Thursday, October 1, 2015

Middlebury Interactive Languages: Elementary French (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Neal and I have a combined nine years of high school/college Spanish, and the big kids are Spanish students as well.  Latin has long been on my wish list, and recently Luke, Matthew, and I began to work on that as well.   Jude has often said, "I want to speak another language, too!" and my usual response is, "Dude, let's work on English first!" This fall, we had an opportunity to work with Middlebury Interactive Languages.  I offered Luke and Matthew first dibs, and when both looked at me with fear in their eyes, Jude chimed in and said, "What about me?  Can I try?"  I decided, "Why not?" and shared our options for the review. He decided he wanted to learn French. I said, "Oooooh...kay...." and hoped that the Elementary French 1 (Grades K-2) would be simple enough for me to follow along with too. 

The good news is, yes, it was simple enough for me to follow along.  It's an immersion-style course, with an option to switch back to English in key places. For example, directions are presented with French text and audio, but are also available to read/listen to in English.

I will say that my French pronunciation is horrid at best.  I'm sure if I ever went to Paris, I would be laughed at as the américain stupide the moment any sound came out of my mouth.  I can manage Spanish, Latin, and even "Tourist Italian," but good French pronunciation simply eludes me.  I definitely appreciated that there was audio to go with the French text for Jude to listen to, so that he could hear proper pronunciation of things.  His articulation still wasn't always great, but it was far better modeling than I could give him.  My only complaint about the narration was that it was at a pretty fast speed.  I wish it had been slow enough for us to be able to follow word-by-word, rather than simply listening to a rapid-fire passage.  

The K-2 program starts out simply.  Unit 1 is learning greetings -- bonjour and bonsoir, ça va -- and goodbyes -- a bientôt  and au revoir.  The method is by studying a Quebecois folk tale about a little boy named Alexis who runs so fast and for so long that he can run from his home to meet his father, a 12 hour boat ride, and have time to spare.  Along the way, he meets townsfolk who greet him.  The goal of this lesson is for the student to be able to appropriately greet people and part ways.

Further units also focus on simple basics (numbers, family, colors, days of the week, etc.). This is supposed to be a semester long course, and I think for an average child, you could probably move at the pace of one unit per week.  However, we spent four weeks on Lesson 1 because Jude just wasn't grasping things when presented "in context."  Often we had to go back and redo something, or re-watch the story, so a lesson that could have been done in a day or two took easily twice that.  I wanted to keep this to three days per week, to not overwhelm Jude with all the work we needed to do.  Often it took us four or five days of repeating the lesson for him to get a good grasp.

I think this is a key thing to focus on with this program.  As I said, it's an immersion-style program.  It's basically being dropped off in Paris with a part-time translator, and being left to figure out your way around using context clues.  If your child is good at this, then he likely will do well with the program.  If your child needs clear expectations, guidelines, and frequent reminders to function in society, then he's likely going to feel very overwhelmed.  Jude lost sight that Bonjour meant "good day" and Bonsoir meant "good evening." If he used the context clues of the graphics, he could have a better chance at getting the "match the phrase to its speaker" sections correct, because if the illustration showed "day" then bonsoir wouldn't be appropriate.  He was trying to match images to what was said, and if Alexis speaks in both sections...well, he's only got a 50-50 shot of being right.

One thing I did really like was the "language lab" section. It gave Jude a chance to practice speaking as well as listening to himself. Often, he self-corrected when he heard what he said incorrectly, rather than thinking, "But that's what I said..."  I think the concept is great.  Here's where I think a bit of user error came into play: when you're a relatively new English-speaking reader, French is not going to be the easiest of languages to sound words out phonetically.  The French pronunciation of Alexis is ah-lex-ee, while Jude wanted to read uh-lex-iz.  English doesn't really have a linguistic counterpart for /ça/ so the phrase ça va doesn't make sense phonetically; in English, the rule is "C only makes an /s/ sound when it's next to E or I, so C next to A means it's a /k/ sound." When listening and repeating, he actually did a pretty good job.  When there was the opportunity to read along, he struggled.

