Friday, January 27, 2012

Hiatus For A Bit

I should have posted this sooner and I'm actually feeling a bit guilty.  I have decided I need to take a bit of hiatus from blogging for the time being.  I'm taking my Intermediate qualifications for teaching and the course is stupendously heavy in the reading and writing side, so unless you want to hear about all the current fads and philosophies in the education world, when it comes to teaching adolescents, there is not much else that I have to offer - well that coupled with the wondrously inspiring weather we are seeing here daily in Eastern Ontario.  Gardening and music seem pretty removed from my sphere these days - but I will be back.  And by then I'll hopefully be closer to being qualified to teach, what I have actually been teaching for the past five years - bureaucracy is a great thing.

Until then, stay warm and well - spring's acomin'

And that is about all I have to say for the next while.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mr and Mrs Tom Thumb

When I inherited my aunt's photo albums, one of the little photo cards in the back of the book was the following one:
Sorry it's a bit crooked - didn't realize it until after I had scanned it and put it back in the archive box.

I recall looking at this and somehow wondering if the Tom Thumbs (actually Charles Stratton and Lavinia Warren Bump) were long distance relatives of mine.

However a bit of research, showed that this was photo card purchased for 25 cents.  They were much like modern postcards, you might mail off to a friend.  In this case you had probably visited PT Barnum's Museum in New York, and this was one of your souvenirs.

A few weeks back, I came across the book in our local library, The Autobiography of Mrs Tom Thumb, by Melanie Benjamin.  Always the eclectic reader, I signed the book out.  The Missus read it first and quite enjoyed it.  I finally got around to it this past week.  It's an interesting account of the life of a 'perfect miniature specimen of womanhood' in the mid nineteenth century.  Lavinia Warren Bump was only two foot, eight inches tall, but led a rather exciting life, exhibiting herself amid PT Barnum's human novelty show.

What I did find a bit distracting about this, it is one of those books that falls in the category 'historical fiction.'  Yes there is truth there, but it has been so embellished, one really is not sure what to take away as fact, and what to discard as fiction.  Benjamin admits she has taken licence in creating the character of Vinnie Warren.  She has researched first hand some primary documents, but admits that Warren did not record much in the way of emotion or feelings - that is where the fictionalizing comes in.

But before I get too critical - it is a good read, a insightful look at life a 150 years ago, through the eyes of someone who was regarded as a 'freak of nature', a human oddity, who lived life as best she could in a harsh world.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.