gave the name of Athens to the whole state . . .
He also founded a democracy, or "people's government, in which he should only be continued as their commander in war and the protector of their laws, all things else being equally distributed among them."

Aristotle says, "Theseus was the first who, out of an inclination to popular government, parted with the regal power."

Unfortunately, he was accused of dubious behavior as well, and he ended up in prison for a while. Sometime after his release he died a gruesome death, but even how that happened it is not certain. In the end, future Athenians honored him as a demigod.

SOLON

Solon was one of Greece's essential statesmen because he contributed to many of the successful reforms, laying the foundation for a democratic government. He preferred justice to wealth, and sought to eliminate the monopoly of the powerfully rich in society. He established a set of laws for men to live by.  His friend, Anacharsis, "laughed at him for imagining the dishonesty and covetousness of his countrymen could be restrained by written laws, which were like spider's webs, and would catch . . . the weak and poor, but easily be broken by the mighty and the rich."
To this Salon rejoined that men keep their promises when neither side can get anything by the breaking of them; and he would so fit his laws to the citizens, that all should understand it was more eligible to be just than to break the laws. 
Solon removed most of the severe Draco laws, and laid the foundation for more compassionate and reasonable punishment for lawbreakers.

And one more tidbit: he wrote poetry.

PERICLES


Pericles
Another great statesmen with whom Athens had a love/hate relationship, Pericles was greatly admired for his upright character and superior intelligence. He found favor with the poor, especially for his ideas about redistribution of wealth. (Of course.)

When his political opposition, Thucydides, was set against him, he kicked it up a notch:
And so Pericles . . . let loose the reins to the people, and made his policy subservient to their pleasure, contriving and continually to have some great public show or solemnity, some banquet, or some procession or other in the town to please them, coaxing his countrymen like children with such delights and pleasures as were not, however, unedifying. 
I mean, you have to do something during an election year.

However, the opposition became so threatening that Pericles became more aristocratic, influencing and encouraging his countrymen in the best interest of the country instead of being a passive leader.

Pericles also led the Athenians through the ambitious war against Sparta, in which he was a firm and strategic general (or admiral), but he made mistakes. The Athenians were frustrated, and deposed him. But before long, they pitied him and took him back, though by then he was near death.

Of Pericles, Plutarch remarks,
To me it appears that this one thing gives that otherwise childish and arrogant title a fitting and becoming significance; so dispassionate a temper, a life so pure and unblemished, in the height of power and place, might well be called Olympian, in accordance with our conceptions of the divine being, to whom, as the natural authors of all good and of nothing evil, we ascribe the rule and government of the world. 
ALEXANDER THE GREAT

Alexander the Great by Rembrandt
You all know the stories of Alexander, right? Because of Plutarch we know the stories of Alexander's father, Philip of Macedonia, Alexander's youth and superior education under Aristotle, and the unruly horse with the odd name that Alexander conquered, to which his father delightfully squealed,
O my son, look thee out a kingdom equal to and worthy of thyself, for Macedonia is too little for thee.
After Philip was murdered, Alexander, who was only 20, immediately came to power. And so went on for pages and pages and pages of his amazing adventures, from Egypt to Persia, especially his long conflict with Darius and then Cyrus, his issues with Cleopatra, his personal conduct, and his mysterious death. I leave that to you reader to see it for yourself. Alexander's life is quite impressive.

But I must mention the funniest moment when Alexander met Diogenes, the philosopher, who was not impressed with the young Macedonian leader. Alexander asked if there was anything Diogenes wanted to say to him, and the philosopher quipped, "Yes, I would have you stand from between me and sun." After Alexander and his friends had a good laugh at the nonchalant reply, Alexander told them "if he were not Alexander, he would choose to be Diogenes."

Roman Lives
Plutarch, ed. by Robin Waterfield
Written/Published 2nd Century/1517
Well-Educated Mind (Histories)

My next book continued Plutarch's Lives, of great Roman men. I decided only to read two: "Caesar" and "Antony."

