I've been meaning to try this format for awhile as randomness is usually right up my alley. Here's where it originated - at Jennifer's Conversion Diary. You can find a bunch more Quick Takes at her site. But I'll bet you already knew that! :)
1. I've been thinking a bit about unfinished projects and have had the 100 Species Challenge on my mind. Though it looks like it's dropped off the face of the planet, I did a lot of the photography (at least the photography in our yard) at the end of last summer. The kids did some more, which are still floating around on the computer somewhere. I was seriously thinking that the dead of winter - January and February - when all those seed catalogs start coming in and we start dreaming about spring gardens - would be a great time to work on the identification process of the photos. Here's hoping! :)
2. Totally random things have been making me think about the good side of friendly competition of late. One is this interesting article my dad sent me weeks ago on the reading contest held annually between Karl Rove and George Bush. I loved the idea of setting up a competition as a means of motivation - even if you know you're going to lose! The idea of friendly competition has been reinforced by a fun neck-and-neck competition I've been having with Willa on a geography game on Facebook. I'm certain that I've pushed myself harder because of the competition and my kids have been very excited about the game and pushing themselves to get higher (even though only Gus is getting within range of my score). Competition definitely has its problems, but working with human nature in a friendly context isn't necessarily a bad thing! Now I just need to find someone I can have a reading competition with. I'm in a real slump right now and I know I'd probably lose (even though I'm not the leader of the free world, I'm a slower and more distracted reader than people expect), but I suspect it would be motivating for me. By the way, the National Geographic Bee (which Terri and Gus will be competing in at the local level) and other contests like it are built on this very concept. Preparing for this sort of competition motivates people to learn more. Period.
3. I finally accomplished the blog split I've been intending for some weeks over in our young people's Chesterton department. The Chesterteens have returned at long last and the Flying-Ins have a new home.
4. I'm hoping to read a lot of G.K. Chesterton and Pope Benedict XVI this year. Their writings make me happy.
5. I'm soliciting reviews of favorite Shakespeare related materials (including the plays and sonnets themselves) for Love2learn. Highlights of the bunch will be published in an upcoming Shakespeare-themed issue of mater et magistra magazine. Anyone want to give it a try?
6. I FINALLY watched Prince Caspian last night. I was the very last one in the family to do so. It was very entertaining and so very not like the book. I enjoyed it, but missed some of the more poetic and charming moments, like the hushed conversations in the Astronomy Tower.
7. It's birthday week/month in our family. Happy Birthday today to cousin Emily! Tomorrow is Bernie and Frank's joint birthday, along with their cousin Kateri. A week from tomorrow is Kate's birthday followed a few days later by her cousin Lexi's birthday. And they still have an aunt and another cousin celebrating birthdays later in the month. Party time!