Monday, August 23, 2010

Sweet Paan

We often buy milk from the local Sikh grocer, since the price of a gallon is a dollar cheaper than the supermarket's price. And out of curiosity, we sometimes buy something unusual or unfamiliar as well. The grocer carries a well-stocked supply of British dry goods, and T is known for picking up a favorite brand of salt and vinegar crisps when he runs in. But P has been considering those small packets wrapped in foil and labeled "sweet paan" for a while. Yesterday, he bought one. When he got into the car, we immediately smelled the pungent aroma of Indian spices. He opened the little packet, but was not sure if it was edible. Inside was a leaf, and inside the leaf was coconut, fennel, and lots of pretty-but-unrecognizable little bits of things. Don was brave and took a bite. I suggested that perhaps it was simply meant as an air freshener, and was toxic. But no. It turns out that sweet paan (the regular kind usually includes tobacco and a nut that is a known carcinogen) is an edible treat often given as a party favor.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Why We Chose Music Over Dance

Sure, we did ballet...but even the ballet students around here perform in the end-of-the-year show with programs like this:

These girls are 7. 7!! What dance school owner, what choreographer, what parent, would allow this?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Clouds over Long Island Sound

Just for pretty. Taken at Webb, during dinner.

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High School Summer Program Survey

If you had a high school student who participated in a summer program for high school students, Catholic or secular, would you be willing to have the student answer a few questions about the program? I am writing an article for mater et magistra, and while I can find out lots from the colleges and other institutions which sponsor such programs, it would be so much more informative to have student experiences documented as well. While I am not looking for information about general summer "camp" experiences, I will include answers from non-collegiate programs that are specific to an art or science.

Students may list their names, or remain anonymous. Ages or grade levels would be helpful to our readers.

You can email your answers to me at macbeth at optonline dot net ! Thanks!!

Here is the survey:

Name (optional):
Age/Grade level at the time of the program:
Do you homeschool?
Name of college or institution and summer program:
Religious (Catholic?) or secular:
Day or overnight:
How far did you travel for the program?:
How long was the program?:
Scholarships available?
Was there recreation outside of class time?

Please list/describe all classes you took:

Please rate the following using numbers 1-5, with 1 as "poor" and 5 as "excellent":

Overall experience:
Quality of instruction:
Housing (if applicable):
Staff or Counselors:
Security (did you feel safe?):

Please add anything you'd like to say about the program (favorite part, what you'd improve, or whatever you think might be helpful for a student looking for a program like the one you attended).

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On Sending a Second Child Off to College: Updated

T the actor as "Comus" in Milton's Comus

T the hiker

T the cellist

T the cyclist

T the graduate

Not that he's going far, but he will be living away from home. T begins his freshman year at The Webb Institute tomorrow. I guess we'll kind of miss him, but his school is only a few miles away--closer than L's, and she is close enough to commute.

So today we are deciding what he will take with him. Since the students live in an old Gold Coast mansion--The Braes--in large rooms (unlike the tiny rooms at L's school), he can bring more than she did. So, his recliner? Probably. Computer, books, his cello...sure. Somehow, he just does not seem to have as much "stuff" as she did. Laundry, laundry, laundry. That's pretty much it. Oh, and some safety items, including protective eye-wear, steel-toed boots, and a hardhat. Odd equipment for most college freshmen, but Webb is a different sort of college.

Somehow, it seems easier with the second one. I'll post photos, and let you know how it goes tomorrow. Maybe it'll be awful, but I doubt it. He has been ready to go for a while.

Update: He just packed his baseball mitt...I might cry.

Family Reunion 2010

My beautiful cousin Tat and I share
a bench, a cupcake, and a bottle of wine.

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