Monday, March 17, 2008

Day of Rest? Relaxing Weekend?

Not exactly. Saturday was go, go, go, and all of it synagogue related: a bat mitzvah in the morning, teaching Shabbat School in the afternoon, and a very fancy bat mitzvah party in the evening.

The bat mitzvah was lovely (though they all tend to initiate a running checklist in my mind these days). Shabbat school was a frenzy of glitter, sequins, spangles, and glue as the kids made Purim costumes.

I was worn down by evening and I almost didn't go to the party, mostly because I couldn't figure out what in my wardrobe could possibly qualify as the "festive attire" requested on the invitation. I dug around and found something I hoped was appropriate and off we went to a very fancy hotel. This party had it all: two buffets, a photo booth, a DJ, a kids area with video games, Moonstruck chocolate truffles at every plate, swing dancing lessons, and more. I hear this sort of thing is pretty common back east but it's not really typical in out little congregation where most people wear jeans. But it was fun and I did get to witness the rather hilarious spectacle of MonkeyBoy being dragged onto the dance floor by a number of girls who towered over him. He was mostly polite, but skittered away as quickly as possible. The Spouse and I always appreciate an opportunity to dance though we marvel at the horrific songs from our youth that seem to have become timeless classics: YMCA? Billie Jean? Oy.

The Dark Lord and I spent much of yesterday at our favorite cafe. He had homework to catch up on and I had to finish some reading I'd promised the folks at work I'd do on current research on grammar instruction. I now have a much better understanding of the library services at my college, but I'm not much clearer on best practices in grammar instruction despite many hours of digging around. The consensus seems to be to do what we all instinctively do anyway: teach grammar in context with lots of different kinds of communicative activities. I think I knew that.

Finally on Sunday evening things started to slow down. We had dinner with an old friend which was relaxing and delightful until the boys started to get fidgety. It occurred to me how rarely we are invited to eat at other people's houses and, really, how rarely we invite others here. Everything is going too fast these days. Late last night I sat and watched a movie and completed a lace-edged hat in soft Cashmerino yarn for a woman at work who's starting chemotherapy. I hope it will bring her some comfort as she has a long fight ahead of her.


redmolly said...

What a beautiful hat! And I'm glad you and the Dark Lord got some one-on-one time. Sometimes just sitting together in companionable silence working on separate projects is the nicest thing.

Clarissa said...

okay, re: grammar instruction. you are right (okay, sorry... let me preface. I have done a certain amount of reading/thinking/teaching about this. ) teaching grammar in context is indeed the consensus.

What I really wanted to add, though, was the name of one of my preferred resources. Constance Weaver. I use her stuff in my classes (by which I mean that I have my prospective teachers read her work). And, in the fall I wrote a book review of a recent book of hers.

I'll try to send you the link to that. it's online.

Also, the novice teachers I talk with often rave about Harry Nodden (sp?) - his book is called Image Grammar. Might not be quite right for your context/audience. Not sure (I am not actually familiar with it... it's on my list, though).

Magpie Ima said...

Molly--right you are. And The Dark Lord is needing a little extra love right now, so it was a lovely outing.

Clarissa--thanks for the tips. I will definitely look for those authors.