Thursday, August 23, 2012

Legos and Learning

This is how my oldest son, Luke spent his summer. He made movies with his Legos.

 Every day, he's creating what I've learned are called "Brick" films. The big boys have amassed a substantial amount of teeny tiny Lego pieces and as much as these little bits of plastic make me insane, I have to admit that they are really creative with them. At first, I thought this was a silly past time, but I realized Luke had to have a great deal of patience to create a minute long film. To create a film, he has to take approximately 300 to 400 stills.  After taking the pictures, he uploads them to Windows Movie Maker. He also learned how to add sound effects and music as well. I'm pretty impressed with the results. Now, he's learning about cameras and photography as well. He's learning to tell a visual story in a limited amount of time. It's amazing how one thing can lead us on the path to so much discovery. Legos, once the bane of my existence, have turned out to play a huge role in my son's learning. I under-estimated the value of the Lego. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Artist

The other night, I watched the Oscar winning Best film of 2011, The Artist. I hadn't even heard of this movie before the  Academy Awards this year. I don't have very much patience for movies these days. I usually listen to movies while I knit. I look up now and then, but usually, I'm content to listen and knit. Well, I couldn't knit with this movie. The Artist is a silent film. There is no dialogue to listen to while knitting. The thing is I got completely absorbed in the film after adjusting to the lack of dialogue and the lack of color. It's a film that requires patience and attention. It's about an a silent actor in the early 1920s who has to adjust as silent films give way to the new "talkies". It's as relevant today as it was then. Change is really the only constant we can rely on. I really enjoyed The Artist and it's rare when I recommend a new movie. Give it a shot. Be patient. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Thoughts on Turning 40

I always quote this scene from When Harry Met Sally because it's just hilarious. I kind of thought the way Sally did about turning 30. I turned 40 yesterday and it was no big deal. I didn't get worked up about 40, but honestly I did dread 30. When I turned 29, I was way stressed about the impending doom of turning 30.  I expected to feel the same way about leaving my 30's, but I didn't. What a relief. Life keeps getting better and there's no way, given the chance, I'd go back. 40 is a blessing.