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About Muttichen

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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  1. We have a 2008 Elantra with 280,000 miles on it!
  2. My ds also chose Harvard over MIT for comp sci. He visited both during their days for admitted students and found the idea of going to school with all kinds of kids with all kinds of interests very appealing. He loved MIT but said, "Everyone there is just like me!"
  3. What worked really well for me, when I knew they understood the concepts but were just sloppy, was to pick out ten problems from the page -- a mix of easy, medium and hard ones. I'd tell them if they got those ten PERFECT, they were done math for the day. If they made even one small mistake, they had to do the whole page. Talk about motivation! :)
  4. The espresso powder is acidic, so it reacts with the baking soda and makes the cake lighter. I notice that difference more than any difference in taste.
  5. I've found that adding espresso powder makes it lighter. Without it, mine comes out pretty dense. It also depends on your oven temp/cooking time. Well, it looks like I am making a chocolate cake this weekend. :)
  6. I make this one with good Dutch-processed cocoa and two teaspoons of espresso powder. Sometimes I put raspberry or apricot jelly between the layers (along with frosting of course!).
  7. When I had six in sports at once, we ate dinner in the afternoon (around two) and then sandwiches in the evening. Another soccer mom suggested that and it literally saved my sanity. We also carpooled a lot!
  8. My ds is a sophomore at Duke, and we have appealed the financial aid offer both years and they have matched what my other dc are getting from Princeton.
  9. This is all true BUT -- the IMO is a big plus. In my experience, kids that have high stats AND a big win on a respected national or international competition will usually get into at least one of the top schools. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, so he should have a good variety of schools he'd be happy at if he doesn't get into his top choices.
  10. I teach AP English Lit and it is essential for students to avoid plot summary. They should always assume the reader is familiar with the work. The essay should be focused on analyzing the meaning of the work, not on plot details like who the characters are.
  11. We have this one:
  12. Why don't you try an audio book of the original instead? It's hard to read because Spenser was being deliberately archaic, but the poetry is absolutely beautiful. We had an audio CD that we'd listen to in the car and my kids loved it from a young age and memorized large sections.
  13. Yes -- my kids were admitted to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, MIT, Duke, etc. with mom-made diplomas. We did do many APs, SAT subject tests, and DE classes to back up our transcript. Like 8, my kids were advanced but we opted not to send them to college early. So, for example, this is my youngest daughter's math schedule: 5th -- Algebra 1 6th -- Geometry 7th -- Algebra 2 8th -- Precalc 9th AP Calc BC 10th -- Statistics and Differential Equations at the community college 11th -- Linear Algebra and Calc 3 at the community college 12th -- independent study in Real Analysis with a cc prof Among her classmates at Princeton, this is not unusual. She said that most of the students in her freshman analysis class had taken the same math courses she had taken. They were coming out of math magnet schools or are international students.
  14. I was going to say that we don't have secrets because my family's Italian -- the drama is all out in the open! - but this reminded me of one on the other side... When my sister and I were little, we were playing in my grandmother's attic and we happened across a wedding album for "Joanne" and "Tom" (I'm changing the names in case my cousins happen across this...) Now, Joanne was my aunt, but her husband, who she had married in her early twenties, was named Bill. My sister and I asked our mom who Tom was, and she told us, "We don't talk about Tom." My aunt must have been very young and it can't have lasted long. I'm not sure why it was a secret.... Hmmm, maybe I should ask now...
  15. I haven't read all the responses, so sorry if this is repeating what has been said, but you should never feel like you need to "fake it." I have been in many churches over the years, and I can't imagine any of them being unwelcoming to atheists who want to attend. They would welcome you with open arms. Yes, they would try to convert you, but if you are willing to put up with that for the sake of community, they sure wouldn't have a problem with you being there. You shouldn't take communion or teach a Bible study or lie about your beliefs to become a member, but you can sure participate in all of the fellowship activities and be part of the community. I have been in very conservative churches, and I have never known anyone to be anything other than thrilled when non-Christians choose to attend. OP -- I don't know where you live, but my denomination has amazing singing. We sing Psalms acapella in four-part harmony. It's the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America. If there is one near you, try it. You would be very welcome!
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