Monday, April 30, 2007

Musical Time Periods

Learning the history of music along with your main history lessons adds depth and fun to your studies. Depending on your family's needs, interests, and time, you can simply play music from the time period during lessons or you can try to learn a piece from each time period. More advanced students may even wish to explore more of the technical side of music composition. These musical time periods emphasize western music.

While we divide the history of anything into time periods, these seemingly separate times flowed into one another rather than suddenly breaking into a new period. The same holds true for the history of music. Also, because some musicians lived in one period but composed music in a style of a different period, various music historians may place them in different eras.

The Greeks developed scale systems with intervals such as used in the modern piano. They actually developed seven modes (named after different Greek cities they felt reflected the moods of each mode), but the two we use most often today are the Ionian (our major scale) and the Aeolian (our minor scale) modes. The Dorian and Mixolydian modes are often heard in Irish and Scottish folk music. Phrygian, Lorraine, and Lydian make up the other three modes.

During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church used all seven Greek modes in the Gregorian chants. The chants (named after Pope Gregory I, pope from 590-604 A.D.) were composed in monophonic style, that is with only one melodic line and no accompaniment. Polyphony, or music with two or more melodic lines heard at the same time in a harmony, wasn't written until the 11th C. There are few known composers from this time, but those known include Hildegard von Bingen, Perotin, Guillaume de Machau and John Dumstable.

Just as in the arts, many great innovations in music developed during the Renaissance. The Ionian (major) and Aeolian (minor) modes dominated, the music of this time was mostly polyphonic, and a cappella choirs excelled.

The viol family of stringed instruments was invented, and the viol and spinet were regularly used. Pipe organs, clarinets, and harpsichords were greatly improved. Sliding trombones were invented, and the most popular wind instrument was the recorder.

Many composers lived during the Renaissance. Important composers include Claudio Monteverdi, Josquin Depress, John Farmer, Guilliame Dufay, and Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

The Baroque Period (about 1600-1750) was a time of experimentation. The innovations of the Renaissance produced musicians with great technical and improvisational abilities. Instrumental compositions gained full equality with vocal music, and often left space for a soloist to display technical prowess with extemporaneous displays of 5 to 10 minutes (called a cadenza). Also, awareness of national styles grew. Melodies were ornate and dramatic, with newly developed instruments providing a new depth and richness of sounds. Monteverdi, Henry Purell, Vivaldi, Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach composed during this period.

During the Classical Period, music became more controlled with strict rules of counterpoint and harmony. Melodies were usually simplified into even phrases, often utilizing symmetrical "question and answer" structures. THe piano became the most used solo instrument. Hayden, Mozart, and Beethoven were composers of the era, but as their creative genius would not be confined to strict rules, their music led to the development of the Romantic Period.

Many different musical styles developed during the Romantic Period as musical geniuses, trained to classical rules, expressed themselves in dynamic and creative compositions. There was larger range of sound and a greater variety of instruments utilized and even invented. Melodies became longer, more dramatic and emotional. Wagner, Schubert, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Chopin fall into this period.

With some ambivalence toward the musical past, the Modern Period developed in a rebellious attempt to break away from all rules. All sounds--even no sound--could be used. Anything goes, really, as composers have utilized extreme dissonance and micro-tonal intervals. Form can be very controlled or totally improvised. But there is also tremendous variety, with such composers as Sables, Debussy, Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Karsakov, Strauss, McDonnell, Grieg, and Tchaikovsky all classed in the Modern Period. These, and others, have produced some of the greatest music ever written.

As you move through the time periods, don't forget regional folk music, which often inspired composers. Most of all, enjoy the music.

Friday, April 27, 2007

This Women in Ministry Thing

This is something that has bugged me for a long time, and this wonderful article by Audrey Broggi pulls it all together. My family IS my ministry, and I've always felt that some sort of outside ministry would be absolutely worthless if I lost my family to the world because I was too busy ministering to others. The Bible, in Titus 2, makes it quite clear what women are supposed to be doing...and what the older women are supposed to be doing.