CAESAR

The Death of Julius Caesar by Camuccini
Immediately, Plutarch informs the reader that Julius Caesar, a little Roman statesman turned general, is under threat of death by his enemies and always on the run or in hiding. Nonetheless, he was popular because of his representation of the people. He was a great orator who provoked emotions. In other words, Rome knew he was popular, though they could not get rid of him no matter how they tried.

Meanwhile, as long as he stayed away from Rome - always on campaign throughout Europe and Northern Africa - he was spitefully tolerated, especially because he was always victorious, which was a benefit to Rome.

At his final triumphal campaign against Pompey's sons, Rome finally
bowed their heads before Caesar's good fortune and accepted the bridle. Since autocracy was . . . a pleasant change after civil war and turmoil they proclaimed [Caesar] dictator for life. But when permanence is added to the unaccountability of autocracy, tyranny is the result, and this is now what Caesar had, with the acquiesce of the Romans.
If you look up the word ambition in the dictionary, you'll see Julius Caesar's portrait. He is the absolute example of drive, determination, prideful lust and idolatry. He probably never slept, always thinking of ways to glorify his great mind. He had plans and he was never satisfied even after he accomplished his zealous goals. He was meticulous about his ideas, but who cares if they are only done with him in mind.

His desire to anoint himself king of Rome finally turned the people against him; while the Senate quietly plotted to stop him. And you all know that fateful day that Caesar was murdered. His ambitions brought him to nothing except the fame of his name (like Little Caesar's Pizza and Orange Julius Caesar drink); and so the little Roman Republic transformed into 500 years of an oppressive overreaching Roman Empire.

ANTONY

Marc Antony Gives Funeral Speech of Caesar
If Julius Caesar was ambitious, Marc Antony was a reckless fool. He was thrown out of his home for his poor choices and bad influences, and it was no surprise that he continued making poor choices and following after bad influences long after he found himself in the seat of the Roman government and right up to his death. 

It was his charming personality that attracted him to Julius Caesar, but it was not long before Caesar discovered what a mess Antony was: a lazy, drunken, womanizing, extravagant fool.

Antony had nothing to do with Caesar's murder, and he even aroused the crowd at the funeral, calling out the murderers; that is how he developed a following of Caesar's supporters and began acting like a dictator. However, there was the problem with Caesar's nephew, Octavius, who expected to be Caesar's successor, which would lead to years of conflict between the two sides. For a while the two men and one more man formed the triumvirate, the government of Rome.  

But the worst thing that ever happened to Antony, if not his own hedonism, was Cleopatra of Egypt. By that time, Antony was a successful military leader winning fame and power for Rome; but fooling around with Cleopatra was the end of him.  

It is a little more complicated than this, but it was Octavia, Antony's second wife, that really brought this conflict to an end. Cleopatra felt threatened by Octavia, so she plotted in order to secure Antony's power, which he relinquished to her, in turn causing Octavius Caesar to declare war on Cleopatra (and Antony). 

Plutarch referred to Antony as Cleopatra's "appendage." He shamefully abandoned his soldiers to be with Cleopatra. Later his last remaining men abandoned him and joined forces with Octavius Caesar, who also tried to get Cleopatra to have Antony assassinated. Antony felt betrayed by Cleopatra, and she hid herself from him in her tomb. She sent a messenger to Antony to tell him she was dead. Unfortunately, he could not even successfully kill himself with his own dagger. When Cleopatra found out he was injured, she had him brought to her, where he pathetically died in her presence.  

Plutarch finishes Antony's life with the death of Cleopatra and the results of all the children involved. Poor kids.

