Thursday, February 23, 2012

A is for Ancient

Hopefully I can manage to do this every week, but I'm joining a meme to blog through the alphabet.  I'm hoping it will give me a chance to post about things that aren't exclusively homeschool related.

And since this starts the day before my birthday... well... I simply had to choose that A is for Ancient, as I'm starting to feel that way.

Okay, so all my dad's cousins and such can stop laughing.  Please?

When I did that "photo shoot" a few weeks ago, there were far more pictures I just couldn't bring myself to use.  The one I put up on my blog, and the one I put on the Crew blog both showed more red hair than white, and not so many wrinkles.  The one below is much closer to the real me:

And yeah, touching up the photos did occur to me.  As does coloring my hair.  But I've earned these white hairs, and really, I don't want to be spending money on that.  And touching up the photos just sounds like work.

Getting older isn't a right, it is a privilege.  I try to remember that when I'm feeling ancient.  And there is something George Burns said (honestly, there is so much great stuff that man said.  I miss him.), "You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old."

Or, when I was searching for that one to get it just right, there was a quote from Bill Cosby that makes me think of my grandfather.  "Like everyone else who makes the mistake of getting older, I begin each day with coffee and obituaries."

Okay, now I'm not to that point yet.  But Grandpa?  Not quite as long as I can remember (but close), when I'd stay there, someone at the breakfast table would invariably ask him how he was doing.  His answer was always some variation on, "I get up every morning and check the obituaries.  If I don't find my name, I know I've got another day."

And maybe that's the tough part about feeling ancient.  It isn't so much me.  It's thinking about people I won't see again this side of heaven.  My grandparents.  Their siblings. Lots of other people too. 

Anyway... the more upbeat part of A is for Ancient has to do with Ancient history... which is what four of my kids have been studying. 

I remember taking an ancient history course in high school.  It was taught by the German teacher.  You know, the teacher who was quite upset that she wasn't allowed to teach 20th Century History, because she wanted to be able to set us straight about Hitler.  We heard that in German class.  He really was misunderstood, and the history books don't show how much good he did for Germany, she would tell us repeatedly.

I had a hard time taking her seriously.  I hated ancient history.  Totally didn't understand the point of studying it at all.  Lots of names (mostly unpronounceable) and dates and places that didn't correspond to anything I knew.

But now, doing history with my kids... well, the greatest part is that we are using historical fiction for a lot of it, and we aren't focused so much on dates.  I still can't pronounce the names...  but reading books like Hittite Warrior, or The Bronze Bow... this brings these time periods to life.

And having a son who still says he is going into archaeology (A is for Archaeology!) means that it is probably a good thing that ancient history is more interesting.  The plan is to do an archaeology unit this summer, where all three of my Boy Scouts (yep, next weeks post will be B is for Boy Scouts... as I'll have three of them by then) can earn their Archaeology merit badge.  And we may beef it up to get Connor a 1/2 credit class out of it too.

A is for Ancient and Archaeology.  Or A is for Alphabet, Apple and Amazon according to some of the other posts... go check them out...


Unknown said...

Love this post and that picture. You make me smile. Thanks for linking up.

Mom of My 3 Kids said...

Debra, I love this picture! A real smile can never be ancient. :)

Kate said...

YOU are not ancient by any measuring stick! You are a beautiful person, inside and out. I do identify with those gray hairs though. I am getting more of those myself and trying to figure out what to do about that! LOL

I love ancient history. I love the stories, the people, the time periods--they are all so foreign and fascinating to me. Historical fiction has been a biggie here for us too. So many good titles out there! :)

Great post!


Mozi Esme said...

Thanks for the laugh! Reminds me of the quote: "You may complain you're getting older, but the alternative is worse - Eating birthday cake is much preferred to riding in a hearse"

Anyway, I love your take on using fiction to study history - it's so much easier to internalize a timeline when you've got real people to tie the times to.

Jennifer said...

I'm beginning to feel ancient, too, as I see kids who I think of as babies still heading to college. (And I'm facing a major birthday this year.)
That is a great picture, no touch-ups necessary. I'm following your blog with the new Linky followers now and getting it set up.