The Girls Rule! School: An update

photo(5)Technically, the second semester of the last year in our home education adventure concluded this past Friday, when the family-centered learning project (FCLP) celebrated its second graduate. We plan to continue studying through the summer, though: Miss M-mv(i) hopes to complete the ornithology course, and Miss M-mv(ii) is working on physics. More, over the next eleven weeks, our Girls Rule! Book Club will read:

Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Mark Twain)
All Quiet on the Western Front (Erich Maria Remarque)
Antony and Cleopatra

And the FCLP has some neat plans for the summer months, including:

■ Art Institute of Chicago
Henry V at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST)
■ Civil War Museum in Kenosha, WI
■ Milwaukee Art Museum
Dance of Death at the Writers’ Theatre
Much Ado about Nothing at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival
Elizabeth Rex at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival
Antony and Cleopatra at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival
■ Shedd Aquarium

Still, our work here is, for all practical purposes, done: Miss M-mv(i) is registered for new student orientation at the local college, Miss M-mv(ii) will be a dual-enrolled senior, and both young women will register for their fall semester courses either late this week or early next.

Here are some highlights from the past academic year:

First semester:
The Merry Wives of Windsor
King Lear
Richard II
Cyrano de Bergerac (Edmond Rostand)
Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
Moby Dick; or, The Whale (Herman Melville)
The Narrative of Frederick Douglass
The Iliad (Homer)
Death of a Salesman (Arthur Miller)
The Glass Menagerie (Tennessee Williams)
The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)

Second semester:
Henry IV, Part I
Henry IV, Part II
Richard II
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
All’s Well That Ends Well
Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
Hedda Gabler (Henrik Ibsen)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Aleksandr Solzhenitzen)
■ Short stories:
__ “Singing My Sister Down” (Margo Lanagan)
__ “The Child by Tiger” (Thomas Wolfe)
__ “The Destructors” (Graham Greene)
__ “The Japanese Quince” (John Galsworthy)
__ “Miss Brill” (Katherine Mansfield)
__ “Tears, Idle Tears” (Elizabeth Bowen)
__ “Defender of the Faith” (Philip Roth)
__ “Paul’s Case” (Willa Cather)
__ “Hills Like White Elephants” (Ernest Hemingway)
__ “Greenleaf” (Flannery O’Connor)
__ “A Christmas Memory” (Truman Capote)
__ “Young Goodman Brown” (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
__ “A Jury of Her Peers” (Susan Glaspell)

First semester:
■ Tommy Emmanuel at ECC’s CenterStage
Cyrano de Bergerac at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST)
Evita at the Oriental Theatre (Broadway in Chicago)
Madame Butterfly at the Lyric Opera
■ Pianist Kirill Gerstein and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center
Lord of the Flies at the Steppenwolf Theatre
Wicked at the Oriental Theatre (Broadway in Chicago)
An Iliad at the Court Theatre
A Q Brothers’ Christmas Carol at the CST
The Merry Wives of Windsor at the CST
The Little Prince at the Lookingglass Theatre

Second semester:
The Phantom of the Opera at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (Broadway in Chicago)
■ Shaun Hopper at ECC’s SecondStage
■ Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Center
Gypsy at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST)
The Two Gentlemen of Verona, a Shakespeare Project of Chicago (SPC) production
Hedda Gabler at the Writers’ Theatre
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (Broadway in Chicago)
Road Show at the (CST)
Rent at the Paramount Theater
■ Jeffrey Foucault at ECC’s SecondStage
■ Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes at Chicago Symphony Center
■ Violinist Itzhak Perlman at the Lyric
All’s Well That Ends Well, another SPC production
The Foreigner at Lambs Players Theatre in San Diego

■ Field Museum (multiple visits)
■ Art Institute of Chicago (multiple visits)
■ Waukesha County Museum
■ McHenry County Conservation District’s Trail of History
■ Milwaukee County Zoo
■ Adler Planetarium
■ “What’s Behind the Nose?” — a CST behind-the-scenes event
■ Shedd Aquarium
■ Volo Bog
■ “Feathered Friends,” a Brookfield Zoo behind-the-scenes event
■ “Imagining Henry V” — a CST behind-the-scenes event
■ A Stephen Sondheim-centric behind-the-scenes event at the CST
■ Lincoln Park Conservatory
■ A nature drawing class
■ A bird banding event during International Migratory Bird Day celebrations
■ A scholar luncheon featuring lectures on Henry V — a CST behind-the-scenes event
■ SeaWorld (San Diego)
■ San Diego Zoo
■ San Diego Museum of Art
■ U.S.S. Midway Museum
■ Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Other notes:
Music: Miss M-mv(ii) accompanied Miss M-mv(i) in her fourth violin recital in early May. Both Misses submitted audition packets to the Chopin festival / competition and await the verdict. They continue to practice their instruments daily and will continue to take weekly lessons for 2.5 hours (piano) and one hour (violin and guitar, respectively) until mid-August, after which Miss M-mv(i) is setting aside her music studies for a while, and Miss M-mv(ii) will focus on guitar.

Work: The Misses did not pursue summer work. Their swim team commitment requires two hours daily and five two-day long-course course meets. More, as I mentioned, they have studies and (maybe!) a piano competition for which to prepare. Because they worked throughout the academic year and have been offered the gigs again for the upcoming academic year, we are more than supportive of a job-free summer.

7 responses

  1. Dance of Death is awesome. I’ve seen it twice, both times with Ian McKellan. Once was right after September 11 in New York with Helen Mirren and the second sometime later in London with Frances de la Tour. Definite differences in presentation and audience but great both times.

  2. Congratulations on finishing well! I’ve enjoyed reading about and learning from your FCLP since the early days…
    So, now what? I’m curious how you will spend your time now that the FCLP is formally finished. I have 4 years to contemplate what my second career will look like and wonder what others whom I admire plan on doing.

    All the best to you and your graduate(s)


  3. Is there any chance we can have access to your archives? You know, the ones before your blog makeover last year? My oldest is 12 and I’d love to see (again) what you were doing at that time with your girls. She is a prolific reader and I think I mentioned in another comment that (thanks to your influence) she has tackled some Shakespeare. My 8 year old son also told me the entire plotline of Hamlet the other day, which may not be terribly unusual, but I wouldn’t have imagined teaching him without example. I think I underestimate what they are capable of and while I’m not against reading lots of fun books, it’s nice to see what other families do for their more serious reading. For example, I love knowing that you spent an entire year doing Moby Dick! That slow digestion makes for a full absorption into the mind.

    • Oh, Angela, it’s so gratifying that you’re interested in the archives. I had a heck of a time trying to import the three thousand entries from the old M-mv and ended up reading it as a sign to focus on what was happening now. Wry grin. Let me know if there’s something in particular, though, and I can try to track it down.

  4. I am disappointed that I can’t go back and look at all of the old photos and ponder through some of your reading selections, but I understand. Of most use to me would be your family learning goals, such as what you read and studied at different times, particularly what your girls were reading. I am interested in your past personal reading lists as well, as I have noticed through the years that your reading interests are very different from my own and I am curious about some of the books you’ve talked about. If there is a way to just add the reading lists I would love it, but if you don’t want to take the time (as your offer was for something particular, and ALL lists hardly qualifies, I think) then I completely respect that decision and remain your faithful reader!

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