###

Even though it took me months to read the few lives I read, I just wanted to be done; but I do want to go back someday and read the remaining Greek and Roman lives that I skipped. Plutarch writes about the good, the bad, and the ugly, and it is fascinating.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Winter TBR

Some Books on My Winter TBR

It may not technically be winter, but I'll be reading these in December:

Stories for Christmas
Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens, illustrations by P.J. Lynch

The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien

(And when I finish Fellowship, I can move on to the next book and the next,
which probably won't be until January and February.)

The Two Towers

The Return of the King

Lives of the Noble Romans
Plutarch

(I want to finish "Antony," and then I'll be done. Hope to finish by end of December.
Once I finish Plutarch, I shall begin Augustine, finally.)

City of God
Augustine

I have not planned my next year, nonetheless, 
these are some books I am considering reading into the new year.

Northangar Abbey
Jane Austen

Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini

Jude the Obscure 
Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Ethan Frome
Edith Wharton

Ourselves
Charlotte Mason

Monday, November 27, 2017

Rereading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Published 1866
Reread (with Cleo @ Classical Carousel)
Back to the Classics (19th Century)

This is my second reading of Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky, and it still remains one of my favorite memorable reads. I would suggest this book to anyone looking for a contemplative, thought-provoking, deep story. And there is no need to be intimidated by its Russian author; he is reader friendly. 

During my first read, in 2012, I focused more on the theory or theme of the story, which was psychological. Dostoevsky wants us to consider that some men are capable of committing murder and getting away with it - like if your name is NapolĂ©on; if you are powerful enough, you are above the law. But most of us are not, as was the stumbling block for our main character, Raskolnikov (many of whom claim to be Dostoevsky's brain in the story). Raskolnikov had a theory and he wanted to test it. 

Dostoevsky contemplated numerous ideas that may or may not cause an individual to commit murder, or any crime for that matter, and why some get away with it. For example, could a person's socioeconomic environment or situation be a factor? Why would one person choose to murder and not another if they were in the same hopeless circumstance? Could someone temporarily lose his mind and then commit a crime? What if the victim was despised by society anyway? Are we really above God? And why does the world accept murder on a grand scale, like war, by one powerful madman, in the name of patriotism, but not by an individual who acts alone? Dostoevsky brings these ideas and thoughts to light through different characters, and then leaves the reader to make up his own mind. 

Nonetheless, in this second reading, I spent more time getting to know the characters, especially Raskolinkov. First of all, he is extremely intelligent, though that is not why I embraced him. Oddly to admit, even after his despicable act, Raskolinokov is still very likable. He is compassionate and empathetic, shows concern for others, and does honorable, sacrificial deeds. Interestingly enough, he recognizes injustice and seeks to prevent it, such as saving his righteous sister from marrying an undeserved man.

I really never understood what the "chip on his shoulder" was - why Raskolinkov was so bitter and angry - but by the end of the story, when he finally makes a radical heart change, the reader can believe he is healed; finally, he is over the obstruction in his heart.

The other characters are deeply portrayed and realistic, as well. Many are good-hearted and extremely likable, while others are contemptible, and yet, some forgivable.

I really enjoyed this (again). It is full of drama, psychology, terror, suffering, sadness, love, sacrifice, repentance, and forgiveness. And best of all, it is Dostoevsky; so it is thought provoking and intelligently well written. 

(P.S. It is easier to ingest than The Brothers Karamazov, for sure.) 

Raskolinokov

My first review (2012) of Crime and Punishment

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Home Education, Vol. 1 by Charlotte Mason

This post is a duplicate from my homeschool blog and it is the only book post I have done in months. Proof that I am reading books, but dragging my feet about posting; nonetheless, here is something: 

Home Education, Volume 1
Charlotte Mason
Published 1906

My husband bought me the Simply Charlotte Mason reprint of Charlotte Mason's Original Home Schooling Series for my birthday last summer. There are six volumes, and I have already finished the first three books. This is a review of volume one. By the way, there is so much in these books that I cannot speak to everything; therefore, I will only paraphrase what my favorite parts are. Also, this first book is mostly directed toward children less than ten years of age.

