This was a far more interesting history of the world, or most any history than I’ve previously read. The downside, is that I will have difficulty remembering all the individual facts. The narrative was constructed more like Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader including Harper’s Magazine Index-type lists of comparative statistics that really make you think. Much more attention is given to Asia, Africa and South America than your standard Euro-centered histories of the past. Did you know that the Khan that Marco Polo visited was the same Kubla Khan mentioned in Coleridge’s poem? I listened to this title and thus missed some formatting and organization that would have been communicated on the page. Apparently, they had sidebars that listed who-or-what was up at a given point in time, who/what was down. They also had important events listed within a given time-period. These interesting tidbits didn’t translate as readily to the audio version, they needed more verbal placemarkers, such as these highlights apply to this time period. Still I really enjoyed this book, and will look for more Mental Floss titles.
This was a delightful tale written in the form of diary entries by a cat. The cat introduces us to the various neighbors on the block. These include a squabbling mother & teenage daughter next door, an agoraphobic older woman desperately trying to get her shoes to walk her more than a few feet down the block, a crazy cat lady, with a house full of cats, and an abused young boy and his unsparing father. There is humor a-plenty, though its Not all fluff. I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading Rutledge’s other titles.
I’d been looking for a cat book available in MP3 downloadable format (so many are in the aggravating & useless WMA format) so when I found one in MP3 format and that Amy Tan had written it, I was delighted. It is a brief tale of the ancient heroic cat Sagwa who had changed the emperor into a less self-centered ruler.
After reading the book The Smartest Kids in the World: and How They got that Way, I started wondering how much can pedagogy be taught, and how much of it is just having a good personality. And by “good personality” I was thinking of the charismatic “hail fellow well met type”. I should have remembered that people with “hail fellow well met” type of personalities, usually get more credit than they deserve see the book Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Should teachers be required to get a good education or does getting a degree in physical education, qualify you to teach math in high school. How much can training benefit a teacher?
Well, given that I learned several ways to study better, to learn faster, and retain more, from this book, I think getting a good education is necessary for teachers as well. Some of the methods I learned seemed intuitively correct, but I didn’t know why, I was unaware of other things. I did know that studying for two hours all at once was less effective than studying 1 hour on one day, and then another hour, a couple of days later. Why does this work better? because the deeper we have to dig to retrieve a piece of information, the more likely it is to stick. That is why Comprehensive Exams are better for you, though less popular, because you have to study more. It also helps explain why pop quizzes are good for students, its Not that they tell you so much about what the student knows, its that it is a good tool to help students learn. Trying to find the answer in your brain is helpful. Students dislike pop quizzes, yet maybe if they didn’t count for lots of points, student’s wouldn’t object to them as much. I did know that when you reach an impasse, you should stop, take a break, then go back to the problem. I advise my husband to do this all the time, now I have evidence to back me up.
I also didn’t realize how important it is to mix things up, Carey call interleavement. Drills are fine, but you don’t want to spend a long period of time on the same one, or same type, do some scales, then some etudes, then play a piece through, then work on tone, then back to scales, etc. This is really critical in math, because you need to be able to figure out which type of formula to apply to different problems. Often in school, a student does fine on an individual section, but then fails the comprehensive test, because, now they have to select a given formula. Another way to mix things up, is to study in different places, under different conditions, though if you can study in the room where you will take the test, that can benefit you for the test, but Not for the long run. part of it boils down to, do you want to just pass the class, or do you really want to learn, do you want to challenge yourself.
I enjoyed this book a lot, and wish more of my professors had imparted this type of knowledge.
This is a short biography of a African American born into slavery, then emancipated with his family, who loved working with horses, and ended up owning his own stables and showed horses at major events. Bass was able to overcome a number of racial barriers because of his great skill with horses, and because other people, whites, stood up for him. He was a quiet, gentle man, and one wonders if an African American with a different temperament would have succeeded in his place.
This book, was Not as well written as others, the tension was problematic, where I just wanted to skip ahead, and Not endure the will this person succeed at jumping high enough, or some such thing. I suspect Garth Nix didn’t contribute as much as Sean Williams, having read Nix before. Still I’m looking forward to the next in the series.
Overweight teen Cat takes on a high school science project where she takes up the diet and physical habits of hominins. In the process she loses lots of weight, dates a number of guys, and tries to recover from an old emotional injury.
The beginning of the Spirit Animals series. At the start of the adventure, 4 11-yr olds drink the special honey liquid and are able to call spirit animals. But Not just any spirit animals appear to these 4, rather the Great 4 Fallen, who died in the old battle with the Destroyer. Each youth is from a different country on Erdras and from a different segment in society.
This is a fast moving, action filled adventure.
In this 2nd book, we hear the story of the dragon sibling Wistala, the female clutchling who survives the attack of the nest. She attempts to rescue her father whom she finds near death on an outcropping. She has an adventure with a cat, and eventually takes up residence with a wise old elf named Rainfall, from whom she learns great wisdom and a gentleness of spirit. She spends some time in a traveling circus learning to tell individual’s fortunes. Eventually she is able to manipulate the downfall of her parent’s and sister’s murder by gaining the trust of her enemy and setting him up for a fall.