In addition to basic language skills, the program does teach cultural and dialect differences.  In this lesson, it shows different Francophone countries, and the ways they say, "Hello."  While bonjour isn't going to be "wrong" in any French speaking country, students begin to learn the different nuances of vernacular speech, such as the Allo! used in Quebec being equivalent to the European Bonjour! or Bân! used to greet people in the Pacific Rim territory of New Caledonia. I think this is important - not just students realize language is fluid but also because it's not just enough to know the language but to also understand the culture of the speakers.

I really wanted Jude to have a great experience with learning a foreign language.  I don't think he had a bad one, but it was so-so at best.   I know that this is a good time for him to be working on a second language, but I think that for right now we're going to go back to working just on getting to our therapy goal of "50% of speech intelligible speech" in English.  He still wants to learn French, so perhaps we'll revisit it in a few years when he has a firmer grasp of expressive language in general.

Many other Crew member studied with Middlebury Interactive Languages. Click the banner below to read about their experiences with French, Spanish, German, and Chinese language instruction, or follow Middlebury on social media:





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 Middlebury Interactive Languages Review

©2012- 2015 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

USAopoly Games (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Learning doesn't have to always be from books.  We've discovered that we really enjoy learning through board games.  From reading practice to learning how to be graceful winners and losers, there's plenty to learn from games.  We now have two new games on our shelf, Wonky: The Crazy Cubes Card Game and Tapple: Fast Word Fun for Everyone , both from USAopoly, and have been having a blast with them.  We barely got them out of their packing box and the little boys were itching to rip open the shrink wrap!

Wonky was the first game we dove into.  It's labeled for ages 8+, but in looking at the instructions, it seemed doable for the younger boys.  It doesn't involve much reading, if any (once you know what the symbols on the cards mean).  The hard part is having a steady hand.  There are official rules for who goes first, but when one person is always the youngest, there is only one correct method for brothers to establish primacy.

Rock-paper-scissors, of course.

Jude and Damien picked this up very quickly.  They thought it was hysterical.  I think they were as excited to watch the towers fall as they were to build them up.  Jude had marginally better strategy than Damien - he knew that it was smarter to put bigger blocks on the bottom. However, he hadn't really caught on to what makes Wonky so hard.  The blocks aren't square on all sides.  Some are convex, some sides are oblique. The trick is choosing which side will either benefit you, or put the tower off balance just enough that your opponent knocks things over.

Damien decided he liked this game better than any other that we had, and he wanted to teach Grammy and Poppy how to play.  One evening, we went down to their house, box in hand, to play.  He had my parents laughing - he was dealing cards like a sharp.

At the start of play, each person is dealt seven cards.  My mother suggested maybe we play a round "hands down."  Damien was adamant - "No, Grammy.  You hold your cards up so nobody sees them."  He had quite a mittful, as my own grandmother would say, but managed both play and hold up his hand.

After a few rounds to let Grammy and Poppy learn the rules, we got a little more serious.  I admit, we almost had two or three separate games going.  The grownups were pretty much going easy on Damien.  Between ourselves, it was game on.  My dad and I had several skip-reverse sequences going to try to trip the other up, and we'd purposely put a hard block on top.  My mother couldn't stop laughing at us.

Yep, it fell over.  Draw your penalty, Poppy!  I was impressed how well Damien had picked up on and rememberws the rules, even between only playing a few times and after just learning about four new games total.  I needed to refer back to the rule card to keep them straight, but he knew what was what.

My mother, on the other hand, started out with some mad building skills.

In the end, though...wonky sides and gravity won.

 I think Wonky has become Damien's new favorite game.  Yes, the bigger folks were better at it, but it was still definitely fun for him.

Not to be left out of the fun, the big kids descended on Tapple.  For this one, players draw a category card, and then need to name things in the category that begin with letters on the round.  The trick is to do it quickly -- you only have ten seconds before the game buzzes and you're out.  This game is also for players 8 and up, and definitely was more fun with the bigger set.  It was a good phonics practice for Jude, but Damien didn't grasp the "starts with this letter" idea.  Jude didn't like the timer portion - it made him nervous to where he focused so much on it that he lost his turn.  When he played, we played it untimed; with the bigger ones, we turned on the timer.

