I worked for about six hours yesterday, with naps in between stretches of working, and then went and did study group, bells, hymn class, and choir, so I was reasonably busy. I do not feel any worse than I did yesterday, so I guess if I was sick, I have been successful at nipping it in the bud. I do not have to go anywhere today, so I think that I will skip the gym and make up the hours of work I missed yesterday, and but otherwise take it easy, so that I will be fully myself for the weekend.

I no longer sound like either Tallulah Bankhead or Earnest Borgnine. I now sound like some dangerous breathy stranger making phone calls asking people to leave $500,000 in unmarked bills or they will never see their loved one alive again. I will not be making phone calls today.

I am on Book Three for the R.I.P. Autumn Challenge: Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier. This is a classic novel, of course, and a very good one, excellent at setting up the creepiness gradually as it goes along. I think it might have been made into a movie, and I am thinking that I should track said movie down.

This is the depth of thought of which I am capable today.

Actually, I’m having some trouble with the section of the book I’m working on. It is a subsection on music. We have, in the social studies frameworks for our state in the grade I am working on right now, several requirements related to music. The kids are supposed to know the state songs, the state musical instrument, and the state folk dance.

I am not making this up. Not only do we have four state songs and a state folk dance, we also have an official State Historical Cooking Vessel. If you check, you will probably find that you have some weird state symbols, too. I guess the legislators get bored.

Anyway, there is also a requirement to study famous people from our state, not any particular ones, just the idea of there being famous people from our state, I guess. It happens that quite a few of our famous people were musicians. And our state bird, another of the things on the list, has a song about it.

So I had the idea that I could weave all these things together with a good dollop of state history in a subunit on music. We could begin with Native American music, for which I have done some good lessons in the past on making musical instruments, the physics of pitch, and ostinati. We could move on to pioneer music, neatly fitting in the state instrument and folk dance, as well as some study of the ballad. Next, the Civil War era and that bird song. A neat segue into the blues, the Harlem Renaissance and some of our famous people, followed by the modern ones as reading comprehension practice.

It seems like a good plan.

However, I am having trouble making it work without assuming that there will be a musician involved in it at some point.

It’s like this book we have at the store on music and mathematics, Functional Melodies by Scott Beall. I love this book. It has numerous clever ideas for studying music and math together, beginning with having little children listen to a phrase of music and decide what geometry term it could be a metaphor for. Unfortunately, the book is so hard to read, unless you are a musician and a mathematician, that there are probably no elementary school teachers using it at all. The activities might not be hard to do, even, but you have to be able to understand them first, and the author makes so many assumptions about what people know that the innovative ideas are trapped inside the book.

So, yeah. I need to quit talking about the problem and get back to solving it.

Baking should also take place today, I think. It is much cooler than it has been. Breezes are coming through the windows. Tea breads would be just right.