Dragon, Temeraire and Capt Lawrence are asked to return to the British Air Force (where dragons serve as airships), after having been dishonorably discharged. Temeraire is delighted, Capt Lawrence is less thrilled. Iskierka and her Capt Granby and Kulingile with his Capt Demane. After several day and nights of storming, the drunken sailors catch the transport ship on fire, and sink the transport ship. More mishaps occur, but eventually they persevere. I love these characters, and the way they play off each other, though there are so many of them, that it can get confusing. Here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Temeraire_characters is a list of characters in case you need some refreshing, though it seems to be slanted toward the middle of the series. I also really enjoyed the humor, arising from the clash of duty/protocol and doing the right thing; the humor arising from the clash between Temeraire and Izkierka. Novik has developed these wonderful characters. There are also some realistic losses experienced by these military engagements.
Rebecca Parker West President of the Star King Ministry, as well as a Methodist Minister co-writes this with John Buehrens (co-author of A Chosen Faith). They examine the commonalities of liberal Christian theology, exploring what is fruitful among various interpretations.
Progressive Protestants are committed primarily to the healing and creative transformation of themselves, their neighbors, and their world. They often experience ‘theology’ primarily as ideas and teachings that are authoritatively presented and hamper more than they help the work of the followers of Jesus. Their lack of a positive theology is one reason for their marginalization in today’s religious scene. Buehrens and Parker begin with the life of service and work for justice and deepen it to show the implicit beliefs that it assumes and that are implicit in it. They show that progressive Protestants can be proud and articulate about their beliefs
One of the themes woven throughout this book, is that we are called to build Heaven on Earth. The structure of the book did Not work for me, they assigned different aspect of liberal Christian religion to various structures of a house. The foundation or the floor makes sense, but I just wished they had defined their terms (I’ve encountered eschatology, but don’t remember what it means), and Not attempted the metaphorical bridge. However, I really enjoyed this book, wanting to incorporate it into my life.
Estes guides you in how to interpret your dreams. First she gives you guidance in remembering your dreams, including writing them down, having a tape recorder near your bed, and vowing to remember your dreams. She discounts, using standard dream dictionaries to interpret symbols. She advises paying attention to the nouns in your dreams, and then looking for synonyms to figure out what they might represent. Often, I find there is a major difference in the tone or feeling of my dream, compared to what actually happens in my dreams. Sometimes, there are really yucky feelings, without anything ominous actually happening. So I wasn’t sure the noun approach would really work for me.
She also covers specific dream narratives that lots of people experience, like flying dreams, or waking up late for a test, of finding yourself without your clothes. The one recurring dream that I have that she didn’t cover is the one where I am choosing my bed in a dorm room, or some variant thereof.
I tried her methods and got some advice from my subconscious that I’ve ignored, that I know I should take care of, but don’t really want to. So much for amplifying my subconscious.
I love Maggie Stiefvater’s work. So when I discovered that she had written one of the stories in the Spirit Animal series, I had to read it. In the series, some individuals are able to bond with animals at their 11th birthday. 4 young children have bonded not just with any animals but with the great beasts from the legends. Abeke has bonded with a leopard, Connor a shepherd boy bonded with a giant wolf, Meillin bonded with a giant Panda, and Rollan a street urchin bonds with a falcon. This was a fast-paced enjoyable story.
Time Magazine journalist, Amanda Ripley, examines the superpowers of education thru the stories of 3 American foreign exchange students. Kim goes to Finland, Tom to Poland, and Eric to South Korea. She asks why do US students continue to lag behind other developed countries.
So, do you think parental involvement with extracurricular activities helps children in school? actually there is a slight negative correlation with parental extracurricular involvement and children’s education scores. However, reading to your kids, or reading at home (books, magazines) and discussing books, social issues, etc with your kids, is associated with higher educational scores.
Why is education so under-valued in the US? and why does this field get so much more respect in other developed countries? Why do we as Americans think Mathematics is really an optional topic. An interesting example was of the Bama pie making factory. They couldn’t find smart enough people to work in their factory, so they opened another factory in Poland (okay, they can probably get skilled and cheap labor there). Another example, was that even Head of Maintenance jobs require a fair amount of skill these days. One needs to be able to be able to read blue-prints, perform applied mathematical equations, motivate subordinates, and communicate well, including writing reports.
I wish she has examined the effect of students studying in groups. I had one prof who clearly believed in it, and it was a practice that I took up, finding other motivated students to study with.
She claims to only be transmitting information, and letting the reader decide, but she does seem to have a something of political agenda (though it is neither right nor left). She advocates stronger requirements for both teachers (of which we seem to have a plethora) and for students to pass classes. She dismisses technology and gadgets.
Protagonist Laurel discovers that she isn’t human, but rather a plant belonging to the fairy kingdom. Her family has recently moved into town, in part so that Laurel attend a school (instead of being homeschooled), and in part so her father can open and run his dream business a bookstore. At school she meets David, a calm, smart, good-looking guy. Then she starts growing a flower from her back.
This was a nice book, a bit predictable, in the plot line, and David and Laurel modeled near-perfect interpersonal interactions, a nice change, if a little unrealistic. I will Not be reading further into this series, and only “picked up” this book, because choices in downloadable books are limited.
Wow! If you think Tina Fey’s humor is scathing, you need to check out Joan Rivers. I’d heard snippets of her on TV years ago, and didn’t think she was all that much. But I heard another snippet more recently and all I can say is OUCH! Well, I do find her funny, well mostly, some of her numbers are pretty harsh. But she does direct a lot of the really nasty stuff at herself. And by nasty I mean in both senses of the word, more offensive terminology and raunchy scenes than perhaps anyone else (though often I can’t understand the words of some of the raunchier comics, so I don’t bother). She is entirely shameless and unapologetic.