It does require batteries -- like the rest of the toy universe, it runs on AAs. Celia ran to the drawer for both a screwdriver and batteries.

We had a lot of fun with this one as well.  You think, "This can't be that hard." You'd be surprised how your brain freezes up...or how minds think alike and you're ransacking your brain because somebody else "took" your word.

Celia and Matthew seemed to like this one best.  They're pretty competitive with each other (in a good way), so they enjoyed trying to pick the categories each felt was hardest for the other one.

This round, he stumped her.

Don't feel bad for her.  She got him good the next round.  Each got plenty of practice being gracious winners and losers.

We really enjoyed both of these games.  They were a great break from regular book learning, but still "educational enough" to not feel like we were wasting schooltime on games.  I see these staying popular in our house. Mimie (Neal's mom) is coming for a weekend, and usually plays board games with the kids.  Damien and Celia are already planning out their game line up!

Click the banner below to read other crew reviews of these USAopoly games, or follow USAOpoly on social media:


 USAopoly Review

©2012- 2015 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Your Favorite Literary Characters, Imagined by Lilla Rose

This post contains affiliate links.  Please see our full disclosure here.

I'm so excited that Lilla Rose has been adding lots of new styles lately.  We already had the most beautiful hair accessories around, but now we have even more of them.

Today introduces new Flexi styles that are a perfect fit for readers.  Allow me to introduce you to Charlotte.

We're also celebrating the early release of Hoot, October's Flexi of the Month.

He's a wise owl, just like the one who lives in the Hundred Acre Wood.

Enchanting has two-toned mixed metals evoking the Fairy Godmother's indecision over Aurora's gown, and the swirls in the centerpiece remind me of the brambles and thickets Prince Philippe fought through to reach his Princess.

Can you imagine autumn in Sherwood Forest? I bet it would have all of the colors shown in Fall Harvest!

And if I were Maid Marian or her ladies-in-waiting, I would have a hard time choosing between Mercia, Carmine, and Olivia.

Are you preparing for Halloween with the Five Little Pumpkins?  The first one says "Oh My, it's getting late..." and he's right...because the sale ends promptly at midnight Pacific on Wednesday, September 30th!  Hurry so you don't miss out on Jack-E-Lantern!

In addition, use this link to order - Fall Mystery Hostess Party - and you may be the lucky winner of the hostess rewards.  One winner will be chosen to receive the hostess rewards.  Don't miss out!

Mystery Hostess fine print:  Winner will receive the hostess items as listed if the party value is greater than $100.  Winning Hostess is responsible for the balance cost of the half price items. Orders must be placed using link above by Midnight PDT September 30.  Eligibility restricted to new Lilla Rose customers (currently without consultants) and returning Strawberry Princess customers.

With over 100 beautiful styles, Lilla Rose has something to inspire every reader!

©2012- 2015 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

YWAM Publishing: Douglas MacArthur (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

YWAM Publishing's Heroes of History is a favorite biography source for us.  About 18 months ago, Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor along with a copy of the accompanying Unit Study Curriculum Guide.  Luke reviewed their edition on George Washington, and we were hooked.  Since then, we've purchased a half dozen of them for his US History course, and they've become beloved by every big kid in the house.  (In fact, Clara Barton got "misplaced" a few times...and was found in Celia's room -- she had absconded with it and fallen asleep reading it.)  When given the opportunity to review another of YWAM Publishing's titles, Luke was just working his way through the Great Depression and on the eve of American involvement World War II.  This meant he had a fairly easy choice:  who else but Douglas MacArthur?  We chose to review Douglas MacArthur: What Greater Honor and its accompanying Unit Study program.

I have to admit, I knew very little about MacArthur beyond his infamous line, "I shall return," and honestly, I wasn't even sure what it was about, other than something he said during World War II.  Most of what I studied about WWII was centered around the European theater;  it wasn't until we visited the National World War II museum this summer that I understood the magnitude of the fight in the Pacific. After a rout by the Japanese, MacArthur had been forced to flee the Philippines; it took him three long years to methodically, island-by-island, fight his way back to the Philippines and free them from Japanese control.   Yet even after these crash yet intensive lessons about the Pacific side of the war, we still didn't know the answer to "Who was the man behind this ferocious vow?" 

