1.17.2011

Haiku

Gusts sway the branches
Our Bradford Pear tree still stands
Birds nest in the limbs.
-Ellen Y. -South Carolina

Three Little Pigs: Consequence Comes to Town

Consequence Comes to Town

Once upon a time, there lived three little pigs. And one day it came time for them to leave home and begin their adult life.
The oldest of the three was not wise in the least. His name was Folly. Folly spent all his money on bets, and lost it all. With nowhere to go, he gathered sticks from the woods and began to build a house .
The second, Prudence was her name, began working on a house right away. She bought fine brick to build her lovely house, and she never wasted a minute until it was complete.
YooSless, the youngest, wandered about in the city, buying all sorts of goodies and trinkets. When he realized he’d spent all his money, he retired to the countryside. There he found three stacks of hay bales. Not having the money to buy proper house, he decided this would do.

All seemed to be going well until the Big Bad and terrible Wolf came to town. His name was Con se Quence , and he was the fiercest wolf of them all. He warned all the pigs that he was coming to town, but they paid him no heed. So, with an angry huff and a disgruntled puff, he marched into town. First he came to the straw house of YooSless. Straw was blowing every which way by the time he was done there.
On to Folly’s house he moved. Sticks were strewn about that little forest clearing by the time he was done there. Next came the brick house of Prudence. Blow as he might, Con se Quence did not affect the sturdy brick. Up on the roof he climbed, and down the chimney he went, but halfway down he realized he’d forgotten his Santa Clause suit. Never mind that, he thought. But then; oh! He dropped into a cauldron of boiling water. And so he died.
Folly and YooSless have learned their lessons. And if you were to ask them today for a bit of advice, they would most probably tell you: “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise."
-Grayce O., South Carolina

11.09.2010

Look Before You Leap

Prudence is an uncommon quality to have now-a-days . With all sorts of reviews, ads, and campaigns, you can easily get into the habit of letting others do the work of finding out. “Look before you leap” is a common saying that many people don’t adhere to, mostly because they “just don’t have time” to look before they leap.
Before you really ‘leap’ into something, it’s best to check it out. Does it agree with what you believe? Does it agree with itself? Does it benefit others ? These questions can be answered through research, and another way to answer them is to ask around. But who should you ask? You do not want to make Rehoboam’s mistake by counseling with the unwise fools, but rather take counsel with the elders and the wise men .
Prudence is a sign of wisdom. As Proverbs 19:2 says; “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way .” If you practice prudence, you will seek to have knowledge, and look before you leap. -Grayce, South Carolina

11.08.2010

"Look Before You Leap"

I have had some situations that I should have known this quote, “look before you leap.” One of them is when I was 5. I was running to the bathroom and I tripped, because my little sister’s toys where there, and split my cheek open. I went to the hospital where I got 12-18 stitches, I think. In that story I should have looked before I ran.
But that is not the only story I have. This one relates more than that one before it, I think. This day started off like any normal Tuesday, except 2 things: Daddy and my sister were in the beautiful California and something was going to happen to me. I was emptying the dishwasher and I had a question for Mommy and she was on the phone. And while I waited I decided to challenge myself by leaping over the laundry pile with a glass cup in my hand. I leapt over and glass was everywhere. We quickly went to the hospital and thankfully I had no stitches, only wrapped my hand up with some wrap. I was 6. In that story I should have looked to see how big the pile of laundry was first.
Then there is my last story. This time I was 9 and boy did I like fire. We were playing a game that we liked to play. We would put a bunch of leaves in the fire and let the flames burn up really big. So I was doing that and suddenly I tripped on a root and fell right into the fire. Thankfully, my aunt, who is a hand doctor, sent me some things to help and I am fine now. So what I think that means is you should look and see if it is a safe thing to do or not before you do it. -Caleb, South Carolina

11.07.2010

Bob and the Army of Giant Worms

There once was a curious chick named Bob . He was in his pen where he

was practicing flying. Suddenly, he flew out of the pen and landed by a garden

hose which he thought was a yummy worm. He started pecking at it.

Bob pecked too hard and the worm sprang a leak! Because water sprayed,

he was surprised. Worms are not supposed to have water exploding from them!

He thought that worm was about to attack him !