Before you read this journal, let me say something. I don't have a personal problem with Jill Briscoe or Ann Graham Lotz or Beth Moore or Kay Arthur or any of the rest of the celebrity women Bible teachers. I'm sure they love the Lord - I don't doubt their zeal for a moment. However, I strongly disagree with their ministry lifestyles and how they model such lifestyles for young women. I believe they are wrong and are (though perhaps unintentionally) having a negative influence on the family. I pray for them because their influence is huge and it encourages a lifestyle inconsistent with Scripture even if that is not what they mean to do. Though it seems at times that I am a lone voice, and though you may not like what you’re about to read, this is the way I see it.

OK. Everyone relaxed? Now continue reading if you don't mind being challenged:

This Women in Ministry Thing

Frugal Friday--H2O2

Hydrogen peroxide is one of my favorite multi-use, frugal household liquids. The H2O2 which you buy from the store is a 3% solution, safe for most uses.

H2O2 is a very effective dental rinse: the germs that gather below the gum line are anaerobic, and the introduction of oxygen with the use of the H2O2 kills them. It also helps whiten teeth, a very nice benefit for those of us our enjoy coffee and tea. The H2O2 can be used out of the bottle at the 3% dilution. That is too strong for me personally, as it burns my mouth. I use a medicine cup (the kind that comes with children's liquid medicines) and I pour in 1-2 teaspoons of H2O2, and fill the rest of the cup with water. After swishing the solution around your mouth and gargling a bit with it, spit it out. 3% H2O2 is too strong to swallow (if you feel burning in your mouth, it most certainly will burn you internally). Those who use H2O2 internally use very dilute solutions. Also, what you buy at the store has had stablizers added to it, and these aren't necessarily safe to ingest. If you want to take H2O2 internally, you must buy food grade.

And don't forget to sanitize your toothbrush. Simply pour the H2O2 on the brush and allow it to air dry.

Another great use for hydrogen peroxide is disinfecting in the the bathroom and kitchen: dilute the 3% H2O2 by half with water and use it to wash your hands and wipe down surfaces. It can be put into a spray bottle also. Kitchen sinks get very germy, and this is a safe, inexpensive way to kill germs and freshen up this area.

Use the dilute H2O2 to wash off fruits, vegetables, and meats. Use it on cutting boards.

Hydrogen peroxide is much safer and much less toxic than chlorine bleach or ammonia, so enjoy in good health!

For more Frugal Friday tips, go to Crystal's Blog at Biblical Womanhood.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Booking Thru Thursday

Booking Through Thursday

  1. Does what you read vary by the season? For instance, Do you read different kinds of books in the summer than the winter? Not really, though I'm more likely to look at cookbooks about grilling when the weather is warm. Mostly I just grab what looks interesting at the time.

  2. If so, do you break it down by genre, length of book, or...? Well, I hate to say it, but the length of the book does affect my choice. I get so many interruptions it can be difficult to keep the flow of thought coherent.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Great Divorce: The Movie

Some good news from Cranach, Gene Edward Veith's blog:

Major movie scoop: I just talked with Ken Wales, the Christian movie producer with Walden Media who gave us "Amazing Grace" as well as the less pious but hilarious "Revenge of the Pink Panther" (1978, with Peter Sellers). He is going to be the graduation speaker here at Patrick Henry College. He said that a project he will start working on in the near future is a movie version of C. S. Lewis's "The Great Divorce"!

That is one of my favorite Lewis books, containing, for example, that lampoon of the liberal bishop who is writing about how hell does not exist, even as he lives there. The book is a combination of talky theological discourses plus hallucinatory symbolic imagery. How could that be made into a film? But if Mr. Wales can pull it off, the result should amaze.

But, oh, if people will only be able to understand it!

Lady Lydia Has Done It Again!

Lady Lydia has posted a wonderful recipe using Cacao Nibs at Homeliving Helper.

This would be an excellent activity for the chocolate unit study I posted last week.

Carnival of Homeschooling #69

I'm late, I know! But here it is:

Carnival of Home Schooling--Bee Edition at Sprittebee. Have the usual fun buzzing around the Carnival.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Garden Flower Arrangements

Floral arrangements from your own garden are especially satisfying.

