Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pick a Number

A message from Sunburst:
I am doing an experiment, and I don't have enough data. So please pick a number from 1-10 and leave it in the comments. Also ask your kids or anybody else. I will be very glad to receive it. I will show you my experiment when it's done. Thanks for your help.

~Edit Oct 17th~
THANK YOU! Sunburst has now finished her experiment and will be posting the results soon. :-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Waldorf Wonderland: a walk through Dornach

Dornach, Switzerland

A couple of months ago the family and I took the train to Dornach and had a little bit of a look-see.

Dornach, Switzerland is the home of the Goetheanum, the Anthroposophical center of the world-- the house of dreams that Rudolf Steiner built. Or designed, rather. At myswitzerland.com they call it "an architectural concept in which each element, form and colour bears an inner relation to the whole and the whole flows organically into its single elements in a process of metamorphosis." It was totally that.

I expected to be awed by the Goetheanum, but what I didn't expect is that the whole area would be a Waldorfy wonderland. There was a bit of Steineresque styling everywhere we looked. It was remarkable and marvelous and inspiring-- even some of the gates and benches had that typical Steiner look to them. It was really a magical place.

We wandered through the grounds and neighborhood adjacent to the Goetheanum, past several amazing buildings, winding dirt paths, luscious gardens, and a sidewalk chicken-coop. We hiked up above this area where one side of the road held a forest and the other held grazing, belled-cows and a hazy overlook of the city. We had our sights on the castle ruin just up the road, Schloss Dorneck, built presumably in the 11th century. It was our first European castle, steeped in history and tales of battle, with deep wells and even a cave-like passage-way around the back. Though the place was deserted and we were free to wander at will, rumor has it that the castle is still in use today, if only as the nighttime stomping grounds of sixteen-year-olds from the local Waldorf school.

It was a chill and drizzly sort of day, so after the breath-taking views of the castle we headed back into town and stopped in at the local Steiner diner, the Kaffee und Speisehaus on Goetheanumstrasse. It was as beautiful inside as it was outside, and we gladly settled in for a vegan meal-- the best kohlrabi soup on the planet, scrumptious bread and a sampling of the salad bar.

We cruised by the local toystore, which wasn't open, and then enjoyed our rose-sniffing walk back to the train depot. It really was a glorious day which I'm hoping to repeat... though next time we'll partake of the tour inside the Goetheanum.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Language acquisition

How do you tell your three-year-old is picking up some foreign language skills? Oh, he'll tell you.

Kitty Bill threw a wild tantrum out in a public park the other day. He's been amping up the tantrums over the last few months, so that wasn't news-- he's been seriously displaced by this move. What struck me is that he chose to throw this tantrum in German.

It was time to leave, and he plainly didn't want to go. So he threw himself down on the ground and screamed at us with all his might, "NEIN! NEIIIIIN! NEIN, BITTE! BITTE, NEIIIN!"

After I stopped laughing (I know, but it was too cute) I scooted down on the ground next to him and asked him what he was so upset about. Did he even know what he was saying? He said, "No, please, I don't want to go."


We're currently living above a restaurant staffed by a large Italian family, or several small families, it's hard to tell. They have convinced Kitty Bill that his name is Mimi, because that's what they squeal to him whenever they see him. "Mimi, mimi." And he says it right back to them, and they do this touchy, touchy thing and give him a fresh bread roll. Every time, sometimes several times a day. The kid is up to his ears in bread rolls. And then when they part he says "Ciao, bello" right back to them.


Tonight he asked me to read a board book in German, that was actually IN German, then he moved on to our worn copy of Maisy Drives the Bus, in English, which he wanted read in German. "You read it to me," I said.

"Maisy drives the bus, German. Schlack and kluck and nacknock bus German." It's definitely weird. He sort of spits when he says it, so he has the basic idea.
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