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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Mnemonics, Anyone?

It took me three tries to get all those "m's" and "n's" in the right places. What a silly way of spelling a word.

I'm trying to teach Rebecca which is parallel and which is perpendicular. She gets them backwards. Any ideas? She also has trouble understanding that parallel lines will never meet. I solved that one I think with railroad tracks and asking her to imagine what would happen if the two rails didn't keep going straight. Now, if she can just remember they're parallel.

I remember confusing stalactites and stalagmites when I was a kid until someone told me "the mites go up and the tites (tights) come down".

I've fallen a little behind again. Part of it is a busy schedule and part of it is Blogger, as usual. Any of you who have switched over to Beta blogger and are used to seeing "granny" and my avatar come up in the comment boxes will see my actual name with no avatar until I've figured out how to switch it back. It's probably the real me - not someone using my name in vain.

Also, Blogger seems to have signed me up for Beta whether I want to be there yet or not so I'm having problems accessing my own blog. I'll probably switch over once I know what I'm doing but the memory of my "zapped" blog is still a little fresh.

Enough of that. I've solved the three trips a week to rehab for the most part. Starbucks is a couple of blocks up the street. On the days when I don't have errands in that part of town, I can bring a book, hang out for the price of a regular coffee with a clear conscience, and be comfortable. I like to people watch and Starbucks is a great place to do it. And, like the Barnes & Noble cafe, they have no problem with loitering.

Last Monday I managed to involve the whole cafe in trying to figure out who performed a song that was being played while I was sitting there. I'd heard it before as background music on West Wing and it was so familiar. I asked one of the servers; she wasn't sure, but a customer at the next table said "it's from Shrek". Shrek? He was sure but couldn't remember who sang it. Someone else overheard that conversation and we had 6 or 7 people chiming in. It was fun. Everyone recognized the title, "Hallelujah", but couldn't remember much else.

I tracked it down by first looking at the soundtrack cd at Barnes & Noble and then finding it on Rhapsody (computer subscription music program). It was sung by the composer (Leonard Cohen - wow! - no wonder I liked it), not Rufus Wainwright who did it in the film, but still okay. Elcie walked in while I was playing it and said Shrek!!. Of course that made me feel really bright.

Update, it wasn't Wainwright in the film although he has covered it and nicely too. It was a Welsh singer named John Cale. Lovely voice (do all the Welsh sing beautifully? It seems that way) but I can't find it anywhere but the sound track.

I must have heard it when I watched Shrek with the girls and just forgotten or daydreamed my way through it.

Today the cafe was full of strollers and cute babies (with their moms or dads or course). I found a corner and watched the action. Babies are even cuter when I know they're not going home with me.

All is well here although our county officials seem to be jinxed. A suspicious fire over a month ago wiped out much of the County courthouse along with several of the District Attorney's offices. Yesterday, the building directly across the street which housed more county offices was flooded. Someone had plugged up one of the urinals (yuck) and water (along with some other unspeakable liquids) dripped through the ceiling onto the desks and floor below. Once again the District Attorney's staff is homeless. A spokesperson said "we've had fire and flood; what's next - locusts?".

I've been falling asleep much earlier than during the summer which is a good thing but it means revising my blogging habits and possibly skipping a day once in a while. Please don't give up on me. I'm still around and I'll catch up on commenting over the next few days.

Meantime, thanks for all the comments and take care everyone.


thordora said...

Jeff Buckley did an AMAZING cover of that song. My personal favorite.

Angela said...

it might help to look at the ll's in parallel and remember that they never touch. hmmm, otherwise something about parking cars maybe. 'cept she might be too young to use that.

i'll ask around. all of these soon to be teachers have to have something.

and when you're struggling with the blog you should always let me know - i keep having posts post four times as well. argh, frustration!!

Gary said...

I love the Cohen song Halleluah - and Rufous Wainwright only recorded it for Shrek.

The most heart wrenching version is by KD Lang though - tears every time!

