Monday, January 13, 2020

Spring 2020 Classes

For my records:

Math (LOF)
Science (Astronomy at cc)
AP US Hist (PA homeschoolers)
US Hist (cc)
Anthropology (cc)
American Literature (Open Tent)
AP US Government (Pennington)
Plus her marketing work with AA Shakes
Baseball and other workouts
Literature with KK (Cousin Bette, article analysis, close reading and annotations)
US History with KK (Critical thinking)
Math with KK (practical applications of algebra, based on prep school curriculum)

Math (LOF)
Literature with KK (Cousin Bette, article analysis, close reading and annotations)
US History with KK (Critical thinking)
Math with KK (practical applications of algebra, based on prep school curriculum)
Literature:  Reading like a Literature Professor (AA)
History:  World History through food; American Presidents (AA)
Animal Cognition
Ichthyology/Kelp Forests
Religious Ed (Old Testament and Social Justice)
Dance, Dance, Dance

Sunday, January 12, 2020


With her wonderful sponsor, Fr. Ken Hamilton
Such a perfect day to celebrate K's confirmation.  The Archbishop presided and in his homily spoke of the history of the Church and why the kids should be proud to be part of a tradition that has brought so much to the world, using examples of science, beauty, truth...  He said "when people tell me that faith and science are in opposition, I tell them that the Church INVENTED science" and then used a lot of examples of innovative scientists who were also priests or monks.  He acknowledged problems too, but the overall message was one of celebratory welcome.

I wept through the blessing and the anointing, having such a sense joy that K is making this commitment.  I kept having flashes of parenting moments:  lying beside her in her little crib-turned-toddler bed, teaching her to pray; how cute she was when I dropped her off at her first RE class when she was four; the chaos of teaching her first and second grade First Communion prep classes; standing with her as she walked up to her First Reconciliation at that beautiful ceremony at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, watching her receive her First Communion, teaching her 7th and 8th grade RE classes, working to start a youth ministry... such a journey to get to the point where she was willing to stand there and make a lifelong commitment to her faith.

I also knew at least 34 of the 37 kids, either because I taught them for two years or because they played basketball/did track with K, so I felt a connection to their journeys, too.  I sat there watching K (and the rest), thinking of all of these things, with tears streaming down my cheeks.  It was great.

(Top two photo below courtesy of Jeff Bartee (professional photographer).

Ready to celebrate

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

New Year's Day Walking 'Chocolate' Tour in San Francisco

The best way to do this is with a plan - not so much to follow it as to at least choose a direction.  I researched the best chocolate places in SF and then mapped out a nearly ten-mile walking loop to get to them.  Of course, doing it on New Year's Day meant that 75% of them were closed, but we had a great day anyway, checking out flavored olive oil, beignets, and Chinese food in lieu of chocolate.  We also did find the most amazing chocolate truffles - the one store that was open was also highly recommended by our neighbor, a chef.  They are ranked among the top four chocolatiers in the country, so our nibble of their chocolates was very worthwhile.

We started at the Ferry Building.  The first two, Dandelion chocolate and Recchuiti chocolate, were both closed.  Not a surprise! Next time...

True to the nature of our adventures, we found other spots of interest at the Ferry Building:  olive oil tasting and tiny cheesecakes (cheese quakes). The olive oil was interesting; the cheese cake forgettable.

Along Fisherman's Wharf, a stop so that everyone could taste a beignet

Quick visit to these historic video arcades.  Surprising lack of interest from our party...

Going to Ghirardelli is always festive; everyone got a bite of chocolate

This was our third closed location, about five and a half miles into the walk.  Looked good from the outside, but we will have to save it for another day.

Long walk back, with a huge hill, but finally we got to the top of the crooked part of Lombard street.  This is our photo before descending

At XOX Truffles, an amazing find of extraordinary chocolate
Outside the tiny storefront of this amazing truffle shop.

Another favorite - ice cream sandwiches.  Note Jeff and son in front, A and G in middle, and A and K in rear

Cool photo of open "books" as lights I'd never seen before.

Of course we had to 

Not a favorite for me, but definitely something others loved.  Mediocre and overpriced in my opinion, but fun to see everyone loving it so.  And after basically having just small samples all day, everyone was hungry.

A bit of backtracking to go to Stella's amazing Italian desserts on Columbus

And a cable car finish!