Monday, September 19, 2011

There is a First Time For Everything

I have always been of the opinion that it is not good to have the "Wait till your father hears of this!" kind of dealings with my children. I don't want Bruce to have to come home from work to have to deal out punishments to his children. Plus I don't want him to have to always be the feared, mean parent who gives out the spankings. I try to deal with things myself, if I'm the parent who is there at the time.

However, after finding Justice hanging out of the second story window for the second time today, this time with his younger brother too, I decided that MY earlier spanking must not have been hard enough. For the first time ever, I told one of my children to wait while I went to fetch their father to administer the spanking. Luckily Bruce was already home from work, and more than willing to assist in the punishments.

I think I might be switching their bedrooms with Ross and Mark's (which is in the basement) tonight.

Spend My Nights With A Roll of Bubble Wrap

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Am Totally The Best Stake Choir Secretary That Never Was

I have just finished (well nearly) a very large project that very few people will actually get much use out of. Those few who do however will find it absolutely marvelous I believe, and I am rather proud of myself. Bruce (not I) is our stake's choir secretary. Hence we have all of the stake's music filed at our house. For some queer reason, I take an odd satisfaction in doing all of the filing myself. As Bruce ... well doesn't seem as keen as I do... it works out.

Aside - it might be useful to know that we have both been highly involved in the stake choir for about a decade now. It may make me a dork, but I absolutely LOVE it! We have an amazingly talented director, and we are actually pretty good. Choir practices are a major highlight for me every fall / Christmas season. I'm totally psyched about starting practicing again soon!

Anyway, what I was getting at was my new filing system that I came up with and did all by myself (even though I'm not actually the secretary.) The wonderful things about what I've done are:

1) It's online, so our director can look at it anytime she wants and it will always be updated.

2) It has a SEARCH ENGINE. I have taken extra pains to make the songs as searchable as possible. Each song has it's own page with the lyrics included (as many as I could find on the internet to cut and paste in. I'm totally not going to type up 200+ sets of lyrics) This makes it so that even if you can't remember the name of the song that you are looking for, you can just type in a snippet of the lyrics, and the search engine will pull it up. The songs' pages also include the composer / arranger, arrangement type (SATB, TTBB, etc.), and as many applicable topics as I could think of. This way if say you want an SSA arrangement of a song about faith, you can just type "SSA, faith" in the search engine, and bang, there is a list.

3) I also have an alphabetical list with links to each song's page.

4) And here is the REAL beauty of my plan: Most published songs are listed on the web by their publishers with a sample of the music to either look at or to listen to. I have put links on as many of the song's pages as I could find, so you have only to click, and you are taken to the publisher's listing of that song with a sample of what the song actually sounds like or a sample of the sheet music.

How awesome am I?

I still need to do a couple of things like:

1) Make a static opening page for us to list choir news, upload MIDI files where choir members can listen to their parts, and such.

2) Change the url so that it no longer has the word "stake" in it. This is because we aren't supposed to have any stake or ward websites.

These things can both be done, but I have to figure out how first.

Anyway, I think it's a totally awesome tool for our wonderful choir director. And though she and I may be the only people to ever use it, it's still a stroke of genius on my part.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Just a Thought

At the beginning of the school year, Mark brought home one of those tests that helps you figure out how you learn. Curious, I took the test myself, as did Bruce. Bruce seemed to be very well rounded, and did fairly well in all of the categories. I scored very high in the musical and linguistic areas, fairly well in a few other categories and downright awful in the spacial category.

As I have lived with persons who are very smart, but in drastically different ways, I know first hand that there is no real way to pin down HOW smart a person is as compared to another person. There are just too many facets. I know some people who are geniuses certifiably so, who in a school / on paper do exceedingly well, but when it comes to real life situations, they lack somewhat. On the other hand, I am very closely linked with some people who look like complete idiots on paper, but who are in actuality very intelligent. Bruce for example can't spell to save his life, but give him a puzzle to solve, and you'd be hard pressed to find someone who could do it faster.

What I'm getting at is this: There is just NO way to pin down how smart someone is, or exactly how they learn. The brain is just too multifaceted to be able to do it with any REAL accuracy. But here is a facet that I've been thinking about: focus.

How focused is your brain power. Some people seem to have a wide focus, and others narrower. This would effect the kind of information that you take in. Think of it like a flashlight beam. A wide focus would illuminate lots of things, and take in a wide range, while a narrower focus would take in a smaller range, but with greater detail.

I think Bruce has a wide focus. He is very observant, and good at remembering general things. I on the other hand seem to have a narrower focus. The things that I pay attention to, I remember VERY well. I can memorize like nobody's business. If I actually paid attention to it, it's there for good, and I challenge you to prove me wrong. But I'm always forgetting little things. Bruce will ask me to do something while my brain is elsewhere, and I'll say "sure," then forget about it 10 minutes later. Why? It wasn't in my field of focus. I was paying attention somewhere else. If you gave Bruce and I a picture to look at and said "Study this, and in a minute I will ask you questions about it." Bruce would probably do better than I would. He would take in the whole picture, while I would probably be focused on a part or two. If you asked me about something on that part that I paid attention to, I'd tell you every single detail, but if you asked me about something outside of that sphere...??? If you asked the two of us to remember a 10 digit number, I'd beat him every time.

I don't have any autistic children, but it seems like they have a very narrow focus. They will shock you to the core with some of the things that they can remember and know, while at the same time they seem to miss a lot of other things.

I don't know. It's just a thought.

Friday, September 02, 2011

My Son the Hero

That's what everyone (the principal included) is calling Ross. Yesterday at lunch, the kid across the table from Ross started choking. Ross hopped up and did the Heimlich maneuver, and was able to dislodge the food. The staff at his school are making quite the deal out of it. They are saying he saved the kid's life. Way To Go ROSS!!