What makes the Heroes of History special is that the books aren't simply a recitation of what someone did, but an exploration of the person and character behind the action. The average soldier doesn't simply re-enlist for enough years to rise to the rank of Five Star General,  so how did he get to that point?  Through the story, we learned about the tenacity and dedication of the man in the uniform.  Like the other books in the series, the bulk of the Hero's story is told in flashback. 

MacArthur's tale begins on the PT Boat as the newly appointed Pacific commander and his family are being whisked to safety in Australia. Though if he had his way he'd be fighting alongside his enlisted men, he recognized his country needed him to leave the tiny island of Corregidor in order to orchestrate the liberation of the entire Pacific. We learned how MacArthur began his military career with honor, deftly handling both incidences of brutal hazing and an inquiry into the practice at West Point, ultimately graduating first in his class.  Through his idea of the "Rainbow Division," gave the entire nation both the responsibility and the honor of defending the United States when it entered WWI. As for the Philippines, his father Arthur MacArthur, also a career military man, had helped liberate the islands during the Spanish-American war.  After graduation, the younger MacArthur was assigned to the Philippines as an engineer, and later re-assigned to be an aide-de-camp for his father. Together the two toured the Pacific, and this was when Douglas became endeared to the region. He was happy to be returned there after his war-era service on the US mainland, continuing the task of helping the Filipino people achieve independence; this time, he was help their army establish itself, one of the final steps to becoming independent nation and shedding its "US Territory" status.  After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they turned their sights on the American army in the Philippines.  It was no longer a fight between nations; it was a personal attack.

General MacArthur surveys the beach at Leyte shore
just after the American forces sweep ashore
National Archives and Records Admin
(US public domain)
After so many years of MacArthur pere and fils building the Philippines toward independence, Douglas refused to allow them to become annexed to the Japanese empire without a fight.  He explained that he had followed his Commander-in-Chief's orders to extricate himself from the island to better facilitate a counter-attack, but vowed "...the primary object of which is the relief of the Philippines...and I shall return."  It wasn't simply a desire to win that fueled his island-by-island eviction of the Japanese, but a desire to see the men he fought alongside have the same measure of freedom that brought him to them.

His commitment to fairness and freedom made him the ideal candidate to become the Supreme Commander of Japan after the imperialist surrender, leading the American-led postwar rebuilding of a nation decimated by years of fighting and two atomic bombs. Yet, he was a humble man, buried in his everyday uniform, with none of the many medals he had earned pinned to his chest.

Before we even began the Unit Study, Luke and I found ourselves wondering why do we know so little about this man? Is it because he refused to play Truman's brand of politics during the Korean War? Was it was that he was eclipsed by the younger Eisenhower - the commander of the European theater - in the 1952 Presidential nomination?  These questions left us clamoring for more - and grateful for the Unit Study.  By including things such as essay prompts, activities that helped us learn more about MacArthur and his character, and additional reading resources, it helped us find the true story of the man, often reduced to an often-misfocused catchphrase, who should be celebrated for his contribution to freedom.  Though ultimately not called to do so, he was prepared to give his life in the fight to free his friends.  Scripture tells us there is no greater love than to do so.  Despite the accolades and rewards for his work, he found there to be no greater honor than being a simple soldier fighting for freedom.

Members of the Crew reviewed titles from both the Heroes of History and Christian Heroes: Then and Now series.  Click the banner below to discover the heroes they learned about. You can also follow YWAM Publishing on social media:


YWAM Publishing Review

©2012- 2015 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fascinating Education: Biology (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Fascinating Education is an online science curriculum created by Sheldon Margulies, MD that offers online science for middle and high school students.  Dr. Margulies has used his experience as a neurologist to create a learning program that he feels is optimized for learning, combining how the brain focuses, stores and retrieves information, and how emotion and motivation affect how we learn.  The program offers courses in biology, chemistry and physics.  In our area, biology is the usual choice for a Freshman science course, so Matthew chose to work on the Fascinating Biology course for our review. (Note: The program suggests you start with Chemistry first, and follow with Biology then Physics, but it is possible to complete them in any order.)  We received a one-year, one course membership, but there are combination packages that offer savings for students moving at a faster pace.)