I just love this idea from BHG:

Double Vase with a Twist
For a modern look, layer two square glass vases -- one 6 inches, one 4 inches -- and float slices of tiny key limes in water between the two. Roses, peonies, Allium, Dendrobium, salvias, and geraniums burst from the top of the vases.

If you don't have all the flowers you need from your garden (probably true for most of us at least part of the year), you can get them from the supermarket. The great trick for when you have to purchase your flowers, but you still want an out-of-the-garden look, is to is to first choose a bouquet with mostly the same flower, not a wild mix of color and not something very exotic that wouldn't even come close to growing in your area. At home, remove the baby's breath and the florist foliage from the grouping. You'll want to go outside to find interesting greenery to complement your bouquet. Look around, and don't hesitate to use something a bit unusual. Make a simple arrangement of your flowers and your greenery in a pleasing vase. And there you have it, your own garden arrangement.

Friday, April 20, 2007

For the V. Tech Moms

Roses and Teacups, though a commercial enterprise, has a ministry called Overflowing Teacups, which is one of their "Gift Programs through which women, through their collective giving efforts, may send gift assortments to specially nominated women who need a bit of cheer." Presently, R&T is collecting "drops" for the Overflowing Teacup. When they have enough to send a small, pretty journal to each mom, Nancy (the owner) will GIFT WRAP each one and see that they get to the Virginia Tech moms who have lost children in the recent tragedy. If you wish to donate, just go to the Overflowing Teacups page and scroll down a bit to find the Paypal button.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Copywork & the Right-Brained Child

Cindy Rushton has a very informative post on how she's used copywork over the years with her children, told in typical Cindy style. It's definitely worth the read.

My children have all been very reluctant writers. Actually holding a pencil or pen and forming letters was (is) a torturous act to them. They all take after their father! While I had "perfect" penmanship, I've had to realize none of my kids will ever have beautiful penmanship unless each one decides it is an art form worth developing. Right now I'm happy if it's actually readable. I might even say that my youngest has some disgraphia, but I have learned that right-brained children struggle mightily with symbolic language. In Right-Brained Children in a Left-Brained World, Jeffrey Freed writes in the first paragraph of the chapter on writing:

There's a reason I've saved writing for last in this program for the right-brained, ADD child: Writing is, almost without exception, the most difficult subject for children with this learning style to master. The right-brained child will manifest problems with writing from the time he first picks up a crayon. His fine moteor skills may be lagging during the formative preschool years, so even learning the correct way to grip a pencil can be a formidable task. His multidimensional visual orientation also makes him more prone to errors in copying letters and numbers; he may reverse them or write entire words backward. Hea has a diificult time bringing thoughts from his mental blackborad onto paper. It's very difficult for a right-brained child to do more than one thing at a time. As he struggles to translate pictures into words and to form letters, spell, and punctuate, his mental picture becomes distorted. Even attempting to write his name can be an exercise in frustration. He hates to fail; his perfectionism keeps him from trying again. His teacher, however well meaning, may be correcting every little mistake rather than helping him build confidence in expressing himself. ( pg. 137)

Maybe this coming year we'll be able to incorporate copywork into our day. I would like to be able to use it to help my son develop his abilities to express himself. Right now we use memorization of verses and poetry to help develop his linguistic skills. In the meantime, patience, patience... and working on keyboarding skills.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Carnival of Homeschooling #68

This week's Carnival of Homeschooling is hosted by Why Homeschool. There's always a great selection of blog posts in the Carnival, and this one starts on Tuesday, April 17.


A Lesson You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

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Oh, divine chocolate!
They grind thee kneeling,
Beat thee with hands praying,
And drink thee with eyes to heaven.

~Marco Antonio Orellana, 18th Century

The Field Museum has some great lessons for a unit study on chocolate. There are six lessons in "Chocolate and Its Environment," and six lessons in "Chocolate and Culture," as well as several other resource links.

From the quotes link, I found this uplifting thought:

“Chocolate is a divine, celestial drink, the sweat of the stars, the vital seed, divine nectar, the drink of the gods, panacea and universal medicine.”
- Geronimo Piperni, quoted by Antonio Lavedán, surgeon in the Spanish army, 1796

Here are some more useful links:

It's a very interesting study, and one I know you'll enjoy. Not everything you study is so tasty, or inspiring. Expect spontaneous eruptions of poetry.

