It’s Friday. Can you believe it? So that’s Takes.
Have been liking it on Facebook, which I realize now is not enough, but you should check out the Conversion series on the Ride Home with John and Kathy. My awesome and scintillating personal story is in the mix, but there are interesting ones as well–like David French and Karen Swallow Prior and Mark Galli and Fredericka Matthews Green. And then there are some very clever narrations by people whose names I hadn’t come across before. Very enjoyable listening, and nice to think about something sane of an evening, rather than the usual sky careening down on the head.
Although, there is a serious crisis going on out there in the world, and many of you have probably not heard of it, because you’re too busy trying to make America great again. But when you do read about it, it will, I promise, make your blood run cold. From the BBC,
A discount on Nutella has led to violent scenes in a chain of French supermarkets, as shoppers jostled to grab a bargain on the sweet spread. Intermarché supermarkets offered a 70% discount on Nutella, bringing the price down from €4.50 (£3.90) to €1.40. But police were called when people began fighting and pushing one another. “They are like animals. A woman had her hair pulled, an elderly lady took a box on her head, another had a bloody hand,” one customer told French media.
The manufacturers of Nutella insist that its not their fault, but I hope there’s an international investigation to get to the bottom of it. All the way to the sweet, silky, luscious bottom of it.
Anyway, this scene unfolds in my house on a daily basis. Whether it’s the super enormous tub of Nutella, or the knock off Aldi brand, it’s a serious business.
Heroically moved back into my school room this week. It’s so much easier to just lie around on the couch shouting at the children to read Moar and work Moar, and then be irritated when their handwriting is foul from holding a book perched on the knees while desultorily scribbling around the edges. My school room is full of cunning desks and ways for children to focus and sit properly. But it’s really hard to go up there. Well, it’s not hard exactly, I just sort of thought the Christmas break would be nicer if I kept languishing on the couch for a few more weeks. Anyway, someone give me a gold star.
Of course, moving back in means I immediately had to rearrange the whole thing–again–because I’m pretty sure the reason I forgot to do math with one of the children for three months was because I couldn’t roll across the whole floor in my chair. Search the archives to find the For Want of a CD Player, or whatever that long ago post was called, to read my primordial complaint on this subject. Educating children, like everything else in life, is a series of making it possible to actually do things. If the stove is in the wrong place in your kitchen, chances are you’ll find yourself always bringing in take out. If the dining room is on the wrong side of the house, you’ll probably find yourself eating in front of the tv. If the linen cupboard has shelves three inches wide, you won’t ever change your sheets. If the laundry is in Sheol, you won’t ever go down there and do it. All of these little problems come together and magnify themselves when you decide to educate your children at home–although I would imagine they are true for Any work, school, office, or even nursing space. You have to be able to get to the stuff, and the people, au meme temps. If something is out of reach, or hidden so that you can’t see it, or the chair bashes into something as it rolls around, you will, without realizing it, stop doing whatever thing is difficult and jarring.
And, I’m sorry, I know I’ve said this before as well, but Why On Earth aren’t there more windows in buildings? I went to see my doctor on Tuesday and noted, again, that there, in the depths of a very expensive cavernous monstrosity, sit many many people hunched at desks who will never, and this does seem apocalyptic doesn’t it, see the light of day. They get there so early in the morning and leave so late in the evening that they literally never see daylight. I cannot imagine a less comfortable and interesting place to work than sitting at a computer, clicking and typing, having to talk to the likes of me, hour after hour. And then I bet they’re constantly being told by their employers–in that case the hospital itself–to take enough exercise and eat properly, in a manner calculated to incite guilt. As if it’s their faults for not ordering their lives correctly. If we have to make America great again, how bout we tear down all the ghastly buildings with no windows and no humanity and apologize to God for being so awful and stupid.
As usual, turns out I have a lot more emotion about this than I thought. Finally finished the Anthony Esolen book I was laboring through, which, on the whole, exasperated me. But the bits I did like were about the ridiculous idea that we are too poor, in our extravagant wealth, to have nice things. We must have the ugly and the cheap because of all the money we are swimming in, here in the west. Anyway, I am going to save all the rest of my thoughts and feelings of the whole book for a whole post.
Truly, go check out better and grander and more noble Takes. I must arise and do some things.