Tammy said...

blogger is a *isser!!!
sorry...I'm just getting tired of them that's all...I fall behind too...very frustrating...sounds like you have a good time at B&N...we always like to go there after dinner out and whip out the discount card and get a coffee to go even though we are staying cause they don't charge tax that way...hehe!! (this was told to us by a real helpful employee!)

Anvilcloud said...

That stala thing? I remember it by 'g' is for ground and 'c' is for ceiling.

I'm never sure whether I should be proud or not that Cohen is a Canadian. Maybe just as long as he doesn't sing them?

kd lang is yet another fellow Canuck. Her version is the bomb -- as they seem to say nowadays.

Good luck on parallel and perpendicular. That's one that I never had a problem with, so I can't relate very well.

L. said...

"Babies are even cuter when I know they're not going home with me."

Love that, Gran!!!!

nancy said...

Is she a good speller? or a visual kind of kid? Parallel has two l's in a row that form parallel lines. If you draw this on a piece of paper as a reminder it might stick in her head. Does that make sense?

mreddie said...

That sounds like a real hoot that the whole group joined in to come up with the name of the song. ec

Anonymous said...

I was going to make the suggestion of using the l's in parallel, also. That's how my mom taught me when I was a kid.

And Stalactites stick "tite" to the ceiling, Stalacmites "mite" reach the ceiling someday.

I switched to Blogger Beta and didn't have any trouble at all. But I don't have a custom html template, either...

Glad to hear all is well. I missed you for a day or two!

Kendra Lynn said...

I LOVE that song from Shrek. Merry was singing it the other day, well, some of it...I couldn't believe she knew the words! LOL
That kid has a better memory than Scott and I put together.

Autumn said...

I wish they would get the kinks out of the blogger programs..Wordpress is still good for loading photos but you are more limited to other things using it.

Gina said...

No need to ever apologize for not posting, Ann. I am amazed you post as much as you do with all you've got going on.

PEA said...

It's 12:30 a.m. my time so you can see that I'm also behind with my blog visits! lol It's way past my bedtime but I first wanted to visit all my blogging friends:-) We don't have Barnes & Nobles here, only Chapters and they have a Starbucks in there but I've never had any of their coffee. I feel so deprived! lol Yup, I could have told you that song was from Shrek but I didn't realize Cohen wrote it!!

Janice said...

Hi Ann,

Oh, that is terrible! A spokesperson said "we've had fire and flood; what's next - locusts?".

We've had our problem with the fire part a couple of years ago, and now the court house is being rebuild bigger and more awful than ever in the existing parking lot. Which is making the parking for the existing city hall just awful. And this will be the third City hall in our city's history.

H-mm, flood and locust? Thankfully--Not as yet!


Puss-in-Boots said...

I was going to mention the two lls in parallel but others have beaten me to it.

I watch West Wing, but am not sure which song it is. I saw Shrek ages ago but obviously didn't notice the song too much.

Hmmm, not too good about your council, but locusts, yuk!

Hope all is well in your part of the world.


Jo said...

I was going to mention the two "l"s in parallel, but someone already did. So I haven't heard anything about sanity with the girls being gone to school during the day, hows that going? Love the Starbucks. We shall be back in Cali in Sept, so perhaps I shall join you. I will tell you when we know the days for sure. We will be there for a couple of weeks, so there will be lots of time.

Priscilla Pseudonym said...

Mnemonics! *giggle* Reminds me of teaching my little ones to make the number 2, guiding the pencil in their little hands: "First we draw an umbrella, in case that it might rain...then we run under it and run right out again!" I'll be DANGED if I can think of a mnemonic for "perpendicular" though! Good luck!

Merle said...

Hello Ann ~~ Thanks for your messages,
the trip was great to meet up with family and see how my cousin;s family are coping - which is very well.
Glad that all is well with you and the family. I enjoy people watching too, so glad you have sorted out what to do dring Ray's treatments. Your lesson with the railway tracks is a good way to teach Rebecca. Take care Ann,Hugs, Merle.