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Matryoshka last won the day on June 15 2018

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  1. I love the 22oz Sipp (also made by Thermos) hydration bottle. It can be flipped open with one hand (don't have to screw top off) and closed up tight the same way. No straw, easy to clean. Lightweight non BPA plastic. ETA: I missed that you prefer the insulated stainless. The bottle I mentioned above also comes in insulated stainless; it just weighs a bit more and holds a bit less (17 oz). But you might prefer it... same top, one hand open/close, no straw.
  2. Babies have no vocabulary. We just talk to them. They build vocab from there. Reading can work the same way. Some kids do have a harder time picking up vocab from context, but practice and a bit of stretching is good even for them. For kids who pick it up kind of by osmosis, it's not even that noticeable unless maybe you give them Shakespeare in 3rd grade. I always just read - I never got frustrated. If I didn't know a word the first time I saw it in the book, I'd know it by the end - authors do tend to use the same words over and over and that's how you get them from context. Have you noticed her being frustrated with what she's reading now? If she's really understanding everything, give her more meat. As for what order to do it in - after she's read a book and says she understands everything, if you flip through it and think 'oh really? you know all these words?' - pick out some sentences with words you don't think she'd understand, read her the whole sentence, and then have her define the word you think is hard. If she knows them all - yay! Give her harder and more complex (but still engaging!) books to read - and maybe consider a roots program like Caesar's English. If she's stumped by the words you think are hard, then you've found out she just doesn't want to stop her reading to figure them out - then I might consider pre-reading books you give her and finding words yourself you think she should study? If she is skipping words and not getting them from context, you could continue to encourage her to write them down herself, but if that kills her love of reading for pleasure, then picking them out yourself or using a separate vocab program is probably better.
  3. This. It could be she's just very good at this. I remember my 4th grade teacher told us to take words we didn't know from our reading, but I never used to be able to find any. I am very good at getting them - and remembering them - from context. I actually still remember finding one - the word 'ladle' - ironically a fairly easy word - from Caddie Woodlawn. But mostly that vocab journal remained empty... At that point I was already in the 'top' reading level she had, so she didn't bother me much about it, and I just read what I wanted. Forcing me to find 'words I didn't know' would have been busywork. And made my reading a chore instead of a joy I had always thought teaching vocab explicitly was dumb, because I thought if kids read widely, like I did, they'd pick it up from context (I also reverse-engineered the meanings of various Latin and Greek roots). But then my kids didn't end up like me - at least not to the extent I was, and I did end up teaching them - though it was a roots program rather than pulling from reading. One way to figure out if she's slacking or actually just good at picking up words from context would be to go through one of her books yourself, find words you think she wouldn't know, read her the whole sentence it's in (context does matter), and ask her to define the individual word you're targeting. Also, maybe up the level of vocab in the books you're handing her? Older books tend to have much richer vocabulary.
  4. Wait, where do I get this? Whole Foods, perhaps?? Although I'm currently on a no-sugar kick, so it's probably still a no-no... 😥
  5. I like pretty much all nuts, but pecans are my favorites. Almonds and cashews are also great. Walnuts, on the other hand, are pretty much on the bottom of the nut pile for me. I'll eat them, but not with as much enthusiasm...
  6. Yes, this is what I'm talkin' 'bout... And hazelnut gelato is amaaazing.
  7. Hazelnuts are super-awesome delicious - especially with a bit of chocolate and sugar. Yes, they are the base of nutella (which for me has a too much sugar...), but dark chocolate with hazelnuts, or hazelnut-based sweets are the best.
  8. So.much.this. I have a very large vocabulary. But I have never studied an English vocabulary list, never, not in high school, not in elementary, not for the SAT, not in college. I seem to have become this way by osmosis - I was raised by people with good vocab and read a lot. And I just talk. I use the word that pops into my head at the moment. I talk way to fast for my brain to even think about what words are coming out of my mouth in advance. When I write, sure, I think about the most precise word for that purpose. But when I'm talking? I'm just talking. And since these are not 'SAT' words for me, just English words, I often don't realize that someone else wouldn't know them. I don't use big words all the time (I don't think), and most people I talk with I don't think have any trouble understanding me.... but I do sometimes have to reword something for dh, who is very much an engineer and not a reader (every bit as smart as me, but he's not a words guy - I have no idea how to design a silicon chip - we all have our strengths...) I actually had originally planned to not teach my kids English vocab at all, since I'd never seen the point for myself, I had an epiphany when they did not, in fact, pick it anywhere near as much as I had just from reading and living - enter MCT vocab. So I did finally figure out that I'm an outlier. But I'm not trying to sound 'smart' - I just speak using the words that pop into my head... Dearth does seem a fairly normal word to me, not one I'd use all the time, but very useful for its purpose.