Charlotte Mason was an advocate of children, parents, and learning. There is no confusion over where her heart was. She believed bringing up and instructing children as most essential to society, certainly in school, but more so at home because home influences the character and calling of the future adult. She expected more from the mother in the early years because "mothers . . . have the sole direction of the children's early, most impressible years." 
Maternal love is the first agent in education.
At least for the first six years of life, mothers, " . . . are waking up to [their] duties, and . . . will doubtless feel the more strongly that the education of their children . . .  is an undertaking hardly to be entrusted to any hands but their own.  

Mason noticed that (even during the time of her writing) there was a kind of "child-worship," in which children were protected from physical exertion and discomfort. She believed "children should be trained to endure hardness." 

Charlotte Mason was a proponent of nature and being outdoors. She strongly encouraged parents to permit their children to live and learn and play outside in nature as much as possible. 
Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.
She said, ". . . a mother's first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, . . . spent for the most part out in the fresh air." This allows for sightseeing, observation or perception, and expression. Being able to observe or perceive also leads to discernment with very little instruction or talk from Mother. In fact, least said the better. Children will make the connections on their own.



Mason made the case that education is based on natural law. She said, ". . . the chief function of the child - his business in the world during the first six or seven years of his life - is to find out all he can, . . . by means of his five senses; that he has an insatiable appetite for knowledge . . . ; the endeavor of his parents should be to put him in the way of making acquaintance . . . with Nature . . . ; the intellectual education of the young child should lie in the free exercise of perceptive power because the first stages of mental effort are marked by the extreme activity of this power; and the wisdom of the educator is to follow the lead of Nature . . ." (Where I said in the margin, "Wow! Public education has this completely opposite.")

There is a long section on habits and habit formation:
The formation of habits is education, and Education is the formation of habits.
She explained why it is important for the educator (Mom) to teach the child moral strength and purpose and self-control over his own nature. Habits that help a child are habits that work against nature because Mason knows that unruly human nature is contrary to God's law, which is written on a man's heart. Educators must teach them habits which "lead them in ways of order, propriety, and virtue."
The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days; while she who lets their habits take care of themselves has a weary life of endless friction with the children.
Mason discussed the necessity of mental habits, like attention and obedience, and behaviors that affect other people, like gentleness, courtesy, kindness, candour and respect. Lessons should be short and worthwhile for young children, and their minds should rest after study and observation. A child can be taught to focus attention, and made aware that if he does not get control of his thoughts, they will wander and control him. A child should put his whole heart into all his work.



To ensure the habits of obedience, a mother must teach her child that it is "a noble thing to be able to make himself do, immediately and rightly, the very thing he would rather not do."
The children who are trained to perfect obedience may be trusted with a good deal of liberty. 
If you wonder why someone else's child seems a spoiled brat:
The root of the evil is, not that these people were born sullen, or peevish, or envious - that might have been mended; but that they were permitted to grow up in these dispositions.
Mason next addressed lessons in general. She explained that children learn in order for mental growth, to get fruitful ideas, for valuable, interesting knowledge, and to exercise power for their minds. Since knowledge should come by way of a child's own investigation (under direction) in Nature, the schoolroom should not encroach on his right to long hours for physical exercise and investigation; his play should be vigorous, and he should be left to himself (with supervision), and the happiness of the child should be based on his progress.

This volume includes an in-depth section on spelling, reading, recitation, narration, writing/composition, dictation, Bible, arithmetic, nature science, history, geography and art/music lessons. Lessons and subjects should be linked, interlaced, and recall the last. (That's why I love teaching history in chronological order. It just makes sense.) It is better for a child to focus on real experience, like a primary source or a chronicle or biography from history by someone who was there and learned first hand, than to memorize names and dates and boring facts. And he should read really good books. (I like that very much.)

