February 2, 2011
“Are you a Christian?” There, I’ve been asked. It’s not really a casual question, is it? It’s not like, “Do you like chocolate, yes or no?” or “Do you want to go to the park today?” or “Aren’t you that girl from my French class?” It’s a loaded question, a “Does my bottom look big in this?” question. It’s a personal question, a “What color underwear are you wearing?” question.
It’s asking for a definition. Are you in the club or out of the club? I’ve lived long enough to know the ramifications of answering such a question.
I also know that answering “I believe that religion is a personal matter” might lead to inaccurate speculation, assumptions and judgments.
Answering this question is also an exercise in diplomacy and courage, as my main market for Arithmetic Village is American Home schoolers whom happen to be predominately Christian.
Let me begin by answering the question in terms of my business, since that was the context of the question:
Arithmetic Village is a simple math program created for all children of all religions and all cultural backgrounds so they may be gently introduced to math concepts. The characters represent their respective math functions. The Village is also intentionally positive. There are only kind words and respectful interactions. It has been suggested that I create conflict or more of a story in each books but many wonderful children’s books lack conflict or plots ..ie Goodnight Moon. The values represented in these books are not religiously based athough many reigions share similar vaues of love and kindness. If you find similarities with your religion or philosophical viewpoints, that is a bonus, I want to include everyone.
I hold transparency in higher regard than privacy, and because of this, I will attempt to answer THE question…
June 29, 2010
Everyone should know someone named Kate. She should be bright and healthy with white hair and whiz by you on a bike- to go grocery shopping. And when you strike up a conversation she should say to you- ¨We should have a cup of tea!¨. And then she should tell you where her tea-pot is and tell you to make yourself at home- she´ll be there in a few minutes.
Then you should take her up on her offer, as you guiltily put your plastic bags on your car and drive yourself to her gate. Then you should meander up her secret path,wet and slippery from the rain, littered with wildflowers. Then walk under tresses created from years of bending, folding. At last you will reach her little meadow, stop by her outdoor compost toilet, listen to the birds and the waves, pass her merino wool on the washing line and make your way to the unlocked door of her simple cottage.
You will make yourself a cup of tea on her pot belly stove and pass her neat sitting area with interesting books and writings. (you wont look- you will assume that they are interesting)
You will finally sit on her tiny little porch overlooking the meadow, trees, flowers and the bay below.
You will cry.
You will feel so grateful to have someone in your life so inspiring, like Kate.
June 27, 2010
I´ve lost some steam with AV, fear, or procrastination is getting in the way. I find myself getting diverted into other activities. I’ve started reworking my next book, ¨My family is weird¨ and volunteering at the preschool. I am keeping myself busy with everything BUT Arithmetic Village. I needed to make an appointment with the web designer, and I didn’t. The next day I went to coffee INSTEAD of contacting her, and who shows up to the cafe? She did, of course. That was eerily convenient.
The next day, I was thinking about workshops, (well, dreading planning workshops) and this bubbly person joined me at a picnic table at the market. She happened to be the teacher for a home school group. All of the sudden, she said something along the lines of, ¨I love math, but I just can´t figure out how to help children who don´t.¨. Seriously. I replied, ¨I think I might be able to help you out with that…¨. She invited me to bring the program into her class next term to try out new lessons plans. She stopped by this morning and we had a delightful sharing of materials. She is going to make figures for each of the characters and get the materials ready for the treasure chests. I did not have to call her and set this up, it all just fell on my lap.
The divine convenience of living on an island is truly miraculous.