  9. I'm only on the first of the 7.5 deaths (in fact, Evelyn Hardcastle hasn't even died once yet), but I am liking it. The narrator's voice is a bit hoity-toity upperclass British, but not when he reads other characters; I think that's because of the character he's reading. From blurbs, I get the feeling the whole plot's going to go sideways once she dies once and we're on to the next time, so waiting for that... it starts off in the familiar 'posh guests are meeting at remote manor cut off from civilization, someone has died... or have they?' vein.
  10. The rich-kid thing. This is why I don't like to use exchange outfits that charge $$$ for the kids to go on them - the ones that offer to pay you a stipend are probably the worst for this. The couple of Spanish kids we had were reasonably well-off, but not super-rich (they paid for the trip, but we didn't get paid). The German kids we had (paid almost nothing for the exchanges, and we got paid nothing) were solidly middle-class. There is a ton more freedom for teens in Europe. They take public transportation to school and around their towns/cities starting in grade school. US suburban teen life to them seems very constricted. But if you choose their profile well, you can minimize that - there are plenty of European teens not into the party scene even if it's there for the taking (and Spain has a much more intense and all-night nightlife than most). The German girl we had for a year was a studious homebody who was happy with the Outdoors Club at the high school.
  11. Have only finished one book since I posted mid-last week: 45. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (audio) - I think I've ranted about how much I hated this book enough already. Let's just say it made me want to lay down and die. Good riddance. I think no more Faulkner for me. 1 star. Currently reading: - A Memory of Empire by Arkady Martine - this is recently released and I can't remember how it came across my radar, but I'm glad it did. Weird reading it almost back-to-back with Barrayar, as there are multiple similarities. The protagonist is from a fairly democratic place scarce in resources where everyone is born from artificial wombs (in this case a space station devoted to mining rather than a colony on an arid planet where they have to live mostly? underground), and ends up living among an imperialistic and militaristic civilization on an earth-like planet with what seems to our protagonist abundant natural resources (though rather than marrying in like in Barrayar, our protagonist is there as an ambassador). And the Emperor has succession problems which she's caught up in. There's also a bunch of differences - no romance, and the culture has shades of Aztec (the language seems Nahuatal-y, and there are Sun Temples and even a human sacrifice - supposedly self-offered), but mixed with something Chinese-ish that's weirdly reminding me of Story of the Stone (big-time obsession with poetry and poetic allusion, writing is glyphs, also lots of flower symbolism and references). Anyhow, fun. Speaking of Machiavellian, I had planned on using Barraryar for that square, but this would work as well - in case anyone else wants to branch out of Renaissance Italy for that square. - The Lowells of Massachusetts: An American Family by Nina Sankovitch (ebook) - I really only knew about Francis Cabot Lowell, who founded the city of Lowell (the first company mill town kicking off the industrial revolution) in the early 1800's - this covers both his ancestors going back to the early 1600's and his decendants through the 1920's - the author seems to think most of us only know about the Lowell family because of some poet she was enamored of but I've never heard of (methinks she didn't know about Francis Cabot till she wrote this - not even sure how much of a mention he'll get). - The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (audio) - Needed an audio and all of my Overdrive stuff was stubbornly not coming in, and - lo and behold - this is the newest "Always Available" audio on our Overdrive - so getting to this much sooner than I thought I would! And still reading A Warning Voice (Story of the Stone #3) and Atemschaukel.
  12. This is true of most of the schools I know of in my state (MA). All three of mine are in school now (two public U's and a CC). It seems like schools start earlier in other parts of the country...
  13. Mine was a hs freshman; she started just after turning 15. She's finishing up with an AA this spring at 18 and transferring to the state flagship U. I think she started off with two classes and ramped up bit by bit from there.
  14. I know in mixed Pilates classes we always had low weights - 2-3 lbs - but we did hold them out there often for a long time. But where I am now I lift up to 20 with a lot of arm stuff (which I do consider heavy, but it's getting easier!) and more for squats/deadlifts or things. But that's for low reps. On high rep days I back off to 15 or sometimes even lower depending on the day and exercise, and I still struggle to get even to 10 lbs. with some of those lateral lifts (the 'fly' ones). But 10-15 doesn't seem like it's 'heavy' on a weight-lifting scale... Context, I guess...
  15. Yes, yes. You also lose power as you age - it's depressing when no matter how hard I go at it rowing, the young thing next to me is hitting it way harder (with watts, anyway) even with total crap form (they're not as good making sure people have proper rowing form). Sigh. Same with guys - so much more power. But it does feel good when I see I can lift more than some of those skinny young things (but certainly far from all - I choose my feel good comparisons judiciously. ). The classes alternate between strength, endurance, and power days, so that the weights and reps also change along with what body parts are concentrated on. This is why I figure I have to keep at it - even keeping at it you're going to decline a bit as you age, but if you do nothing, you can really fall apart. I was horrified when I realized my posture was going in those years I took off. Don't want to be one of those old ladies with a bump on my back!
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