Mmmm... Chocolate!!!

Here I sit, eating chocolate chips.
To quit eating chocolate, I need more than tips.
There are so many kinds of chocolate, it's hard to choose.
No matter which one you pick, you just can't lose.

There is milk chocolate, sweet chocolate, and semi-sweet.
I really like dark chocolate! It's such a treat!!!
There is also mint chocolate & white chocolate -- I'm not through!
There is cereal, cake, cookies, candy, pudding, pie & ice cream too.

Chocolate tastes so rich, and sweet, and sometimes smooth.
It can help make you feel better, or help your heartache sooth.
There are many chocolate drinks. Have some, just for fun --
cappuccino, chocolate milk, mocha & cocoa -- try more than one!

Is chocolate as good as a hug, or a pat on the back?
What if I'm out of chocolate, when I have my next attack??!!
I could just imagine that I'm eating chocolate, I suppose.
If I eat lots of chocolate all day long, would I overdose?

Where would I go... what would I ever do... without chocolate?
Nothing can compare. Not even one word rhymes with chocolate!
Do I take it for granted that I can always get more?
I could eat chocolate candies, by the score!

Is chocolate something to fear -- is it really a curse?
Is it something to be avoided, or is it much worse?
Or... is chocolate the eighth wonder? Is it a total delight?
Something you savor for so long? Or love with all your might?

© InfoGalaxy 1998- 2003

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Some Reading Advice

From Sylvia at Classical Bookworm:

Reading Advice for Hypochondriacs

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.

—P.J. O'Rourke

After reading this it also occurred to me that after we die everyone will assume that we read everything on our shelves, so we should definitely keep buying all those books we want to read "some day"!


This is apparently the literary corollary to your mother's admonition to always wear clean underwear in case you're in an accident.
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Isn't it wonderful that people think you've read every book on your bookshelf?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Considering Homeschooling: Christians Can Help Stop Abortion

There are so many reasons to home school our children. We have so much potential to positively influence our culture.

Home education is a deterrent to abortion and a way to boost pro-life activism.

Contact: Charles B. Lowers, Considering Homeschooling, 949-916-6816,

MEDIA ADVISORY, Jan. 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- Considering Homeschooling a nationwide homeschool recruitment group, urges Christians parents to see home education as a powerful tool to deter abortions in their own families, and as an excellent means to raise up leaders with a strong life ethic.

"The dirty little secret that any sidewalk counselor can tell you is that the children of Christians make up a significant percentage of abortion clinic clientele," said Kathy Lowers, Director of Considering Homeschooling, and a long time pro-life sidewalk counselor. "We have met Christian teen after Christian teen going in to kill their babies. Their parents may be pro-life, but these kids are immersed in the public school culture of death."

"Most Christians still enroll their children in government schools despite evolution in the textbooks, Planned Parenthood as guest speakers, school based sex clinics giving out birth control and promiscuous peers. Believers are risking the lives of the next generation by sending their children to such a place."

"Despite recent inroads by the abortion movement such as with embryonic stem cell promotion, Christians possess the means to turn the tide towards life in this country," Lowers said. "Believers who can create a safe, loving home should have or adopt as many children as possible and homeschool them."

"With homeschooling, you can do pro-life work as learning projects and teach your children about fetal development in a life affirming environment. Millions of children homeschooled by pro-life parents represent real hope in changing the abortion laws and attitudes in this country."

Considering Homeschooling, an organization that Charles and Kathy Lowers founded in 2001 to reach Christian parents, encourages believers in Jesus Christ to homeschool and also encourages others to start homeschool outreach groups in their own areas.

Our representatives are articulate advocates of stay-home motherhood and homeschooling and have experience with television, radio and print interviews. Please contact us today.

Christian Newswire

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New From Dover

Dover Publications has just come out with this great product for those studying the Middle Ages. I know my youngest will love the Beowulf Coloring Book, and even though we studied Beowulf last fall, he'll want this. It will serve as a fun reminder of what he learned, too. Take a peek.

Another resource from Dover which may be of use for those in their M.A. studies is The History of Chivalry and Armour: With 60 Full-Color Plates.

