Friday, May 14, 2004

NO BLOGGING till Wednesday or so. Will make a full report after that.

More rain. The yards, the fields, the bushes, the trees, every spot with plants is lush green. In that sense, winter is gone at last. On the other hand, it was about 50 F today, the last (I hope) vestige of brutal temps of winter.

Lately Lilly's been requesting to hear some of the nursery rhymes found in a red hardback book we have, one of a series of six or so published in 1948 by an outfit called the University Society Inc. in New York. I don't remember when I bought the set, exactly, but it was after she was born, probably not long after, and I'm fairly sure I got 'em cheap.

To judge by the preface and the editorial board and other clues, the aim must have been to present nursery rhymes and children's stories framed by whatever pedagogic theories were in vogue at the time. I'm no authority on nursery rhymes, or pedagogy either, but I suspect that the book contains material that would no longer be suitable for framing by current pedagogic theory, like this third verse in "Jack and Jill."

Jill came in, and she did grin
To see his paper plaster;
Mother, vexed, did whip her next
For causing Jack’s disaster.

In the second verse, for those unfamiliar with it, Jack “went to bed to mend his head, with vinegar and brown paper.” Home remedy. Anyway, there’s no mention of Jill actually causing Jack’s fall; in fact, she came tumbling after. But she gets the blame. Seems like a good life-lesson to me.


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