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Jester Jim Juggling Show — come and welcome back Jester Jim to Goshen. We are SO happy he will be joining us on Tuesday August 5. http://ow.ly/i/6neij

Spring EGGstravaganza

A Morning of Crafts! Bunny Mask, String of Bunnies, Nest of Yummy Treats…

April 17th — 10:30AM – call to register

Spring EGGstravaganza

A Morning of Crafts! Bunny Mask, String of Bunnies, Nest of Yummy Treats…

April 17th — 10:30AM – call to register

Silly Willy Wednesday — Wednesday April 9th an after-school program, pick-up at 2:30PM
silly snacks, silly jokes, silly stories, silly crafts
call to register

The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley ISBN 978-1451654424

cover art from The Smartest Kids in the World and How they got that way by Amanda Ripley

cover art from The Smartest Kids in the World and How they got that way by Amanda Ripley

The American Education system is broken and after reading books like this I really wish that someone would have the courage to announce it from the roof tops.  THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED!!!

Amanda Ripley is a journalist who tried to avoid the complex educational system; however, she was interested enough in these comparison studies and PISA test scores.

PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) is a test that is put together by the OECD (Operation for Economic Co-operation and Development) — this test evaluates if children are ready for adulthood and the duties of earning a living.  Problem-solving more than answering basic facts.

The test has learned that though the USA spends almost the most per student … we are about the middle of the road in results.

Amanda Ripley tracked three US students who studied abroad in Korea, Poland, and Finland.  She compared their experiences with foreign students who came to the United States.

I loved this book and I would say that anyone in the education field or any parent who is concerned about their children should read this book — it is fascinating.

The US education system is broken and needs to be fixed before we ruin the lives of many more students.

To learn more about the OECD — please click on the link

Editorial Reviews

Review

“[Ripley] gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign cultures and manages to make our own culture look newly strange…The question is whether the startling perspective provided by this masterly book can also generate the will to make changes.”

(New York Times Book Review)

“Compelling . . . What is Poland doing right? And what is America doing wrong? Amanda Ripley, an American journalist, seeks to answer such questions in The Smartest Kids in the World, her fine new book about the schools that are working around the globe ….Ms. Ripley packs a startling amount of insight in this slim book.”

(The Economist)

“[T]he most illuminating reporting I have ever seen on the differences between schools in America and abroad.”

(Jay Mathews, education columnist, The Washington Post)

Darling, mercy dog of World War I by Alison Hart ISBN 978-1561457052

cover art from Darling, a mercy dog of World War I

cover art from Darling, a mercy dog of World War I

I have read many dog lover books and this is one of them.  I think the society has finally come to the point when we can recognize the hard work of others and celebrate that hard work.  In World War I many animals were trained to help the soldiers, if it were horses pulling wagons or dogs finding wounded soldiers and delivering messages.

We may remember C.S. Lewis’s story of “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” — where we hear a tell of what it is like to be a child in war torn Britain. “Darling, mercy dog of World War I” tells a story of what it was like to be a dog.

There is a dog tax so it is more expensive to have dogs in war time.  Eventually with the father away and finances tight, they need to give up Darling.  The war department thinks that she will make a good messenger dog for she seems smart and quick.  However, on her final test, she is thinking more of going home than completing the task at hand.  However on her way across the field en route to home, she hears that her handler is hurt and she goes to him and then finds help.  At that point the trainers learn that she is much better suited to being a mercy dog, a dog that finds wounded soldiers.  She successfully completes her training and goes to the front.

This is a great story — with a happy ending (a rare occurrence for a trained military animal in World War I) but we learn about the possibility of unhappy endings.  This story is fictional enough to make it a pleasant reading experience but also has just enough truth to know that these animals were amazing and the trainers were truly hard working.

If you have an early independent reader who enjoys animal books — this is a great read.  A highly recommended book!

Product Description:  At home in England, Darling is a mischievous but much loved pet to Robert and Katherine. But when the British military asks families to volunteer their dogs to help the war effort, they send Darling off to be trained, even though it is very hard to say goodbye. Darling goes through training along with many other dogs and is ultimately used as a mercy dog, seeking out injured soldiers on the battlefield and leading the medics to them. After saving the lives of numerous soldiers, Darling is faced with a major challenge.

X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking by Jeff Gordinier ISBN 978-0670018581X Saves

 

One day I was looking at other books talking about Baby Boomers and Millenniels and I wondered — what generation am I?

When I discovered that I am part of Generation X (after asking where were Professor X and Wolverine?) I wanted to learn more about what others thought I was.

X Saves the World — is a great collection of essays about the contributions of our generation and it is indeed a mixed bag of offerings. But when I read his collection — I nodded and said, yup I can see that.

Many people lament that we do not have the commitment of the Boomers and that we lack the goodness of the Boomers children the Milleniels (though the current activity of certain celebrities make me wonder, are they really that good?) — I have to ask. We may not be out to save the world … but many in my generation think of doing good where we are. The concept of “Think Global, Act Local” — questioning the status quo and realizing that unlike our parent’s generation, we will have multiple jobs through out our life and not the same one for 40+ years.

Did I agree with everything he said about my generation? No, but I will admit that I recognized many things in what he wrote.

If Generation X were a Super Hero … we wouldn’t be Superman — clean-cut and respectable. We are more like Gambit — the gambler with the cool cards and fancy staff … or maybe Surf Person … meandering around helping people when we can, when we aren’t searching for that ephemeral perfect wave.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nostalgia for the attitudes and culture of the early to mid-’90s looms large in Gordinier’s entertaining book-length argument for the greatness of Generation X. Gordinier does not have warm sentiments toward the baby boomers or the current wanna-wanna generation of celebrity worshippers, preferring instead the self-effacing, conflictedly ambitious heroes of the ’90s, like Kurt Cobain and Richard Linklater, who were not enthralled by the concept of changing the world. Gordinier has an easygoing style and a comprehensive knowledge of pop culture gleaned from a career writing for Entertainment Weekly and editing Details magazine, and this might be the reason the book sometimes feels like a collection of essays. Sequences on the rise of Nirvana and the burst of the dot-com bubble are ably narrated. And Gordinier does find a fresh perspective in discussions of recent phenomena such as YouTube and American Idol and their relationship to Generation X. (Mar. 31)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. 

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