And while we don't need to work on our alphabet anymore, the new Butterfly Alphabet Coloring Book would do nicely for an aide to butterfly studies. The book comes with full color versions so you know what colors to use for each butterfly.

You can sample a page here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Just Because You Can, Doesn't Mean You Should

This is Penelope. She has a cruel owner who not only knitted that piece of ugliness on the not-so-pretty dog's back, but actually photographed it and sent it to Lion Brand Yarn. I believe it is a prime example of just because the pattern exists, it doesn't mean you should spend the money for the specialty yarn and the time it takes to knit it up into something unholy and wretched.

You can knit your own abomination with these patterns from Lion Brand.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Alpha Chai?

We went to the Alpha Chi induction last night. We were pleased for our son. And, yes, we got bored.

Well, natch. After our son made his way across the front of the room and signed his name in the Alpha Chi book and received his pin, what more was there? Ah, yes, a speaker.

The speaker was a nice, Christian lady with a long line of credentials, including a PhD in education. But I, the lowly sahm that I am, could have given that speech. Frankly, I'm beginning to think that there is a generic speech female Christian speakers use, tweaking it as appropriate for the situation. That may be one reason why I don't really care for women's retreats (other than I can't get any sleep & they make me get up early). They're all using the same speech/talk with the same illustrations and Bible verse references. All the men, unsurprisingly, went to sleep (yep, even mine; but, hey, he's a kinesthetic learner).

But that wasn't the worst of it. No sirree. The speaker made a terrible "faux pas": she (and I still can't believe she did it) called the honor society Alpha Chi. Literally. Like chai tea. And I think she was the only one who didn't realize her mistake.

So when we add studying the Greek alphabet to our curriculum, I don't want to hear a word about it, except maybe a sigh of relief.

One induction down, two more to go. At least at the next one we get dinner.

In the meantime, tea anyone?

Nightowl For Sure

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

Carnival of Home Schooling #67

This week's Carnival of Home Schooling is up and running over at Apollo's Academy. Check out all the blog links, there's sure to be some great posts.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Home Schooling With Honor

Tonight we will attend the first of three honor society inductions for our oldest child. He is finishing up his third year at Dallas Baptist University as a business finance major. He has taken his studies seroulsy and tackled them with great diligence. I think his father and are are justifiably proud.

Benj has been home schooled since day one, and I can still remember him sitting at the table, all his attention to me, ready to "do school" that first day of kindergarten. We were using Covenant Home Curriculum then, and it didn't take me too long to figure out that giving a kindergartener a letter grade in penmanship was a waste of time. We used Covenant for first grade but we dropped the record keeping service. After that year, our educational philosophies continued to evolve and I became more eclectic with our curriculum, picking and choosing what I thought would work best. We always had a classical leaning, but we've always found strong needs to be willing to adapt and change for each child--especially the ones with strong right brain thinking. These children simply don't fit into preconceived molds, which is all the more reason to home school them.

Looking back, the biggest thing I'd change would be ME! I'd be much less uptight and demanding, much less worried about what others thought, and less concerned with performing to others' stantdards. Despite my faults, the children have learned well and have bright futures.

So we will proudly attend our oldest's induction ceremonies, all three of them, knowing that, with God's help, we couldn't have made a better choice than to home school our children.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

From: Gary L. Bauer, Chairman, Campaign for Working Families

Date: Friday, April 6, 2007

Rejoice, All Creation!

The pain of death by crucifixion is beyond our imagination. Nailed to a cross and suffocating, having been scourged with whips, mocked and humiliated, but, worst of all, having been abandoned by nearly all who were dear to you: this is what Jesus experienced as the last hours of His life ebbed away.

In the midst of all this pain, He uttered a simple statement that reverberated over the dusty hills of Judea and reverberates to this day throughout the whole world; “I thirst!” One can pass this off as merely the statement of a dying man, tortured beyond belief, desiring one drop of water to alleviate his pain.

But as Christians we do not believe that anything Christ did was done without the intent of saving our souls. He is God, and it is He Who gives purpose to all creation.

Why did He tell us that He thirsted? What did He thirst for? He thirsted for the love of those for whom He was dying, for our love. The Son of Man felt in His body and in His soul all the pain caused by our sins. But in addition to that, He felt the greater pain of our indifference.

