Saturday, March 4, 2017

Women's History Month: India's Mother भारत मा

Mother Teresa
"But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?"
Mother Teresa 1971 Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. 

I could put up Mother Teresa for Women's History Month and she would be enough, actually. She gave up a cushy life to follow her heart and soul. She stood up to the world, toe to toe, to represent for those she loved, the lowest of the low, the caste beneath all castes. Just like Jesus did (and does.)

I especially admire how she stood up to abortion advocates, Bill Clinton, et al, in particular.
National Prayer Breakfast Speech Against Abortion - 1994
 When asked by a reporter how he felt about what Mother Teresa had to say on abortion, Bill Clinton said the following: “How can anyone argue with a life so well-lived?”

Mother Teresa quotes 

Books about Mother Teresa that may be of interest

Learn more about Mother Teresa.

Mother Teresa 

Teachable Moment: Brian Boru in the Irish (Brian Bóramha in Gaeilge)

Brian Boru Harp

Brian Boru united Ireland. Quite a rare feat! Around a thousand years ago, he  drove out the Vikings. The language of this song is the ancient Irish tongue still spoken and learned in Irish schools: Gaelic. The Irish also created their own written language about the third century, which is an unusual accomplishment in the history of the world. The British worked overtime to forbid the speaking of Irish. It obviously didn't work

 The Irish Language Today

This music is from Alan Stivel, who is a Breton from France.

Alan Stivell - Brian Boru 
Alan Stivel and his harp.

Here is the translation, which is from the Irish as well as Breton.

The following information about the six Celtic nations is from Wikipedia 
The six territories recognized as Celtic nations are Brittany (Breizh), Cornwall (Kernow), Ireland (Éire), the Isle of Man (Mannin), Scotland (Alba), and Wales (Cymru). Each of these regions has a Celtic language that is either still spoken or was spoken into modern times. In addition, areas of north-western Spain and Portugal, particularly Galicia, Cantabria and Asturias and Minho, Douro, Tras-os-Montes (Northern Portugal) are oftentimes identified as Celtic, due to the unique culture of the region. Unlike the others, however, no Celtic language has been spoken there in modern times. Before the expansions of the Roman Republic and Germanic tribes, a significant part of Europe was Celtic.

Here is a comparison of English and Irish, using the Lord's Prayer. Irish is how St. Patrick would have spoken it (if he wasn't using Latin.)

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Ár nAthair atá ar neamhhallowed a bheith thy ainmDtaga do ríochtbeidh agad a dhéanamh ar an talamh mar a dhéantar ar neamhtabhair dúinn inniu ár n-arán laethúilagus maith dúinn ár bhfiacha, mar a mhaithimidne siúd a bhféichiúna dúinnNá lig sinn i gcathúach saor sinn ó olcAmen.

Here is the English translation of Alan Stivel's song, and from the illustrations, it appears Brain Boru was a ginger.

Brian Boru Lyrics + Translation

Brian Boru

Brian Boru will die for the life of Ireland
Peace in the province of Ulster and in Dublin
Family unity, tribal unity
Unity in the world of the Celts
From so much battle to so much peace
From a world of divine blessings, love
From so much battle to so much peace
From a world of divine blessings, love
They said that this was a (funeral) procession
That people would be solemn
But we were not sorrowful
Brian Boru will die for the life of Ireland
Peace in the province of Ulster and in Dublin
Family unity, tribal unity
Unity in the world of the Celts
Brian Boru will die for the life of Ireland
Peace in the province of Ulster and in Dublin
Family unity, tribal unity
Unity in the world of the Celts
From so much battle to so much peace
From a world of divine blessings, love
From so much battle to so much peace
From a world of divine blessings, love
We are like the weather
Especially the sun
And we chose a soft place by the river

Educational Links 3/5/17

5-Minute Film Festival: Celebrate Pi Day!

Find videos, lesson plans, and activities for every grade level here.

Helping Children Cope With Grief

8 Engaging Early Literacy Activities That Use Technology AND Hands-On Learning

A Supreme Court Rebuke Over Use of Proper Pronouns in Transgender Case

Help Your Child Focus at School When ADHD Gets In the Way

Equipping Students to Lead In Our Rapidly Changing World

Autism Rates in the United States Explained

The prevalence of autism in the United States has risen steadily since researchers first began tracking it in 2000. The rise in the rate sparked fears of an autism ‘epidemic.’ But experts say the bulk of the increase stems from a growing awareness of autism and changes to the condition’s diagnostic criteria.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Educational Links 3/4/17

5 examples of personalized learning in action

How Can We End the Squabbles About Education Standards?

