Most people who know me also know that I homeschool two of my nephews. Two days a week, the boys take enrichment classes at a "school" for homeschoolers called "Leaves of Learning." Three days a week are our "at home" school and two are our "away" days.
Today was a Thursday an at home day. We went through our spelling, some review work and did a two part play from Rare Catholic Stories and Poems. There were three parts---Thomas, the "Evil Advisor" of the title, Frank, the boy who does wrong and Father. The boy's real life Dad got home in time to take that part.
Jarrod read the part of Frank with a Swedish accent. Miah took the part of Thomas and the prompter. Each of his lines of dialogue were read like this: "Frank: What happened to the letter? Thomas. You talk, Thomas." We had a great time with the play and a lively discussion about picking the right companions.
Most Thursday nights we go to "Storytime" at the local library. This week turned out to be Fire Safety week. The firemen came with the Smoke House--a trailer set up like a play house with a fire alarm, escape window and a ladder the children can climb out of to "pretend" escaping from a fire. Usually, the firemen simulate a fire by using "fake" smoke. Miah informed me it's not really smoke. "It's just fog. You pretend the house is filling up with smoke and you have to crawl to the window and get out before you die." It was cold and rainy tonight, so the firemen couldn't use the fog. Everyone got a turn to listen for the fire alarm, crawl out the window and down the ladder.
Once back home, Jarrod remembered he has homework for "Leaves of Learning."
"I need to look up the Winkle Trio."
Never having heard of this particular topic, I searched. I Googled. I Asked Jeeves. We got lots of Winkles. Lots of Trio. No Winkle Trio. "Are you sure that's what you wrote down in your assignment book?" Unlike last year, we are stressing the importance of writing NEAT and LEGIBLE in the notebooks this year. Three weeks into the LOL year, we have hit our first glitch.
"Well," he decides, "I think it's Winkle Triple."
Ah, a minor spelling error. Surely there is something called a Winkle Triple. Do you know how many hits you get that have Winkle and Triple without being together? Clearly, we are not searching for the right topic. It's time for a question that might narrow down the search.
"What class is this for? What's it about?"
"It's something about a map."
I read the scribbles in the assignment book. Yes, I can make out the word, "map" three times. We're onto something here. The Winkle is there..but it is not trio or triple, it looks like Tripei. Is that a foreign country? Or is that slash after the e another letter? An L? An I?
Back to the search engines. Finally, one takes pity on me and asks: Are you searching for Winkel Tripel? Do I know? I press it and----oh, JOY! It is WINKEL TRIPEL--there is such a thing and it has to do with maps. It takes more research before we can find out what exactly it is because every page only wants me to buy a map. No one cares if I learn more about it.
Persistence pays off. A Winkel Tripel map is a map that shows the ROUND earth on a FLAT paper with minimal distortion. It was the creation of a cartographer named Oswald Winkel. It's probably one of those facts I could have lived without, but who knows?
If I ever make it to "Jeopardy," I might need to know about Oswald.