An army of giant worms was probably going to come up out of the ground

and destroy him! He ran as fast as a lightning bolt back to the pen. Bob was glad

he practiced flying! -Mary, Michigan

"Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

God thinks that we are special even if the world doesn’t. He sees our inward beauty like no one else. That is why I love this saying, Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder . I read a book called “You Are Special” by Max Lucado, who is a Christian writer . The book was about a town of wooden people, who judged others by placing stickers on them. Star stickers meant that you were a talented person and dots meant that you were not very talented, in the town’s eyes. Punchinello, who was one of the wooden people, did not have any stars instead he had dots. He struggled to do tricks like jumping astoundingly high, but he just got dots for what he did. One day Punchinello met a girl who had no stickers at all! He questioned her about how she didn’t have any stickers. She explained to him that the stickers wouldn’t stick to her and that everyday she went to see the wood carver, who had carved everyone in the town. So Punchinello went to see the wood carver. The wood carver lovingly told Punchinello that he was special to him and that if he came to see him everyday, sooner or later the stickers wouldn’t stick because he would trust what he said and not what the town said.
I think that this is a good example of the saying; Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder, because the wood carver looked at Punchinello’s beautiful inside but the town looked at the outside. This book confirms the fact that God focuses on our inward beauty, not our outward beauty. -Ellen, South Carolina

8.18.2010

Writing Class Coming

This year's incarnation of Writing with Clarity and Creativity begins in September. We have several students, both new and returning. I can't wait to hear what they have to say!

4.04.2010

What a Dream!

A review of A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare

Reviewed by Abigail Owens


Our dreams tend to be quite eccentric a lot of the time (at least mine do). Because of this, the story/play A Midsummer Night’s Dream was very interesting for me. The wedding bells are ringing for the Athenians Theseus and Hippolyta. But that is not all going on in the play. A nobleman by the name of Egeus has a strapping young nobleman, Demetrius ready to marry his stunning daughter Hermia. There is just one little predicament; Hermia has no intentions of marrying Demetrius, and instead is prepared to elope with her true love, Lysander. Of course, Egeus sincerely disapproves of this. Meanwhile, a fair, but not near as stunning lady, Helena is head over heels in love with Demetrius, but naturally Demetrius does not love Helena one bit given that he is planning to wed Hermia. There are also the Workmen, consisting of Peter Quince (a carpenter), Nick Bottom (a weaver), Francis Flute (a bellows-mender), Tom Snout (a tinker), Robin Starveling (a tailor) and Snug (a joiner). This odd mixture of characters is planning a play to perform at the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta. Though it may sound like an impossible tangle of Christmas lights, the story is reasonably easy to follow.

Hermia and Lysander decide to up and run off to another town where they can be married without having Egeus prevent it. The path they decide to take leads through a nearby forest. The two let Helena in on their plans, but Helena informs Demetrius of this so that she might somehow make him fall in love with her. Demetrius follows Hermia and Lysander when they leave. Off they go, gallivanting off into the forest, but when night falls, strange things begin to happen.

The Workmen, for one reason or another, think they should rehearse their play in the woods, where no one will find them and catch a sneak peek. Incidentally, this wood happens to be the same wood. Once they start rehearsing, strange things start to happen as well.

Now is the time to introduce Oberon and Titania. They are the king and queen of the fairies. Being fairies, they can have no children, so Titania adopts a little boy, which starts a quarrel between Oberon and herself. Oberon wants the boy to serve him, and Titania does not. So Oberon decides that he will do something quite sly to get the boy from Titania. Oberon also has an assistant whose name is Puck.

Oberon hears about the Athenian lovers wandering in the forest, and decides to help out (or have Puck help out). He tells Puck to sprinkle the juice of a certain flower on Demetrius’ eyes; this juice causes one to fall in love with the next person they see, whether it be male, female, even an animal. Oberon tells Puck to do this, but to make sure the next person he sees is Helena. Well, off Puck goes to fulfill Oberon’s orders; the only thing is he has never seen Demetrius before. Puck happens upon Lysander, assumes he is Demetrius and sprinkles the flower juice on his eyes. What eventually happens, is Lysander is under an enchantment and is “in love” with Helena, who thinks Lysander is mocking her. But then Puck realizes this and sprinkles the juice on Demetrius’ eyes so that both Lysander and Demetrius are following Helena around. This brings Helena to tears because of what she thinks is mockery. Hermia on the other hand is trying to figure out what happened to her dear Lysander.

