I have long since forgotten the lofty academic purposes for which I originally purchased the large whiteboard easel that has commandeered the corner of our kitchen for the past fifteen years, because, for starters, here in my world-- amidst the domestic cacophony of Bach Inventions battling with ballgames for airspace, amidst the clamor of narrations and recitations and pesky Republican phone banks dueling for decibels with the likes of Dr. George and the doorbell and the juicer -- well, lovies, I'm telling you that by now I cannot even remember who I was fifteen years ago much less recall what complex academic schemes I was arming myself for back then. Ding ding.
But I can tell you with certainty that my initial purpose for that whiteboard, whatever it might have been, was foiled by the local natives, who quickly brandished all the dry erase markers in what was surely a plot to subvert my didactic maneuvers.
Yes, my prized whiteboard became a household graffiti shrine.
And I was soon made to understand that the Tribal Art and Folklore that becomes archived upon the hallowed board should never be blithely erased for such trifling matters as long division or Latin conjugations.
However, the moment comes round when someone goes to record some sparkly quote only to find there is no space left. Then comes time for a Solemn and Ceremonial Erasure. I usually do the deed under cover of night. Sometimes I take a snapshot first, which seems to buy me some forbearance from my fuming constituency at breakfast next day. I am thoughtful that way. And scared.
Tonight, the board is full, but my camera battery is kaput. Hence, I will here record the contents of our whiteboard, circa April 8, 2010. Beehive denizens, please note how very much I care, cruel eraser-wielding wench though I may be.
The Road To Graduation is paved with Good Intentions. (me)
"He is the freeman whom the truth makes free." (Charlotte Mason)
"I like everything. Except stupid stuff." (Kathryn Green)
"Subjection must be worn as a distinction. The higher the authority, the greater the distinction." (Mason)
"It may be the devil, or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna have to serve somebody." (Bob Dylan)
"And they that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee: for Thou, O Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek Thee." (a Psalm texted to me by my friend Andrew on a particularly trying day.)
"That subservience should take the place of docility is the last calamity for nation, family, or school." (Mason)
"The dragon in shallow water becomes the butt of shrimps." (Probably my favorite Chinese proverb from As They Say in Zanzibar by David Crystal.)
"People carrying elephant's flesh on their heads should not look for crickets underground." (same book)
"Probably the quite delightful pursuit of knowledge affords the only intrinsic liberty for both teacher and taught." (Charlotte Mason)
"He rode upon a cherub, and did fly. Yea, He did fly upon the wings of the wind." (Psalms. So poetic.)
"Trasheina" -- (the incredible name of a checker at Kroger)
"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven." (Milton, Paradise Lost)
And last but not least, this mighty morsel for contemplation --
Charlotte Mason's observation, toward the end of her life, of some specific attributes the children of England had exhibited in response to her methods:
-power of attention
-avidity for knowledge
-clearness of thought
-discrimination in books
-ability to deal with many subjects
And tomorrow, we begin again with a clean slate.