The day dawned clear, sunny, and hot. The weather forecast was promising - no storms on the horizon for our corner of Queensland. We put the finishing touches to our outdoor party arrangements. We were preparing to celebrate. Our graduating daughter, and our friends and family who have walked this path of learning, mentoring, and loving this girl that God gifted us with.
And celebrate we did! But our beautiful outdoor party was packed up in a shower of rain, thunder, and lightening. Two 'surprise' storm cells decided to join the party too. So we sqeezed 70 people into our home. And we were very grateful for our good natured family and friends who embraced the new celebration arrangements with love, good cheer, and helpful hands.
Trickling back outside at the end of the night, after the storms finally passed.
Getting ready to feast.
Frog Salad & Party Prep.
The outdoor party arrangements.
Music Space & Photo-Fun Space.
Alison's next step is to take what is considered a gap year. During 2017 she will work in our family business and prepare herself for music auditions later in the year as she is working towards the goal of entering a Bachelor of Music in 2018. Violin lessons, piano lessons, theory and aural lessons. Online uni music units and a music tertiary prep course. Beginning teaching, gaining experience with music workshops, performing, and enjoying her church music community. She's also hoping to squeeze in a little bit of adventure.
Let the adventure begin!
We have now officially packed up our books for 2016. What a very delicious feeling that is. Now we look forward to lazy Summer days and the beginning of a new year before we begin to organise kicking off another year of learning in February 2017. For the past two weeks we have been slowing down and wrapping up. Finishing off final projects, tests, and books, and reflecting on the year that was 2016 for our family. It's been another big year.
Our favourite book, almost unanimously, was Nanberry by Jackie French. After reading ancient epic poetry, and literature set in England, India, America, and Europe, reading the opening paragraph of Nanberry was like a homecoming for us. We knew the landscape, we knew the culture. We know that feeling of diving under water and all those things Nanberry felt in that moment.
Something that surprised us with joy was Francis Bacon's essays. We read, we pondered, we scratched our heads in confusion, we wrestled, we outlined, and we paraphrased. We knew this would be hard work, and it was. We thought it would be unpleasant hard work - but it wasn't. This was a deeply rewarding experience.
Something I will personally take from this year, and contemplate over this summer break, is the role of Memory and Habit in learning. As I experience tutoring not only my own teens, but other students as well, I am beginning to see a deeper connection.
Memory and Habit are so much more than the educational boxes we tend to package them in. I think they are also connected. Where I have been weak in cultivating Memory and Habit, learning does not really happen. At least not in the way that cultivates wisdom and virtue in heart, mind, and soul.
Each year brings its own lessons. And its own gifts.