Monday, March 17, 2008

Another manic Monday

We're back from a long weekend in San Antonio, where we basically lounged around a pool enjoying the fact that this is Texas, and sometimes in March, it's 90 degrees and you can swim (not every day, though). My in-laws own a timeshare at a resort there, and we log some good cousin time twice a year or so there. Very relaxing for the adults, and it does the soul good to see the kiddos, all five of them plus a teenager, getting along so amiably together. Ian is the lone boy and thus far has not extended his misogynism to his cousins.

I am in the midst of reading Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy, a biographical novel of Michelangelo. Somewhere in my homeschool reading, I stumbled across the idea that the mother (or father, whoever does the principal educating of the children) should be the one educating herself, and the love of learning and ideas will trickle down to the children. Makes sense -- yet sometimes seems impractical with all the keeping-up we have to do. But anyway, I do love to read, and in endeavoring to be a model for my children (how can I lecture them about challenging themselves if I don't lead the way?), have pushed myself with this book -- it's about 750 pages long and pretty dense. Along the way, I've been tempted to give up, but now, about 400 pages in, I'm really into it and am fascinated by the portrait of life in Renaissance Italy (which is what we're sort of learning about together in history). I knew there was great art that emerged from that time and place, but I'm gaining a sense of what a turbulent time it was -- the tension between the corrupted Catholic church, the fanatical monks who wanted to purge their society, and the neo-pagans, with most of the artists straddling two or more of these factions. It's all painted as the background to the very personal story of one of the greatest artists humankind has ever produced. Reminds me of why I love history so much -- I love learning people's stories.

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