-The Horse Group-

Chatterbox: Down to Earth

-The Horse Group-

-The Horse Group- (Jaybells, Artemis, and me - we were grouped together on the MaF thread).

I'm back on the CB at last, and ready to chat! I have a vacation from school right now, which is... relaxing. I
spent some of my time looking for potential AE names in a book about
wildflowers. I got a couple of ideas, but some of the names were
hilarious - I found myself contemplating the names "Rough Bedstraw,"
"Hatpin," and "Stinking Benjamin." Those are literally flower names?!

My family and I have also been opening Christmas presents and talking virtually or by telephone with my relatives. My great-uncle, whom I've never met, called up yesterday, and my sister and I got to talk with him for a bit. It was really nice because I've heard a lot about him and always wanted to get to know him, and he's also a very interesting person. And we had turkey for dinner, of course. @Jaybells, in Britain/Ireland, is turkey usually eaten at Christmas? I just realized that maybe it's only a Canadian/American tradition.

Anyway, how've your holidays been?

I'm so excited to talk with you guys! :)


submitted by Poinsettia, age immortal, Narnia
(December 26, 2022 - 4:22 pm)

Hiya you two!! 

> From what I hear, turkey is still a pretty common Christmas food in Ireland, odd as it may seem (then again, we're probably most famous for our potatoes/the potato famine, which also came the the Americas, so I suppose it's not too terribly unbelievable). Anyhow, I don't celebrate Christmas, nor do I eat meat, so all I can confirm is that I personally do not have it, haha.

> Those are all pretty wacky flower names! I hope you can find something good for your AEs! 

submitted by Jaybells, Yay!
(December 26, 2022 - 7:58 pm)
submitted by top
(December 26, 2022 - 8:55 pm)

Hello! :}

Me too! (referring to vacation from school, and its relaxing qualities.) I'm homeschooled, but I go to a co-op for writing and science classes; they gave us a month and a half off this year, which was unexpected but delightful. I think we go back at the end of January. It feels so luxurious to be able to sleep in all day and then spend the rest of it exactly as I wish, instead of warring with my homework. --You're both in public school, yes??

Plants can have the weirdest names. There's a mushroom called 'destroying angel,' and another called 'penny bun.'

Ah, that sounds cool! I love visiting my relatives, but we don't see them very often, unfortunately; they all live in different states than us. This year my grandparents came over, though; that was nice.

We actually don't generally have turkey at Christmas, as far as I can recall. We don't really have any food-wise Christmas traditions, come to think of it, other than gingerbread. though we do have them for the Eve for some reason :7

the holidays were splendid! i love the Christmas Eve services, and of course the day itself, in all its fairy-lights and present-opening. i'm looking forward to New Year's, as well. what do y'all do then, if anything? in my family, the children always go out at midnight to bang pots around -- i don't know where this comes from, but likely it's one of my parents' family's. and there's always fireworks all around our neighborhood, so all we have to do to see them is step outside into the freezing winter air. (it's been so cold where I live this year! i must admit there's something romantic about white Christmases, but they're rather less charming when the temperature's in the single digits.) 

submitted by Artemis, Hogwarts
(December 26, 2022 - 9:23 pm)

Currently in public school -- used to be home-schooled, and in the same co-op program as Jwyn, believe it or not!

Glad to see everyone is having a nice break so far! A couple of friends and I went out to the local bookstore do a Chinese project today and it was so cold; so of course I had to walk home through the snow. We saw one of our other friends while checking out at the bookstore though, which was a neat surprise!

Unrelated, but it is currently my life's goal to convince my father to let me keep a Samoyed puppy... This past summer he finally agreed to it, but a bit later he was like, 'nope, I take it back' much to my chagrin. Now would be such a good time since they're so puffy and well-accustomed to the cold. :< I want one so badddddddddd

submitted by Jaybells, Lost, somewhere
(December 26, 2022 - 10:34 pm)

oh, okay! did you switch to public for high school? and did you and Jwyn meet before or after you were both on the chatterbox? --that is, did you introduce each other to it, or did you discover that you were both coincidentally CBers? (sorry for the somewhat-bombardment of questions, haha -- it's kind of my part-time ambition to meet a CBer irl, and it's interesting that you've managed to do so. however it happened)

fun! (well, except for the snow ofc!) i love bookstores of all shapes and sizes. barnes & noble is vast and classic (and probably, i now realize, solely american), but there's also something about secondhand bookstores. --so are you learning Chinese? i think i've seen you mention that somewhere...

ah just looked up Samoyed dogs, and they are so cute and somehow elegant! they look a little bit like arctic foxes, except of course dogs. that's too bad :( i've never had a dog (or a cat, for that matter) but i can see the appeal. my problem is that i don't want to do the work to take care of one -- and even if i did, i rather doubt my parents would be down for it. i'm pretty sure my mother's allergic, and my father is not over-fond of dogs in general :7

submitted by Artemis, Orman
(December 27, 2022 - 4:19 pm)

Yep! And Jwyn introduced me to the Chatterbox after we had known each other for a while! I'd love to meet more CBers offline as well.

