Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Warrior

Prince #3 can definitely see the warrior inside - look at how he notices that his shadow is bigger than him. Dart gun in hand - ready for the adventurous battle - ready to save the day. Awesome!

Shark Attack!

I'm trying to decide whose facial expression I like the best...mine, my queen's, one of the prince's, or perhaps the shark's...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Oliver DeMille and Thomas Jefferson Education

I've been on a journey for several years now, and it's worth sharing with the rest of the world.

We decided to homeschool the kids early on - so it was natural when we moved into our current neighborhood that we would gravitate toward Diann Jeppson, and that we would become introduced to Thomas Jefferson Education (TJEd). Diann has lived the principles of TJEd first hand in her home, and is a great mentor and source of information regarding this teaching method.

"A Thomas Jefferson Education" was written by Oliver DeMille, and its methodology has revolutionized the educational process in our home. My queen and I both apply the principles in our own studies, and are learning how to apply the principles in the learning process of our princes.

I began a graduate degree program in 2006 at GWU, under the direct tutelage of Oliver DeMille. I expect that the degree will take several more years, but the journey is fantastic. Oliver and the other mentors have very keen intellects, and the classes and other opportunites to interface and network are amazing.

Oliver DeMille, his wife Rachel, and Diann Jeppson recently authored a companion to the original book. It is equally valuable and informative.

All of these books can be ordered directly from TJEdMarketplace.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Journey of Crazy Horse

Wow - I just read an amazing book. The most amazing thing about it is that it is written in the oral tradition. It's about the famous Lakota warrior Crazy Horse. The author is Joseph M. Marshall III, a Lakota himself, who has helped to preserve the culture of a proud and amazing people.

I have read numerous books that have helped me open my mind to the historical realities of a given situation - now I get to add this one to the list.

Interestingly enough, the Lakota recently took the old treaties from over a century ago to Washington DC and basically told representatives there that they were withdrawing from the terms of the treaty...thereby essentially saying that they and their lands were no longer part of the United States. I don't think the case is resolved yet...

I used the example of Crazy Horse in my class at the TJEd forum this weekend - I feel like his life represents the life of a complete man, and most of what he represented should be emulated by anybody striving to be a good, honorable, complete man.

This book is WAY more interesting than most histories you will read - it feels like you're sitting by the fire listening to the tribal elder say "Hiyu wo, takoja, wica wawoptetusni wan tawoecun ociciyakin ktelo – Come, grandson, I want to tell you of the deeds of a hero."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Legend of Bagger Vance

OK - I am preparing for a presentation this next weekend, and so I have been searching for material to "round out" the topic a bit.

Somewhere in my other literary wanderings a pair of weeks ago, I found reference to "The Legend of Bagger Vance," so I checked it out from the library. I finished it today.

I'm really not a golfer - I golfed a few dozen times in high school, and can count on my fingers how many times I've been out since then. I get amused at how metaphorical some of my golfing friends will wax at times...but this book takes the cake.

The subtitle is "Golf and the Game of Life." This book is similar to "The Celestine Prophecy" in that it is a handbook of cosmic post-modernism clothed in a novel. It is well-written. The story is set in 1931 near Savannah; a three-man golf championship consisting of two well known national champs and a local unknown. Bagger Vance is the caddy of the local unknown. He is also a mystic.

I realize that life is about more than just these experiences that we have from day to day. God is seeking to mold us and move us to a higher plane of thinking. I don't think that it requires these eastern mystical methods to achieve, however. Plus, cosmic post-modern proponents tend to go out of their way to marginalize conservative views on morality. Achieving the higher plane is morality, in their worldview.