A Little Women’s Studies Field Trip

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Victoria and Rhiannon each took a bit of a field trip yesterday.  They participated in the #WomensMarch in St. Paul (Minnesota), along with roughly 100,000 others (and several million around the world).  🙂

Victoria went with a charter bus from New Ulm, a city about an hour from us, and Rhiannon went with a friend and some of her friends and their children in a van that left from Mankato.  Poor Daryl had to leave at 5:30 a.m. with them to get them to their respective drop-off points so they could get up to the march in time.

They both had phenomenal times, to say the least.

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Rhia stayed up late the night before embroidering feminist statements on her jacket.  I’ll have to get a picture of some!

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(I gave Toria that hat for Christmas.  Wasn’t it perfect for the day?)

It was a profoundly empowering experience for both girls, and Toria called it one of the coolest experiences of her life.

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I’m very proud of my girls (and all who marched around the world!).

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Sewing 101

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I learned to sew on my new sewing machine today!

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I asked for a sewing machine for a solstice present from Daryl (we celebrate the winter solstice as a family, and then celebrate Christmas with extended family a couple of days later).

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Today, I used the manual, DVD and lots of trial and error to figure out how to wind the bobbin, thread the needle (there are 6 numbered places to wind and wrap it, then a less than intuitive needle threader mechanism to push, wrap, wind and pull), adjust the tension, program the stitches, troubleshoot the many problems that came up and ultimately sew my very first item — a tiny bag I presented to Alex to use for marbles or some such.

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Then, I taught a very enthusiastic Victoria how to use it.  She sewed a lovely little drawstring bag and she’s been pestering me to sew more things ever since.  The other kids are equally impatient to get to sewing.

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It’s funny, I grew up with a professional mom and grandmother who taught me all things educational and professional, but there were no “traditional” women in my life growing up in the 70’s and 80’s.

As an adult I taught myself to cook, garden, can, forage and now sew.  I am so much more proud of these old fashioned skills I’ve learned than anything I learned in college (though I’m also proud of my career work as a poet and domestic violence advocate).

I was more intimidated by that sewing machine manual than by a nuclear physics book!

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Now if I could just teach myself to clean better…  😉

 

 

Female Philosopher Unit Study

Image from this wonderful sounding class: http://www.women-philosophy.org/portfolio/university-of-paderborn-erasmus-mundus-history-of-women-philosophers/

 

After reading what this dingbat said about the lack of even one great female philosopher in history (he said that he could only recall one important female philosopher, “and she was not a significant thinker in the estimation of historians of philosophy.”), I decided it would be nice to do a unit study of famous (and not so famous) female philosophers with the kids.

Here’s a list of some to start, courtesy of Wikipedia:

A list of women philosophers ordered alphabetically by surname:

I figure we can combine copywork with history and philosophy, filling a journal with bios and some printed photos and quotes.  My goal is to work on it with the kids over the summer.  Even if we don’t make it through the entire list, the kids will be better educated on the subject than Mr. Murray.