Sunday, January 21, 2007

parallel play

I was thinking about "parallel play" this morning and remembered a related article, called "Leaning on a Truck":

This morning I was making "fried pies" - that's down home Southern cooking, if you haven't heard of them. I learned about them from my Ex (VJ), whose Granny was the epitome of Southern grandmothers. You know... when in doubt: add lard, and all that. She did have some great recipes, though (although I omit the lard, personally). Anyhow, fried pies are basically apple turnovers, but deep fried instead of baked. They're really yummy. George got a Southern Living cookbook a few years back for signing up for a Lowes card or some such thing, and there's a good recipe in there.

This is my second time making them, so I was modifying the recipe, as I am wont to do, and Mo came in and announced that she, too had a recipe to try. Oh, great, I thought, just what I need. The kitchen is a mess, I'm deep frying and Mo wants to play mad scientist. Fortunately George was floating around the house being bored so I enlisted him to keep Mo out of my way. Mostly he sat by the woodstove and helped open things, but that was enough for her to make two different kinds of goop, one (theoretically) drinkable, while I fried and fried and fried.

Anyway, what I ended up thinking about was that Mo does a lot of her learning from other people in this sort of parallel, leaning-on-a-truck style. She wanted to be in the kitchen in part because I was in the kitchen. She didn't want to watch me or help me, but she did want to be where I was, doing (essentially) what I was doing - but all her own thing. Interesting.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

now we're cooking with rayan

Here's a link over to the other blog about Rayan learning to cook:

Which includes some brief musings on the value of computer games. We've been playing this really fun quest type game for the PC, called Zanzarah - I bought it thinking Mo would like it. Fairies and elves and all that stuff. Turns out its a little too difficult for her to maneuver the character, there's a weird combination of mouse and arrow keys required that took even me and Ray awhile to figure out. So he and I have been playing it and having a good time. Predictably, he's better at it, but now and then I do something in a different sequence or catch a fairy he doesn't have yet. Fun stuff.

I ordered World of Warcraft, but so far we haven't been able to play it. Our computer has a "social disease" at the moment :( and we don't have the funds to get it taken care of, so its running too slowly to play something quite so elaborate. WoW is and online role playing game - more elves and trolls an' all, but since its online you get to communicate with other players all over the world. Rayan just loves that sort of thing so I thought it would be right up his alley - and some of the fabulous unschoolers I've been hangin' with online have set up a "guild" on WoW, and it would be soooooo cool if Ray could meet some of these folks. Anyway, I'm working on options, but some of those involve asking the neighbors if he can use their computer, so I'm flaking out. Bad mommy! No cake! Sunfrog is coming over this weekend to watch football, though, so I'm going to try to bring it up then.

Another thing I've been considering, wrt games, is getting one of those game systems that plug into the tv - Ray thinks maybe Game Cube, since that's what he had before. That has the advantage of freeing up the computer somewhat, but it doesn't have the social feature on online gaming.

Okay, so what's with the games, you may ask? When did Mer drink the kool-aid? George blames "the unschoolers" warping my mind with stories of all the valuble things their kids have learned while playing computer games. Could be. Playing the simpler, treasure-hunt style games with Morgan also helped. I found myself wanting more complicated games, but not really finding them until now. This was the perfect game to suck me in big-time! It has the light entertainment value of the trashy fantasy novels I love, and its complex enought that it takes a long time, and some planning and problem solving, to get through it. Its even (in a way) educational, but don't tell Rayan I said so. I'd rather he just enjoyed it.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Quilt pix et al

Here's the latest thing I'm working on - one of them, anyway. This is a background for a "tortoise and hare" quilt. I'm doing a sort of series that I'm calling (at least in my head) "myths, fables and fairy tales" inspired by the owl and pussycat thing. I really need a set of quilts that show off what I can do now - its like building a portfolio all over again, so its kind of frustrating, from that perspective.
I need to work on updating my website, too. A friend of mine offered to do it, but she's since become very busy and flaked out on me so I'm thinking of just doing my own. After fussing around with the blog thing some I feel better able to handle that - but if anyone wants to suggest a good template or whatever, I'm open to suggestion.