Don’t Throw Children Under the School Bus: Medicaid is a Smart Investment in Our Nation’s Children

First STEPs on Rethinking Student Teacher Placement and Training

The Mile High Promise, And Risk, Of School Choice

Do Kids Outgrow Executive Functioning Issues?

Just What IS A Charter School, Anyway?

We're all familiar with the term "hidden in plain sight." Well, there may be no better way to describe the nation's 6,900 charter schools.
These publicly-funded, privately-run schools have been around since the first one opened in St. Paul, Minn., in 1992. Today, they enroll about 3.1 million students in 43 states, so you'd think Americans should know quite a bit about them by now. But you'd be wrong.

Women's History Month: The Bronte Sisters

Anne, Emily, and Charlotte Brontë, by their brother Branwell. He painted himself among his sisters, but later removed the image so as not to clutter the picture.
The three daughters of a minister in rural England almost two hundred years ago do not seem like candidates for authors of strong female characters in near-horror gothic novels-but there you have Emily, Charlotte and Anne Bronte.

Their real lives in the moors of Yorkshire germinated the seeds for Jane Eyre, Cathy and Heathcliff, and what some consider the first feminist novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.  

The unusually bright girls were surrounded by nurturing, attentive adults. But life in the beginning of the 19th century was difficult. At a young age, the girls lost their mother and two older sisters, had a difficult experiences at boarding schools, and their beloved brother suffered from alcoholism. However, they had been permitted creative outlets, and despite the social expectations to become a governess, teacher or wife, the three Bronte sisters adopted nom-de-plumes and wrote extraordinary novels.

There is a new PBS project on the Bronte family debuting March 26, 2017. Looks great.

To Walk Invisible The Brontë Sisters

Brontë family

If you travel to England, you can visit the sister's home.

The Bronte Society and Bronte Parsonage Museum 
Jane Eyre was published in 1847 by the eldest sister, Charlotte. It is the compelling life story of a girl orphaned and navigating through a treacherous series of difficult relatives, boarding school tragedies, a Byronic figure making for tense moments while governess, stressful marriage proposals, and a denouement of  crashing finality. Jane proves an indomitable taking-charge-of-her-life female character. Charlotte Bronte initiated literary insights that influenced James Joyce's stream of consciousness almost a hundred years later.

Jane Eyre has been produced in film and miniseries. This is my favorite version: 

Jane Eyre (2006 miniseries) /wiki/Jane_Eyre_%282006_miniseries%29  


Linton/Earnshaw Geneology
Ralph Fiennes as Heathcliff, 1992 version of Wuthering Hights

Encouraged by the success of Charlotte's novel, Emily published Wuthering Heights. This is another doozy of a book. The story takes place in an isolated location on the English moors. Intense emotions ferment between and within the two families in the story, one fairly normal (the Lintons) and one pretty much dysfunctional (Earnshaws). Of course romance is involved. Also, profound unforgiveness, jealously, rage and several more of the seven deadly sins that makes for an enjoyable and memorable gothic novel. Heathcliff and Cathy are unforgettable. 

Sadly, Emily Bronte passed away shortly after the book was published. It is considered a classic of English literature.

Heathcliff and Cathy. (1992 version with Ralph Fiennes)

This is my favorite

production of Wuthering Heights, even more than Olivier as Heathcliff. Guess you can tell I like my Masterpiece Theater.

Wuthering Heights (2009 television serial) 82009_television_serial%29 

Anne Bronte's novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is considered the first feminist novel. Her protagonist, Helen Graham, is an abused wife who chooses to defy her alcoholic husband and takes her son with her as she flees, breaking several English laws that prohibit any women's rights. The story includes a shocking scene in which Helen slams the door in his face. (Remember, this is 1847 in Victorian England.) Where would Anne get such ideas? Interestingly enough, her father, although an Anglican minister, at one time had counseled an abused wife to leave her husband. There were many instances within the 'dissenting' churches of the time that empowered women more than traditional churches, and Anne's aunt was a Methodist. Though even now, sadly, many churches of many faiths would not support this move. So, this is still a shocking novel. The main character encounters a variety of interesting persons, observing hypocrisy in both male and female. Helen maintains her strong mores and even comes out with a happy ending. This Bronte sister also died almost immediately after her book was published. (Tuberculosis was rampant.) There was such a hubbub about this book that Charlotte Bronte did not want it republished, thinking to preserve her sister's reputation.