The last section, probably the most important, speaks to the will of the child. The three functions of the will are: controller of passions and emotions, direction of desires, and ruler of appetites. Mason explains willfulness, and that a disciplined will is necessary to heroic Christian character. To discipline the will one must change his thinking - have a change of heart attitude. Parents must teach their child that:
. . . there is a power within you, your own will, which will enable you to turn your attention from thoughts that make you unhappy and wrong, to thoughts that make you have and right.
Hence, a child must learn early on a habit of self-management to control himself. Mason believed the shaping of the will is far more important to the well-being of the individual than the education of the mind. She quotes:
. . . Theory and doctrine, and inculcation of laws and propositions, will never of themselves lead to the uniform habit of right action. 
If a bee can produce an apple tree, imagine what a child can do...

The section on conscience is beautiful. ". . . every soul is a 'living soul,' a fully developed, full-grown soul." Mason makes you think: if a bee can produce an apple tree, imagine what a child, made in the image of God can do. She pleads:
The parent must not make blundering, witless effort: as this is the most highest duty imposed upon him, it is also the most delicate; and he will have infinite need of faith and prayer, tact and discretion, humility, gentleness, love, and sound judgment, if he would present his child to God, and the thought of God to the soul of his child.
And finally she makes encouraging applications how to do this.

Charlotte Mason
Let me end here by saying, I wish before I became a new mom I read Charlotte Mason's books. She was more than a homeschool or learning advocate; her words are practical and commonsensical and encouraging for parents of young children to love them purposefully, raise them up rightly, and train them in the way they should go that would most benefit their souls and society in general. She is highly intellectual, articulate, practical, feminine, and lovely, that I think of her as the Jane Austen of child rearing and early childhood education.

Coming soon: Parents and Children, Volume 2

Thursday, November 2, 2017

About Too Much Baseball and a Lack of Books

It's November, and I have failed to finish one book, write one post, or read very much at all in the month of October.

And I have a lame reason, too: it's all baseball's fault.

My husband and me, NLDS 2015

Do you know how long baseball season is? Baseball season begins in April (sometimes March) and continues all the way through September or October, depending on how far your team makes it. This year, it went into November. Ugh!

With our friends and JT's ground-rule double ball, 2015 NLDS

My husband went back to the next NLDS 2015 game without me

You see, I am married to a neurotic Los Angeles Dodger fan, and three years ago I officially converted from a well-grounded, in-name-only New York Mets fan to a fanatic LA Dodger fan. It was bound to happen after 17-years of marriage. 

I secretly took this picture of my crazy husband. Help!
We even dragged our kids into the sickness

Lost to the Nationals, NLDS 2016, pretending to be happy

My Girl, Audra, and me at NLDS, 2016

Corey Seager #5, 2016 Rookie of the Year
Seager

For the last three years, we have been attending a lot of Dodger games, even playoff games, and often with a couple of friends. In 2015, my friend's husband caught Justin Turner's ground rule double during the NLDS against the NY Mets. And last year my husband caught a foul ball by Yazmani Grandal.

LA Dodger Fan (my husband) Makes a Great Catch, 2016, Jon Soohoo
Yazmani Grandal, #9, LA Dodger Catcher

This year the Dodgers broke all kinds of records, and they were the BEST team in all of baseball. Needless to say, it has been an exciting three years following the Dodgers.


JT or Justin Turner or Redturn, #10


It is no surprise then to say that this October has been a volatile month, with the Dodgers sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks for the NLDS and beating the 2016 World Series Chicago Cubs for the Division Championships. We were able to attend a couple of these games, and for the remainder of the series, I sat comatose, unable to think of anything else, watching every game to the end.

Finally, after 29 years, they were going to the World Series.

NLCS 2017

Long story short, it has been one of the most exciting World Series, going through all seven games, only for the Dodgers to lose to the Houston Astros. Yeah, I'm bummed, but I am truly glad it is over because it has consumed my life, literally. I am absolutely ready to get back into reading and writing.

Top Deck NLCS 2017

Until next season.