And yes I am learning Mandarin/Chinese! I am taking the class with a friend of mine who is actually Chinese and speaks Chinese at home, meaning she is absolutely relentless in getting me to do everything properly... :') I suppose it'll be for the better, and I'll probably be really good at it when it's all over, but having someone looking over your shoulder, constantly telling you you need improve a while bunch can get a bit exhausting...

AND YESSS! SAMOYEDS ARE SO ADORABLE AND DO LOOK LIKE ARTIC FOXES AND I NEeEeeEeEED. I've only ever had birds, fish and hamsters/gerbils in the house, as well as farm animals (obviously kept outdoors), but I love cats, dogs, foxes and the like and really REALLY want to own someeee. It's a shame that you can't have the same experience, but I understand not wanting to commit to something so important.

submitted by Jaybells, Lost, somewhere
(December 27, 2022 - 7:17 pm)

Yeah, that would be the coolest. Maybe someday...

cool! Lots of English-speaking people go for other Latin-descent/Germanic languages when they learn a foreign one, I feel like; but it's awesome to go for something a little off the beaten path. I don't know a scrap of Chinese myself, as you might expect. my foreign-language history is that I fiddled around with some very basic Spanish at some point (I ought to get back into it; there are a lot of Hispanic people in my area, and it would be useful) and now a bit of Latin and French, but that's it. I'm probably going to take French next year formally, for my foreign language. (Is that a high school requirement where you live, or just in America?) How long have you been taking Chinese?

Oh, yes, I definitely can see that being exhausting, academically helpful as it might be... I feel like i'd feel a lot more pressed to do everything right if I knew there was someone who spoke the language watching/hearing me do it. which, again, would probably be good in the long run but short-term = very difficult

well, gl finding your Samoyed !! we've had fish too, and hermit crabs and once a bearded dragon, but yeah, no dogs or cats, as I said. (no farm animals, either! we've always lived in the city or the suburbs, so we never really had any room -- oh wait a sec, I take it all back. We had chickens once. But no, like, goats or anything. On that tangent -- do/did you own the horses you ride??)

@Poinsettia, do you have any pets?

submitted by Artemis, Rhodaire
(December 28, 2022 - 3:30 pm)

Oh dear, sorry I took so long to reply! I'll try to reply to everyone's questions/comments.

I'm homeschooled, actually, but I used to be in public school. Going to a co-op for some subjects must be fun - is it much like a public school?

Technically I don't have any pets. I did have a guinea pig several years ago, which was really nice. (Personally I adore guinea pigs because they're so easy to care for, but they're affectionate and cute and furry. I discovered through my own guinea pig that they can actually purr! It doesn't sound too much like a cat, but it's still purring, which I find adorable.)  And I have lots of rabbits - at least, they're wild rabbits, but they come to the backyard in summertime and hop right up to me. They're so sweet! I don't know why they trust us so much, unless it's because they see us from the time they're babies. It used to be that there would be just one rabbit every once in a while, but last year there started to be more, and this year there were rabbits all over the place. I saw one just this afternoon when I went outside to look at the sunset. As for dogs, I'm kind of like you, Artemis - I don't
want to do all the work of having one, and also my dad has firmly said
he's not up for getting a dog. I've never had any farm animals either, although my mom often contemplates getting chickens but always decides not to in the end. (What would we do with them when we travel? is the main question. Just curious, how did your family solve that problem, Artemis?)

@Jaybells, that's impressive that you're learning Mandarin. What made you decide to study it? I've basically stuck to learning French and keeping up my Spanish. (@Artemis, if you do decide to get back into learning Spanish and you have any questions about it, I could probably help you out if you want! :)) I did try to pick up a bit of extremely limited Hindi vocabulary (the words for shirts, socks, cars, stoves, etc) from a how-to-speak-Hindi book that my aunt had, years ago when she was visiting us for Christmas. I even managed to pick up the Hindi alphabet. But then my aunt left and took her book with her and I forgot a lot of what I'd learned :( One thing I do remember, though, is how some of the words were similar to the words for them in Spanish, which I guess shows how both languages were influenced by Arabic?? (There's another language I want to learn someday.)