The Biology course consists of eighteen chapter-like lessons.  They generally follow a logical order of presentation.  The earliest chapters begin with the basics of biology and cells, and then segue into how a cell takes on nutrients, converts them to energy, and then reproduces and/or adapts to environment.  (Note: There is a section on the theory of evolution; this is NOT a creationist based program.)   At the end is the study of specific types of life forms.

Fascinating Education Review

I had high hopes for this program, because it promised to provide visual and auditory stimulation for learning.  However, Matthew's succinct summation of the program was, "It's boring."  The presentation consisted of a monotonous tone lecture combined with a power-point style slides. Graphics in the slides were high quality and saturated with color, but not particularly exciting.  The program claims to leave the "read the textbook" style of teaching behind, but Matthew felt that instead of him reading a textbook, it was being read to him. On more than one occasion, I found him mentally checking out while the lessons were playing.  Cementing my opinion that the motonone was not going to work for our family was when I found myself starting to doze while Matthew was studying. I may be sleep deprived, but I started my college career as a Biology/Pre-Med student.  I find biology fascinating and have continued to study biology and medicine despite ultimately earning an arts degree.  I just couldn't keep myself from nodding off when the audio was playing.

There also is no formal laboratory program to go with the program, so if you have a lab requirement for your state, or a student who understands concepts better with tactile learning, you will need to supplement a lab program. We actually found it difficult to implement a lab program for several reasons.  One was that most high school biology courses are self-contained and don't seem to have stand-alone lab programs.  The other reason is that the "fun" stuff - living creatures - weren't until the end.  Rather than studying a concept in the context of a creature, Matthew found the program overwhelming because many of the lessons were unanchored ideas.  We finally found a lab program that we thought would work, but it was difficult to align labs and theory because of the course trajectory.

There is a printable transcript and testing options, but no other supporting material.  The chapters follow a logical sequence, but most have a large number of slides in each chapter.  "One or two a day" didn't seem like sufficient progress/time involved, but there is a huge amount of information in each.   Online tests are offered for each chapter, but scores are not recorded.  (There is a printable version as well.) Matthew found the tests overwhelming, because of an uneven ratio of content to test questions.  This particular chapter showed 21 sections of the lesson, but then had only a 10 question test.  Matthew was overwhelmed studying because he had no idea what to prioritize; I felt that there should be at least one "summary" style question for each section to be sure the student grasped the concept of it.    I don't think that a program should teach "to the test," but I do think that hallmarks of good evaluation are knowing what is key information and what is "simply good to know," conveying that to the student, and providing enough opportunity for the student to demonstrate what he has learned.

Overall, I think Fascinating Biology is packed with lots of information on the living world around us. However, I think the presentation was wrong for our family.  It could work for a child who is an auditory learner who thrives when ideas are presented in a clear but even cadence, but a "lecture at me" style of learning is not ideal for Matthew. Though there is a lot of theory presented, I believe that in order to be a college-prep high school science credit, a lab component needs to be given, and finding an adjunct program was very difficult.  Unfortunately, this program just wasn't a good fit for our family.

To read other Crew Reviews about Fascinating Biology, Fascinating Chemistry, and Fascinating Physics, click the banner below.

Fascinating Education Review

 ©2012- 2015 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Super Teacher Worksheets (A Schoolhouse Crew Review)

Have you ever found that your student is pretty close to understanding, but just needs another practice or two beyond what your main curriculum offers? Or you'd like to do a learning activity that just seems less "school-ish"?  I love add-in printables for this purpose, and probably have a hundred links saved on Pinterest.  Thanks to the crew, we recently discovered Super Teacher Worksheets.  Our Individual Membership gave us access to hundreds of worksheets - it's a virtual warehouse of printables for elementary students!

