For my regular visitors, if you find that this blog hasn't been updating much lately, chances are pretty good I've been spending my writing energy on my companion blog. Feel free to pop over to Moving On, and see what else has been going on.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

A day in the life of an unschooler...

I think one of the main reasons we're unschoolers, besides the fact that it matches Eldest's learning style, is that plans change too quickly for us to schedule things too tightly. *L*

Before Eldest went to bed, she asked what plans we had for today. Forgetting that we had to go to the library, I couldn't think of anything specific, so she asked if we could go to Goodwill, as she had some stuff she was looking for. I agreed we could do that, and off to bed she went.

I did remember that we needed to go to the library later on, but we mostly needed to return dvd's, so we had plenty of time to do both.

Some time later, while talking to Dh, I noticed I hadn't flipped the calender to April yet, so I did that - and promptly noticed we had something written down for today. The local symphony had a free concert at noon, and I'd intended to take the girls.

After some figuring of things out, I left a note with a re-worked schedule. Normally, we go to the library after lunch. Instead, we'd go before lunch, grab something quick to eat, then go to the performance, which was at a theatre kitty corner from our library branch, then go to Goodwill.

Dh suggested we just park the car downtown while we did all our running around in that area, then headed out. It wasn't until we were getting ready to go and the girls and I were discussing the order of things that I realized it would be silly to take the car. We wouldn't want to drag anything we took out with us to Goodwill, so we'd be swinging home anyway. With the library only a 10 - 12 minute walk, it just seems silly to pay for parking.

So, after renewing what we could online, then gathering what we had to return, off we went. As we walked, plans modified again. We all still had stuff at home, so we had no desire to actually take out more stuff. So we'd just drop stuff off, then go across the street to a certain favorite cafe for lunch. As we walked past the theatre we'd be going to for the symphony, we noticed people already going in. Lots of people. We considered a moment, just dropping stuff off and going into the theatre, but decided against it. The idea of waiting around for 45 minutes didn't appeal to me.

After dropping off our returns, we headed for the cafe. Again, we changed our plans. None of us were actually hungry, so we ended up just getting drinks and a cookie each. I'm glad we did it that way, as they were busy, and it took a lot longer for us to get our drinks than I expected. Still, we had time to relax and enjoy our treat while chatting.

Shortly after 11:30, we crossed the street to the theatre, found a lower level entrance, and managed to find a group of seats together. I couldn't believe how full the theatre was already! We grabbed seats in one of the few side rows that actually had 3 seats together - the centre rows were completely full, and seating on the second level was almost full, too. While we waiting for the final 15-20 minutes before things were supposed to start, we watched as not only all 5 levels of seating opened up, but seating above and behind the stage was opened. These people would've had a great view of the orchestra - from behind. There was also a screen set up above the stage with images projected from the back. People had to walk in front of the projector to get to their seats. The theatre was completely filled by the time they started, about 5 minutes or so late.

Then the lights went down, the stage was lit up, the conductor emerged, and they went straight into a rousing rendition of Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, first movement. The conductor was thoroughly entertaining, bouncing and dancing and generally being very into what he was doing. He was as much fun to watch as the orchestra was to listen to.

Only after the piece was done did the conductor turn and give an introductory and welcome speech. The program for the performance featured a variety of pieces from the upcoming season. The second piece was Dvorak's Carnival Overture, then J. Strauss II's Tritsch-Tratsch Polka (pronounced Trish-Trash), which will be part of their Octoberfest performances. From a series of Hollywood movie music, they played Badelt's theme from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. That was followed by an awe inspiring performance of Williams' main theme from Schindler's List. The violin soloist was amazing. As Eldest described it, it was positively aching.

The final piece was Bizet's Suite No. 1: Les Toreadors from Carmen. It was fabulous! Then, just as it ended, the conductor turned and asked the audience if we felt we had time for one more. The thunderous applause confirmed that yes, we certainly did want more! The final piece, which was never named, had a salsa beat to it that soon had the audience clapping along while the conductor enthusiastically shook and shimmied and danced while conducting. Truly fantastic!

The hour and a bit flew by quickly, and we were all incredibly entertained. This was the first symphony the girls had ever seen, and they are eager to see more. During breaks between performances, there were video clips talking about the upcoming season, and we'd love to see at least some of them. I'm going to do a bit of research and see what kind of subscriptions they have. I'm hoping there's a family or group version.

As we were leaving, I had this craving for more Carmen. The girls were amendable to the idea of going back to the library to see what we could find. I ended up putting a hold on a dvd, as the only available copy was at another branch, but I did find a cd and a 2cd set of the music to borrow.

While searching for Carmen, I did find a couple of other dvd's to borrow. One was actually in a display as we came in, La Cage Aux Folles. This 1979 movie was the inspiration for The Birdcage, with Robin Williams - a favorite of ours - and I've never seen all of it. I also grabbed Broadway's Lost Treasures; 22 Rare Performances from Broadway's Greatest Musicals.

(As I'm writing this, my daughters are behind me. Eldest is watching Youngest play a new Xbox360 game Dh picked up. They've been singing parts of "Sixteen - Going on Seventeen" from The Sound of Music at the same time. Yes, we spontaneously burst into show tunes and movie quotes. Earlier today, we suddenly started singing "To Life!" from The Fiddler on the Roof in the car.)

So we checked out our finds and walked home. As we were putting things away and almost ready to head out again, Dh phones my cell, thinking we were still out. Because of the time, we discussed whether or not he'd be getting a ride home, since we'd be going past his office along the way. I wasn't sure if we'd be done before he was finished at work, so we left that in the air.

The girls and I then headed to the Goodwill. They both found some things, and I scored a couple of finds myself. I was thrilled to find a bag of mohair blend yarns for only $5. There ended up being 7 skeins of one type alone - enough for a decent sized project. Normally, this sort of yarn would cost more than $5 a skein, never mind for a whole bag! I also found an egg dish - the type with shaped dips to hold deviled eggs. I plan to use it at Easter. I've had in mind to get one of these for some time, as I'm tired of how the egg halves slide around the plate.

Unfortunately, Eldest did not find what she was after, so she asked if we could go to the Salvation Army. At first, we were going to do this, though it was late enough that we'd be coming home well after Dh got off work. That would've been fine, until we realized we didn't know how late the Salvation Army was actually open. I though 5pm, but Eldest though 4pm. If it was 4pm, we'd have arrived shortly after they'd closed.

So, plans changed again. We'll do Salvation Army tomorrow. Instead, we phoned Dh at work and arranged to pick him up.

The girls and I were quite hungry by then, as we hadn't eaten anything but drinks and a cookie each some time before lunch. Dh, on the other hand, had had a work lunch in a restaurant, so he was still full. With that in mind, the girls and I made some sandwiches for supper. What I'd originally planned to cook for supper remains in the fridge for tomorrow.

As for now, we're taking things easy. Dh has gone for a nap. Youngest is killing things on the Xbox360 while Eldest watches. Now that we have tv again, the girls have discovered NCIS, which they plan to watch later on.

Hmmm... I'm thinking a nice big pot of tea might be in order right now.


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