Poem of the Week

What She Taught Me

by Marjorie Saiser

She taught me linking verbs, predicate nouns,
long division, have a Kleenex ready, an apple
a day. She taught me three-quarter time, Greenwich

Mean Time. She taught me do re mi, Mexicali Rose,
Rose, Rose, my Rose of San Antone. She taught me
Peas Peas Peas Peas, Eating Goober Peas.
She taught me that a peanut is a goober pea

in certain parts of the world, that it is fine
for things to be different in different parts
of the world, no two goobers alike in their

dry red skins, their pock-marked pods,
that there are latitudes and longitudes we have
never seen, that she had seen some part,
and so would I, that I need not

forego either the swings or baseball, that spelling
is on Friday and it is OK to learn more
than one list, including the hard list; it is not

showing off—it is using what you have.
That using what you have will not please
everybody, that marrying a man of a different stripe

is not a popular thing in a small town in the fifties,
and divorcing and coming home with a child
is even worse, and that you
get up every morning anyway,
and do your work.

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Sepia Saturday

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Dance is this week’s Sepia Saturday theme and I have found all kinds of different dances and dancers. Enjoy!

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Dancing in an Egyptian Tomb, National Archives of Estonia, 1910

I’m not convinced that’s a real tomb.

Ruth St. Denis (above) was an early pioneer of modern dance. She taught Martha Graham.

You can see more dancing posts by clicking here.

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Japanese high school girls learning to dance – 1926

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Midsummer Dance, Swedish Heritage Board, 1931

Portrait

VFW Hall Dance, US National Archives, 1946

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d recommend you visit Wingspread, the Johnson Family (former) home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s in Racine, Wisconsin, a lovely town with a good mix of modern and 19th architecture.

I saw this interesting video on money-free healthcare. Now I do see that it works in a community that shares service and work. I imagine a kibbutz or similar religious community. I don’t see any Western nation going into such a system of sharing, but it is interesting to examine other modes.

I’ve started a MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) by the University of London on Management. So far it’s interesting and a good way to learn about business. I was registered for an online community college class, but dropped it because through Coursera I can learn just as much for free. Now I won’t receive a grade, but I need the knowledge and not 3 credit hours.

Speed through your Homework & Learn

In this video, Thomas Frank shares a lot of the ideas found in the Coursera course Learning How to Learn. I can vouch for their effectiveness. It’s not just about cheap shortcuts, but how to learn more effectively.

Share this with any students, young or old, that you know.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monochromatic

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Chicago's Wrigley Building

Chicago’s Wrigley Building

1. Each week, we’ll provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Friday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts.

Other great photos:

Rare Books Class

The second week of July I took a wonderful course, my first course in Rare Books about reference books for them. It met Monday through Friday from 9 to noon and 1 to 4 pm. We just had 8 students and a very knowledgeable, yet approachable teacher who welcomed questions. There was no PowerPoint, which weren’t missed. It just goes to show that as long as the topic’s interesting and the teacher knows what he or she’s doing, there’s no need for bells and whistles.

We learned about 350 the bibliographies and reference books that help collectors, scholars and readers learn about rare books. A couple days after class I managed to visit the university rare book collection.

The two assignments had parts that were the most challenging work I’ve had to do, i.e. find out the price of a 3rd edition of John Wolridge’s Systema Horticulturea when it first came out and find what the first book printed in Swedish was and what library currently has it.

I wound up going to rare book collections at Northwestern University, Harold Washington Library, Newberry Library, Loyola University Chicago, Clark University and the Chicago History Museum. It took me 8 trips and I had to throw in the town with the Systema Horticulturae question. I will say the staff at Harold Washington and the Chicago History Museum topped the list for approachability and helpfulness. Northwestern has a lovely gothic rare books room, but most of the books aren’t there. Believe it or not they’re housed in the engineering library, which is a 15 minute. (I understand running out of space but dividing the rare books collection up like this doesn’t make sense.) The Newberry has some helpful staff and others were rather clueless. I needed a book for a bibliography and their catalog showed they owned three copies but no one could find any of them. None of their books can be checked out.

Loyola was the worst of the bunch. You must make an appointment a day in advance. There’s no special room for rare books, just a messy windowless office where two women were working. Their office smelled like old books, which isn’t necessary. I was there in the morning without an appointment and when I asked if I could just make one, the librarian (clerk?) told me I’d have to call, which seemed absurd.

Yet at both the CHM and Harold Washington, I was treated well and while no one would (or could) do my homework for me they seemed invested in my success and were happy to help.

I’m so glad I took this class. While I think it takes a lifetime to really become an expert in this field, I loved being introduced to the wild world of rare books.

Kudos to the teacher for challenging us, not making us do a group project, and for being so approachable when brought up questions. You’d be surprised how often that’s not the case.

New Year’s Resolutions

Last year I resolved to watch one old movie a week and I defined “old” as made before 1960. I had no idea how many great films I would discover through this resolution. I discovered lots of great movies from America, Japan, England, Italy and France. I saw great films I knew I should see, but never made time for. I did allow myself 4 weeks “off” but I think I saw at least 49 old films. Chaplin, Lloyd, Sacha Guitry, Mizuguchi, were just some of the directors whose work I saw for the first time.

So I’m going to continue this resolution with a couple tweaks. There were plenty of good films in the 60s and 70s so in 2015, I will watch movies made prior to 1980 and I’ll watch at least 2 a month.

Part of the reason for the decrease is that I plan to return to watching Lynda.com videos to upgrade my photography, software and other professional skills. I think I can manage watching three short videos a week for that goal.

I made my movie resolution because my Act One friend, Janet doesn’t believe in health related resolutions because you should eat well and exercise anyway and the January resolutions tend not to work so at some point you just postpone action till the next year. (Janet resolves to make time for lunch with a friend once a week so she doesn’t lose touch with people. I do believe fun, but easily postponed resolutions actually work.) In spite of Janet’s wise belief, I hope to regularly lift weights to tone my arms. So I’ll do that a minimum of three times a week.

I might start a Facebook page for anyone interested in the “Old Movie” Challenge.

What do you plan to change for 2015?