From "A is for Apple" phonics pages to graphing x and y in beginning Algebra, there are extra opportunities for learning in the following areas:

Math (K through 7/early Algebra)
Reading & Writing (including literature studies for many popular early/middle elementary books)
Phonics & Early Literacy
Handwriting (manuscript and cursive)
Spellings Lists & Worksheets (Gr. 1-5)
Science (Earth Science and Biology)
Social Studies - history and geography
Holidays (including Pi Day!)
Puzzles & Brain Teasers
Teacher Helpers

There is even the opportunity to make your own worksheets - especially handy for if you are creating your own curriculum and tests. 

I found us using a lot of the language arts worksheets.  Jude is approximately at a 1st grade level for grammar, so we found a fair bit to work with.  We do have a main program that is our language arts spine, but he wasn't totally catching on by the end of the corresponding pages in his workbook.  We were able to search out some pages that allowed him a little more practice.

 We also used some of the science pages. I haven't found a science program for early elementary students that works for our needs, but the pages gave us some hands-on activities to try.  I don't think they will create a full science curriculum, but are good for either very young children who only are in need of basic exposure to science, or mid-elementary students who need some hands-on activities for learning.  If you were teaching a large group of students, the science projects' outlines contained clear expectations of what the student should do, and even (for some) how many points each was worth.  As much as I loathe school projects (one of the best things about homeschooling is we don't have to spend our weekends doing extra schoolwork!), as a parent I wouldn't mind (or at least, not so much) a project with detailed directions that make it easier to guide my child through the assignment. (There is also a "School Account" option that is pretty economically priced as well.) 

Sometimes, we wanted a more laid-back school day.  This was a place for Super Teacher Worksheets to really come in handy.  There were days where we just didn't want to math and science and reading and...and...and.  So we'd print off a stack of worksheets and have a "Worksheet Day. "  Some were review - math facts, grammar, etc. - and some were more "fun."  One of Jude's favorite activities are word searches, so it was a bit of vocabulary building, theme association, etc. going on, under the guise of "not really a learning day." 

The bulk of the worksheets are geared toward early elementary students, from brand new/PK level learners up through about third or fourth grade.  This doesn't mean that a slightly older student can't benefit from them, though.  Celia's class has been doing a lot of review in school, brushing up on some skills that may have floundered over the summer.  She found a number of worksheets that were good review for her.  Some that she chose - especially grammar and math facts - were actually geared toward younger students.  However, instead of just completing the page, she'd try to race the clock to get her back to being able to autopilot through her times tables.

She's also my kid who likes to do extra schoolwork for fun.  Instead of watching TV or playing video games, she likes to do a grammar worksheet.

Not to be left out, Luke asked if there were any higher-level worksheets.  I think he was expecting me to say, "Nope, this is a little kid review. "  He was pretty surprised after I poked around in the Algebra section and found a graphing coordinates activity!

I guess you're never too old to hang your artwork on the fridge!

The entire library of worksheets is available online, so as long as you have internet access, you can use your account.  (You also can print directly from an iPad, so you don't necessarily need a computer.) I appreciate that there are two ways to store files that you've decided to use.  The first way is to simply download what you want to use directly to your computer and print it out.  This works well for if you just have one student and are happy to browse and print as you go (you can delete the file from your computer when you're done because you can always re-download it again later). The second is an online storage file within your Super Teachers account.  Here you can gather activities for access elsewhere (great if you're not always using the same computer to search from that you'd want to download your files to).

  It's easy to keep tidy as well - simply remove the worksheet from your filing cabinet when you're done.

Super Teacher Worksheets is a printables powerhouse.  With such a wide variety of activities for so many ages, it has quickly become one of my favorites, because I can get early phonics pages for Damien, history for Jude, and refresher math for Celia all from one site.  It's also inexpensive - $19.95 for a single teacher membership (school packages start at $250/year and cover every teacher/aide/admin in a building).   It probably won't replace all of my favorite printables sources, but it will become one of the first places I check for when I need a little something extra for learning.

Read about what others found to do with Super Teacher Worksheets by clicking the banner below, or follow Super Teacher Worksheets on social media:


Super Teacher Worksheets Review

©2012- 2015 Adventures with Jude. All rights reserved. All text, photographs, artwork, and other content may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written consent of the author.
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