Saturday, September 28, 2013


I had a head cold earlier this week that made me feel so woolly-brained I could hardly think.  Consequently we got zero schooling done.  The kids are obsessed with Minecraft and World of Tanks.  Minecraft is endorsed by The Libertarian Homeschooler, and WOT by my husband and adult children who often play it with the youngers, so I assuage my guilt by telling myself that they are learning Strategy and other Important Life Skills while playing these games.

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This Ancient Greeks class is killing me.  Even on a good week I usually read the biography in my kids' copy of Famous Men of Greece instead of from Plutarch, Herodotus, or Thucydides, as the syllabus calls for, but owing to the head cold and the inability to think properly, I skipped nearly all of the readings and I'm just listening to the lectures.  They're sooo interesting, though.  It's not a waste of time.  This week we're covering the reforms of Kleisthenes and the Persian Wars.  When I have time I want to think about the differences between earlier Greece under Solon and what it became under Kleisthenes.  Under Solon's laws it was more aristocratic and feudal.  Under Kleisthenes' it was more democratic and statist.

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The two oldest girls and I have been been watching a Korean drama called Two Weeks that just ended, and I'm feeling a little empty.  It was really exciting (action, intrigue, romance, treachery, heartbreak, murder... and that's just the first episode), and it ended well, with the bad guys getting their just desserts (plus redemption for more than one of them), the good guys who did bad things acknowledging their errors and making restitution, and all the right people on their way to getting a happy ending.

Lee Joon Gi (the Magistrate from "Arang and the Magistrate") plays Jang Tae San, a good-for-nothing piece of trash who doesn't care whether he lives or dies.  His ex-girlfriend shows up one day to tell him he has an illegitimate daughter he never knew about who's dying of leukemia because they can't find a bone marrow donor, and asks him to take a blood test to see if he might be a match.  Miraculously, he is a match, and he feels that for the first time in many years he has a reason to live.  But that day, his gangster boss discovers some things that send him into a rage, and he frames Tae San for murder.

If, like me, you know anything about donating bone marrow, certain aspects of this show you'll just have to ignore.  Tae San has lived so badly in the past several years that I don't think he'd even qualify as a donor, and then over the next several episodes he suffers several injuries, and of course he's not supposed to be getting any infections just now, on account of the bone marrow harvest coming up.  I just had to decide that Tae Sannie has magic healing blood, and get over it.  I guess it's like any show -- if you're a lawyer you can't bear to watch courtroom dramas; if you're a cop, police shows will drive you crazy, and so on.

But the depiction of the relationships between the characters is so well done.  Their backstories are slowly revealed throughout the show and add depth and meaning to their present choices.  The little girl is adorable.  The characters' emotions and reactions are believable.

The music is mostly forgettable, so that's a mark against my hypothesis that the quality of the music is a decent indicator of how well I'll like the show.  I'm glad it worked out that way -- some of the music in the early episodes is so schmaltzy that I was afraid I'd wind up hating the show and I really wanted to like it.

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Oh, and I have to share this with you.  Bought this drying rack at Walmart a month or so ago and love it.  I line-dry a lot of my clothes and when I can't put them on the clothes line, I hang them in the shower in my bathroom, which is small and crowded even without laundry hanging around.  And then, if I don't get things hung up early enough in the day and they're still damp when it's time to take our showers at night, we have to move them, and, well, it's just a hassle.

I know. First world problems.  But I love this rack.  It's collapsible so I can keep it in my closet when I'm not using it.

Best $15 I've spent in a long time.

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Well, tonight's Razorback game will be starting soon and I have to quit blogging so we can set up the computer and watch it.  Y'all be good.

Edited to add:  Alas, no ballgame.  I usually watch them on but they don't air every game -- this is two weeks in a row now.  This is the one time of year I wish we had TV.  Wish I could just get a football season package.  I know.  More first world problems.


  1. Are you familiar with The Teaching Company (now known as The Great Courses)? They have a wonderful course called "Ancient Greeks" in which Prof. Rufus Fears teaches Greek history through stories about interesting and important individuals. It's aimed at adults, but works fine for high schoolers and probably for bright middle schoolers -- which I happen to know yours are! I used it to supplement our coursework on ancient Greece.

    1. I get their catalogs and I've heard really good things about them from people who have used their courses, but I've never bought one. Every catalog has at least a dozen courses I'd love to listen to, and I can never decide which to buy, so I don't buy anything!


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