Daily we receive news of human baseness and depravity. News reports remind us of the malice of those who constantly threaten us with terror. We are witness to the mediocrity of those in the halls of government as some shirk their duties to defend the defenseless. And throughout society we see corruption of all kinds.

But over the din of human frailty the voice of God rings clear: “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life.”

How can we choose the Lord? Is it even possible that our corrupt hearts can truly choose the Perfect Good? As Christians we believe that Jesus’ death destroyed the barriers between man and God. We believe that He died so that we may be brought close enough to Him to choose him. Others, however, follow a god who demands they seek their own death and the deaths of others so that they may receive salvation. What a contrast!

We Christians have been blessed with the Good News of Jesus Christ: that it is possible to choose Life. And that this life is the Lord Himself. This choice is a personal relationship with our Savior. The Bible describes this relationship when it commands us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” In order to love Him in this way we are given this difficult task: “Love each other as I have loved you.”

Jesus love for us was hopeful and joyful. It was not defeated even by death. He arose. But, even arisen, He thirsts joyfully for the love of true Christians living out the Gospel. He thirsts for the joy that is born of love. He desires that we take joy in His love for us and in His triumph over death.

Believers, be joyful that you are loved by God. That the Life you can choose is full of blessing. That death itself has been defeated and that a new life of grace is available. In your joy you will quench His thirst for love.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Two Great Articles

I'm so late getting these posted, but these two articles (one's a FAQ) have been making the rounds on home schooling loops. They're very good, so if you've missed them, here they are:

The first is an FAQ by John Mark Reynolds, the founder and director of the Torrey Honors Institute, and Associate Professor of Philosophy, at Biola University. He shares many good insights about classical Christian home schooling. One of my favorite lines is, "They know some old stuff (Elsie Dinsmore!) died for good reasons." I love this guy! And here I thought I was the only Christian home schooler who thought E.D. ridiculous.

I must not fall in the "general" category as referred to here: "are generally not motivated by fear or dislike of government schools even if they don’t use them." I do dislike the the goverment schools. I think they've become tragic, and I'd rather be shot than send one of my children to them.

Read the whole FAQ, What is Classical, Traditonal, Christian Education?

The second article, Home School Mothers: the Beatrice Brigade, is also by John Mark Reynolds. And I couldn't pick a favorite quote from it. You'll just have to read it for yourself.

Home schooling moms, especially of the classical ilk, appear to have a new champion thanks to Professor Reynolds.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Aslan Who?

Christina Ricci's Aslan tattoo

New York, Apr 3 : Christina Ricci is such a big fan of the lion from JRR Tolkien's (sic) children's book series 'The Chronicles of Narnia', that she's now got a tattoo of it on her back.

The actress showed off her tattoo when she stepped out wearing a backless dress when she arrived at the Gramercy Park Hotel recently.

"It's Aslan, the lion God of Narnia, from 'The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,'" the New York Daily News quoted her, as saying.

Ricci, who is the new face for Samsonite Black Label's new Fashionaire luggage collection, revealed that she had a motive for choosing Aslan, for the tattoo is a symbol of her 'hellish childhood'.

"It was a symbol of my hellish childhood. I struggled through my oppressive teenage years, and when I turned 18, I escaped. Like Aslan, I was finally free," she said.

However, she refused to open up just how 'hellish' her days as a youngster had been.
--- ANI

What a sad article. Not sure when someone decided that Tolkein, instead of Lewis, wrote TLTWATW, but it's simply heartbreaking that Miss Ricci has no concept of who Aslan really represents. It appears that she has no knowledge of the life of Christ and what he did. Amazingly, she seems to have missed the fact that Aslan could have escaped, but instead he voluntarily gave up his life in order to secure eternal life for others. I'm probably safe assuming that her "hellish childhood" did not include the teachings of the New Testament, as she knows Aslan has something to do with God, but she is clueless that Christ died to pay the price for our sins, and rose triumphantly from the grave. As Easter approaches, I'm praying that Miss Ricci will not be satisfied with some vague awareness about Christianity, but will instead desire a relationship with the Savior.