Iffy says "taaii"! Are you trying to be a trumpet, Iffy?

submitted by Poinsettia, age immortal, positiveland
(December 28, 2022 - 10:00 pm)

oh ok! --well, i've been homeschooled all my life, so i can't say with any certainty what public school is like in relation to co-ops; my entire experience of it (public school) has been through books and television, so. (and one year of virtual public school, but that hardly counts.) but like public, co-op has lots of people + requires getting up early in the morning (albeit only once a week), unlike plain ol' homeschooling. (seven is early!!) there are definitely less people than there are in most public schools, tho, as you'd probably expect. a couple of my classes only have like four students. the culture is also very different, from what I've seen. this particular co-op is Christian, so of course a lot of it comes from that. no one swears; the dress code is vaguely annoying; plenty of people have no social media. everyone is generally civil. i've never seen anyone seriously argue, come to think of it, which is in and of itself rather miraculous. but there you go.

@both of you: do you prefer homeschooling or public school?? my parents considered sending me to public for high school, but it was decided against. and now i rather wonder what it would have been like...

rabbits! guinea pigs!! cute :3 there're a few wild rabbits around where i live, but not many. mostly in the summertime.

as for the chickens -- i have to say that i don't really remember. i was like eight or nine at the time, so it was a while ago. it could've been that we just didn't travel at all -- my dad's job makes that difficult, and chickens would have made it even more so. maybe we asked someone to take care of them for us?? idk.

yes, that'd be nice, if i do end up learning it again! and Hindi sounds cool! (and Arabic! -- a friend of mine took an Arabic class for a semester or two, at ~another~ co-op i go to, mostly for electives and jazz.) I've never known that Spanish and Arabic were related -- Hindi and Arabic, I might've guessed. that's cool :}

submitted by Artemis, Val's (if only)
(December 30, 2022 - 12:07 pm)

Hmmm. Your co-op does sound somewhat different from public school. (I went to public school for 1st and 2nd grade, so I know what it's like - although, like you, I've gathered most of my impressions of middle and high school from books and movies.) "Everyone is generally civil" - that sounds so NiCe.. *wistful sigh* ...much more civilized than public school where everyone tend to be squabbling and shrieking and pushing and being snarky. And there are people in your co-op with no social media! That's wonderful too! My parents and I don't have any either and we always want to meet other people who are in the same boat. :)

I just wondered - how do educational co-ops work, exactly? Who's in charge, and who gets them organized? You see, I've never heard of them before, and I think they're quite a good idea. Now I'm intrigued. :)

Homeschool or public school? well, I loved going to public school because I'm quite extroverted and enjoy socializing and having friends and all, but I think probably homeschooling's better, for several reasons. I get to have more time to do the things I want to do - from what I've seen, public school tends to take up lots of time, especially as you advance. I have no homework (at least, just some work in the afternoons, but only when I haven't managed to do everything in the morning). I can learn about things in more depth if I'm still curious or have any questions, and I can take my time learning them (within reason, of course) instead of rushing hither and thither from one class to another. Also, I really don't want to catch Covid-19 again, so public school would be out of the question for me at this point. Still, if there were no Covid and if my parents could find a public or private school that would provide a good education and that had pleasant teachers/students, I think I'd prefer going there.

Mostly my only reason for that would be that I could make friends - but then, from what I've heard, lots of people who go to public school end up feeling left out or lonely, probably with good reason, so I guess you and I aren't missing much. (Why can't people just be nice to each other?? then everyone could have real friends and not feel depressed and ignored.) Still, like you, I often wonder what it would be like if I were going to the local high school. My ex-classmates (from the primary school that I went to) must be going there, and I miss them...