In the meantime, the Workmen are rehearsing in the woods, but Bottom disappears. When he returns, he has the head of a donkey and his friends run for their lives, not knowing it is Bottom. Bottom doesn’t know he has a donkey head either, until he sees his reflection in a pool. Puck is responsible for this.

Oberon then sprinkles the juice of the flower on his wife Titania’s eyes, so that she will fall in love with the next thing she sees. He hopes that he will be able to coax the little boy from her while she is enchanted, then he will release the enchantment. Oberon then has Puck lead Bottom to a place where Titania will see him, so that she will fall in love with him.

Hermia is still upset with Lysander, and Helena is still feeling teased. But Oberon and Puck are able to smooth things out, leaving Demetrius loving Helena, but taking the enchantment off of Lysander so he will love Hermia again. The lovers decide to head back home, having enough adventures already. Hermia and Lysander are granted permission to marry, because (obviously) Demetrius loves Helena. All’s well that ends well.

While Titania is doting on Bottom, the other Workmen are feeling hopeless since they lost an important character and they can’t seem to find Bottom. Eventually, once Oberon has completed his purpose, he removes the enchantment from Titania, and gives Bottom his normal head back. Bottom is off to Athens to find his friends; and Titania and Oberon are back in love, with all bumps in their relationship smoothed out. When Bottom returns, he finds his friends in the tavern, and they have a last minute rehearsal for the play.

At the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta, the lovers are together and happy as ever. The Workmen’s play goes as well as their play could go. This play might be the most comical part of the whole play. It definitely had me laughing. Nonetheless, it was well intentioned.

This play is one of the best Shakespeare plays I have ever read. It has a little bit of everything, romance, magic, drama, comedy; it will not fail to entertain you. This is a classic, and you must read it if you even hope of having any knowledge of what good literature really is.

2.27.2010

The Music of Spain

(From my Spanish Class)

La Música de España

By Abigail O.

Spain is a beautiful country in almost every aspect. The landscapes, the culture, the arts, the list goes on. Spaniards over all seem very bold, and that shows up in their arts especially, in paintings and even music. Music tells a lot about a country as you will find out.

Early in the Renaissance, instrumental music in Spain had influence from Arabic music. Polyphonic vocal style music became popular in the early 16th century in Spain, and it was somewhat similar to the composing styles of the Franco-Flemish. The classical music culture in Spain was drawing to an end in the 18th-20th century. The new style of music was guitar compositions by popular Spanish musicians like Francisco Tárrega, Fernando Sor and Miguel Llobet.

Currently, the musical creativity of Spain has changed quite a bit from the 16th century and has been leaning more towards folk and pop styles. The popular style has influences from British and American music, especially rock and roll. The music styles can be categorized by regions in Spain, as follows:


  • Music of Andalusia
  • Music of Aragon
  • Music of Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias
  • Music of the Balearic Islands
  • Basque Country music
  • Music of the Canary Islands
  • Music of Castile, Madrid and León
  • Music of Catalonia
  • Music of Extremadura
  • Music of Murcia
  • Music of Navarre and La Rioja
  • Music of Valencia

You’ve probably heard of flamenco, whether you know what it is or not. It is an Andalusian style of music and it consists of three parts: cante (the song), baile (the dance) and guitarra (guitar). This style dates all the way back to 1774, and it was supported most often by gypsies. Flamenco had some low times for quite a few years, but it is regaining its popularity and is growingly acknowledged by musicologists and music conservatories. The other styles of Spanish music consist of various instruments. The more common instruments such as drums, guitars, tambourines, and accordions are seen in multiple styles. The lesser known instruments like wooden fifes, shawms, and even church bells can be included in multiple styles of music. Obviously, this music can have wide variations of sound, but they all have Spanish style as the base.

There are so many types of music, not just in Spain, but all over the world. God has truly blessed us with the gift of music, and every genre has its uniqueness that we can appreciate. Spanish music has truly inherited a lot of style from generations past, but they still use more modern influences in their music, making it a wonderful blend of history and art, yet in a song.


I Timothy 4:12

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.