Surprisingly, I have not seen this production. It was on Masterpiece Theater while I was working on my masters and not watching much television.

But Netflix has it! It is now at the top of my queue. (Update--it is very good.)

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1996)

 After meeting the Bronte sisters, we will watch how our little girls play make believe with more interest.


Irish STEM and Other Surprises for St. Patrick's Day

 'When most people think of Ireland’s cultural heritage
they think of things like ‘The Island of Saints and Scholars’, 
The Book of Kells, our great writers,
Irish music, and so on. Ireland has little by way of a scientific 
heritage – right? Wrong.' So begins a great article by William 
Reville, University College, Cork. 


Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow  and Emer Hickey 

Irish teens win Google science fair with bacteria-enhanced 

Irish 16-year-olds Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow  and Emer Hickey win

Dublin Science Festival - 'The Festival of Curiosity'

Robert Boyle 

Lots happening in Ireland to inspire the use of good Irish minds in 

STEM, not just poetry, 

ballades and folklore.


Science & Technology 

 What attracts big tech companies to Ireland? Hint: 

It’s not just low taxes



I am not at all surprised by discovering brilliant Irish women and men both in 

STEM areas. 

I had years of Catholic school and they were the best math teachers I ever had, Sister Gertrude, 

Sisters of Mercy, in particular.

William Rowan Hamilton 



Lucy Everest Boole (1862-1905)



Irish politics is no surprise. I don't condone violence, Jesus said He 

'came to save mens' lives not 

destroy them.' Luke 9:46.

That being said, here is a St. Patrick's Day surprise I had this week 

while researching.

I remember the news report of Bobby Sands back in the 80s. But I hadn't watched the biographical

 movie 'Hunger' 2008 directed by Steve McQueen 

(12 Years A Slave, Oscar winner) which I did.  It is not for the feint hearted. Actor Michael 

Fassbender lost 40 pounds to portray the hunger strike in 

Maze Prison. It is critically acclaimed. Earns the R rating.

Hunger (2008 film) 

What I didn't know was that Bobby Sands was also a poet and author, and elected to Parliament while on the hunger strike. Nelson Mandela references

 him as an inspiration.

Bobby Sands

Bobby Sands--Writings from Prison

Poems of Bobbly Sands

 Prison Diary 

Peace Activists Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan in 1976
In 1976, two Irish mums won the Nobel Peace Prize 
for organizing a peace movement in the middle of 
 'TheTroubles' in Northern Ireland.


Nobel Laureate Betty Williams reflects on a lifetime of work for peace and children’s rights

Another St. Paddy's Day surprise for some of you--Rock N Roll's darlings, U2 and their mighty hit about 'The Troubles.' 


U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Educational Links 3/3/17

Flipped learning takes a big step forwardFlipped learning takes a big step forward

Don’t Weep for Public Education Just Yet

To Keep Teens Safe Online, They Need To Learn To Manage Risk

Teaching News Literacy? Check Your Own Bias, Says Librarian

Kids Don’t Fail, Schools Fail Kids: Sir Ken Robinson on the ‘Learning Revolution’

Executive functions let people plan, organize and complete tasks. Here’s a closer look at this important set of skills—and how executive functioning issues can affect your child’s everyday life.

Women's History Month: Adoptive Moms

Valerie Harper (actress) 
“However motherhood comes to you, it’s a miracle.”
Nia Vardalos (writer, actress, director)
“I hold my daughter in my arms and thank God for bringing her to me. She is, in every way, my daughter.”
Angelina Jolie (actress)
“One came from Ethiopia, one from Vietnam, one from Cambodia, and one was born in Namibia. And they are brothers and sisters, and they have fun and they squabble and they fight, just like any other family. And it makes me so proud.”
Meg Ryan (actress)
“I am convinced, completely convinced, that there was nothing random about [the adoption], she is the daughter I should have.”
Nicole Kidman (actress)
“Somehow destiny comes into play. These children end up with you and you end up with them. It’s something quite magical.”
Dale Evans (actress)
“I have born two children and had seven others by adoption, and they are all my children, equally beloved and precious.”

Michelle Pfeiffer (actress)
“Being a mother has enriched my life in so many ways. It’s opened my world, in a way.”

Barbara Walters (television host)
          "Having a child made my life complete."

Jamie Lee Curtis (actress, author)
“We look at adoption as a very sacred exchange. It was not done lightly on either side. I would dedicate my life to this child.”

Julie Andrews (actress)

             “After all, children are children no matter their background.”