Would you prefer homeschooling, or an ideal public school?

submitted by Poinsettia, age immortal, probably
(December 30, 2022 - 10:01 pm)

haha yeah! i suppose general civility is what comes of children spending much more time around their parents. --oh yes, social media. i am of the camp without it (except for the CB, technically) and i feel like in public school i would feel rather outcast because of that. it's my impression that almost everyone has social media and cell phones in public school. but in reality it seems like it can be really destructive + time-sucking, so probably not the best use of one's time.

well, homeschool co-ops are formed of homeschooling families (obviously) and the parents are the teachers. my impression is that, basically, they locate somebody who will give them a space for them to teach people in (usually a church, in my experience) and they meet up once a week to take/teach classes. since it's only weekly, we have lots of homework that we do until the next class. the teachers for high school probably have to be more qualified than for middle school/elementary -- like, maybe the language arts teacher majored in English or something -- but i'm not certain how they figure that out. the main leader/organizer is usually one of the parents.

yes, homeschoolers definitely have a lot more time, and the ability to study as quickly or as slowly (to a degree) as they want/need. however, i kind of feel i would prefer to go to an ideal public school, if there is a world where such a thing exists, for (like you) friend-making purposes. i really like the freedom of homeschooling, but tbh, i am quite shy irl, and seeing my acquaintances every day instead of every week would probably better enable me to make them into friends. i'm not really sure, though.

submitted by Artemis, indianapolis (not really)
(January 1, 2023 - 2:01 pm)

Yes, I agree that social media isn't as great as it's generally seen to be - it's supposed to help you socialize, but most of what it does is keep people from talking face-to-face, I think. And then there's always cyberbullying to be considered, and all the other dangers of being on the internet too much. 

Thanks for explaining about the co-ops! I remembered that a few years ago I had actually been starting to consider joining one, but then I never did. Anyway, it's an interesting idea...

I've gone back to school now and I've begun reading The Merchant of Venice for literature class. It's very intriguing so far. I often enjoy reading plays, although I've seen very few. Have you read/watched any plays?

My sister is also doing a very basic preliminary unit on Shakespeare. She's reading all the books that I read for school when I was her age, and it's fun to be able to discuss them with her. Often when I read a new book I can't wait until my sister's old enough to read it too so I can share my thoughts about it with her :)

Happy (late) New Year!  Did you do anything in particular? I reread my list of New Year's Resolutions that I wrote last January, and discovered that I had actually kept them! yay! (For the first time in years lol.) I quite enjoyed parts of 2022... I'm sorry it's over.  It went so fast! When I was younger a year seemed like it stretched away forever, but now years seem to pass really quickly. But then, 2023 looks like it'll be an interesting year too. Is there anything that you're excited about for 2023?


submitted by Poinsettia
(January 3, 2023 - 9:58 pm)

yeah, it is! (co-ops being an interesting idea, I mean.) a co-op kind of creates a similar environment to a public school, except (ideally) without whatever it is that made its creators want to homeschool in the first place.

that's one of Shakespeare's plays, isn't it? I've never read it. I don't read plays very often -- recently I did read Hamlet, although mostly because everyone says it's great and I wanted to see what they were talking about. it was all right, I suppose, but the Shakespearean English was rather difficult to understand in places, and it didn't interest me very much. perhaps i'll return to it sometime in the future and scorn my younger self for my ignorance in not recognizing The Best Play Ever Written, but that's what i thought. and i don't think i've ever watched a play, either. 

but do you have any reccomendations for plays to read? Hamlet and A Comedy of Errors are just about the only ones I've ever read, but of course there's more than Shakespeare. Chekhov's plays rather intrigue me, for example; have you read/seen any of his?

oh that's fun! I always enjoy discussing mutually enjoyed books with people :)

same to you, and to Jaybells (if you see this)! not really anything special; how about you?

congratulations on your resolutions! I don't usually make any, but this year I decided I definitely wanted to finish the second draft of my novel, for one thing. I am very bad at finishing writing things, but I am determined to finish this one. what sort of things do you usually write? --like, poetry, short stories, etc.? hey, random question -- have either of you ever written a song??

yes, time definitely seems to pass quicker when you're older! i rather wish it didn't; it kind of leaves me feeling as if I'm missing something, whenever I notice how much older I am now than I was one or two or seven years ago :/ of course it's not all bad, as you say. for one thing, this year I'm turning fifteen, so I'll be able to get a learner's permit for driving, which is fun and slightly nerve-racking. what about you? anything you're looking forward to this year?

submitted by Artemis, the land of Elyon
(January 4, 2023 - 3:24 pm)

Hi! I really want to reply right now but I haven't any tiiiime so I'll post later! Just wanted to let you know.

submitted by Poinsettia
(January 5, 2023 - 9:53 pm)

Yea sorry I've been swamped 'cause of midterms and ahhhhhh everything is stressssssss

submitted by Jaybells, Buried in ur basement
(January 7, 2023 - 12:32 am)