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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weekly Challenge June 2 -7, 2008

To get you ready for Teen Summer Reading 2008, here's the first Weekly Challenge. You can start figuring out the answer now, and be ready to go when registration begins on June 2. Remember, you can get help with the Challenges, so go ahead and work together with friends, or try to stump your parents at dinner.
What is the largest amount of money that you can have and still not have change for $1.00, if all of the money is in U.S. pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters?
Consider yourself challenged!

Friday, May 16, 2008

What Mrs N's Been Reading - A Canticle for Leibowitz

Ok, I had someone strongly recommend that I venture outside the realm of Teen fiction for one book, an old one ( my age in fact, if anyone cares enough to check the copyright date) by Walter Miller - A Canticle for Leibowitz. As I was getting started with this one, I kept thinking of the time I was reading The Hunt for Red October. Now if there's actually anyone out there who has read both of those books, you gotta be scratching your head wondering what the heck the connection could possibly be. For the first 150 pages or so of The Hunt for Red October, I kept mentally screaming, "Glossary! I need a glossary!" because I was having a hard time keeping all of the submarine jargon straight. After that first 150 or so pages, though, I came to the realization that I really didn't need to keep all of that detail straight to enjoy the story. A Canticle for Leibowitz is kinda like that except that it's Latin, not submarine terminology. Again, would I have gotten a little more out of the book if my Latin repertoire went beyond anno domini and quid pro quo? Probably. But it was a good book even without that. It takes place over several centuries, beginning after a nuclear war nearly annihilates the earth. A glass-half-empty person would say that the book was a real downer because it just shows that mankind will keep making the same mistakes over and over again. At the end, I, however, thought that despite mankind royally fouling things up over and over, some of them still manage to survive to try to start over, and maybe, just this once, get it right. I've been told that the St Vincent College Mytho-Poeic Group will be using it as discussion book in the fall. Wish I could be there. It'll be quite a discussion! I wouldn't recommend it for middle school kids. In fact, there aren't many high school kids I'd give this one to. For philosphical college students and adults, I'd recommend reading it with someone so you can talk about it afterwards - you'll want to.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Mother's Day Bath Salts Program

I just finished the cleanup from our program making bath salts for Mother's Day. I think I've found a great way to torture teenagers - make them put rub-ons on glass surfaces. For some reason most kids seem to have a heck of a time with those things, and it seems like the older kids are worse than the younger ones. Anyway, with a lot of patience and a little clever disguising of mistakes, everyone went home with a very nicely decorated jar full of scented bath salts. We even had time to decorate gift bags for them as well. I hope all of the moms out there appreciate their kids' efforts. If you missed the program, pics are below.