Surgery & Getting Hooked on a TV Show

Surgery & Getting Hooked on a TV Show

I do not watch a lot of television. I do not find a lot of shows that hold my interest long enough to prevent me from the alternative of getting things done.  I am not here to argue that of course you can get things done AND watch T.V., but that does not work for me regularly. Usually, I do not have the television on until 8 o’clock at night or later ….. when I find myself ready to “sit” for an hour. I guess I like a quiet house!

However, a couple of weeks ago, I had a fairly major surgery. All turned out well, thankfully, but the recovery time is six to eight weeks. By my fourth post-operative day, I was bored.  I came across an advertisement for a PBS show on Masterpiece Theater called Endeavour. It looked intriguing! I love historical fiction novels and mysteries and this looked to be a combination of the two. The first season, in 2013, was set in the 1950’s in Oxford, England.  Given that it is PBS, it is rich with innuendo and smart language. The plots are twisted and endings not so obvious that you are tripping over the story by the end. Mostly of all, the characters are complex. The viewer is shown things about the characters, by their expressions, words or lack there of, and their relationships.

By, this time – two weeks after surgery and ten days after starting to watch Endeavor, I can say that I am hooked on this show!  I buzzed quickly through the first season – four episodes of 1.5 hours each, without silly commercials. Yesterday, I finished the second season at the end of which was a shocker! Do not worry, I will not tell you any more than that so as not to spoil it for you. I am more and more intrigued by the main characters as the story goes on. The show offers intrigue, a little romance, some secrets, and not always a happy resolution. The main character is very complex. His name is Endeavour Morse. He is a gifted police detective but only tolerated, not revered, by those around him. He loves music and has a wealth of knowledge he shares seamlessly in the course of conversation. Even though he is able to solve cases, his intellect still manages to annoy those in charge.  Watching the show has definitely put my boredom aside for now.

I am blaming my surgery for being hooked on this show.  There are two seasons left. Season three can still be viewed via Amazon Prime streaming. I think the only way to view season four is to purchase it or wait until it streams. In any case, I think I need to slow down and savor these last eight or so episodes because when they are done – I will have to get busy again!

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Baking up Some Enrichment

Baking up Some Enrichment

A friend stopped to see me the other day.  She has three really bright, actually gifted is a better term, girls.  We have had many a conversation about how to best provide them opportunities to grow and be challenged while having a slim budget. This is a common question and I was more than ready to offer some suggestions.

The girls’ mom had similar ideas of her own about how to enrich during the summer. I think my input was more of a being an available sounding board for ideas. I know they are avid readers, learning languages through online platforms such as Duolingo, and have a plethora of vegetables growing in their own suburban yard.  Their mom is adept at providing the girls a multitude of experiences. They visited earlier this summer to pick cherries and I know many baked goods and drinks called “shrubs” were made in their kitchen. When they stopped on Saturday, a trip to the Hmong community gardens was underway with a blueberry poke cake to be made that afternoon.

Cooking and baking are great ways to enrich your children. The preciseness of measurements and ability to perform conversions are prime examples of the enrichment. Plus, you get an a product to enjoy and the children can be proud of when they are finished. My friend’s middle child, soon to be in middle school, has taken to the show The Greatest British Baking Show on PBS.  She has been turned on (read excited here) by the show and has been baking this summer as a result.  My friend is smart to support this interest.

I have had several conversations with math teachers about the fact that our local students do not really understand fractions that well.   I have wondered for several years now whether the fact that our children, in general,  do not do a great deal of cooking, baking. or sewing anymore has to do with their incomplete understanding of fractions. Baking and learning to sew were staples of my childhood. I memorized my conversion tables and know how to perform basic operations on fractions to either halve, quarter, or triple a recipe. Useful skills.

If you are looking to challenge your children, allow them to start baking or sewing. Allowing them to have real life activities involving math will add to the richness of their experience. They probably will not even realize what they are learning along the way, but you will be teaching sustainable living, especially if the products used in the baked goods come from your own yard or the community garden. You are reinforcing math skills that will be useful later on. And, you are allowing your child to produce, share, and consume a product of which they can be proud.

Baking and sewing also offers room for growth. Not everything will turn out as desired, but should get better over time. Seams will be more even. Measurements will be more accurate. The difficulty of both can be increased over time, as the skill set increases. They can be activities that allows for failure, without too much investment of time or money.  Other than a dirty kitchen, or finding fabric scraps stuck to the carpeting, there are not a lot of downsides to baking and sewing with your children.  Give it a try, like my friend has, enjoy the results and let me know how it goes!